Dalai Lama Drops Debut Album

As promised, the Dalai Lama’s debut album is here, right in time for His Holiness’ 85th birthday. Inner World collects chants and mantras from the Tibetan spiritual leader and sets his words against music that was recorded by New Zealand musicians Junelle and Abraham Kunin, practicing Buddhists.

“I’d never heard him speak like this,” Junelle Kunin said in an Associated Press story that announced the album last month. “He really was so excited … he actually proceeded to explain to me how important music is. He leaned forward and his eyes were sparkling, and his fingers were rubbing together and he [talked] about how music can help people in a way that he can’t; it can transcend differences and return us to our true nature and our good heartedness.”

The album’s release will be accompanied by a livestream, which will start at 1PM EST. The livestream will feature appearances from Richard Gere and Anoushka Shankar, the daughter of Ravi Shankar, who plays on one of the Inner World tracks.

You can hear the album below.