Single Available Now, Album Due Out March 4

World-renowned Tibetan singer-songwriter Yungchen Lhamo is soon to release her long-awaited sixth album, ‘Awakening’, through Six Degrees Records. The album, which is Yungchen’s offering of sound healing to aid spiritual awakening, was recorded in Spain, produced by Julio García and Carmen Ros of Escalera Grabaciones Intrépidas, and features guest flamenco legend Carmen Linares on the track ’Loving Kindness’.

Yungchen Lhamo, which translates as ‘Goddess of Melody’, was born and raised in Lhasa, Tibet. In 1989 she crossed the Himalayas to India to pursue her dreams and later moved to Australia, where her first album, ‘Tibetan Prayer’, won the Australian Recording Industry Award for Best World Music Album in 1995.

Yungchen was then signed by Peter Gabriel’s Real World Records label and released three more albums: ‘Tibet, Tibet’ (1996), ‘Coming Home’ (1998), and ‘Ama’ (meaning ‘Mother’), featuring Annie Lennox on ‘Fade Away’ and Joy Askew on ‘Tara’ (2006). In 2013 Cantaloupe Music released her fifth album, ‘Tayatha’ (meaning ‘It Is Like This’), a meditational collaboration with Russian classical pianist Anton Batagov.

With ‘Awakening’, Yungchen, who is now New York-based, explores the relevance of compassion-based spirituality to our modern-day, interdependent lives – each song reflecting topics that have become ever-more highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic. She says: “‘Awakening’ aims to appeal to those of any religion, or of none, who are interested in sound healing and spiritual awakening, and, unlike previous albums, uses only English song titles. It is also my first album to include a song in Mandarin. I truly believe that voice has a vibrational energy to connect, empower, heal and transform all human beings. I hope these new songs will help bring inner peace and true happiness to everyone who hears them.

“It is nine years since ‘Tayatha’ was released, but I never record an album just for the sake of it, only when a meaningful collaboration arises, as it did with Julio García for ‘Awakening’, which has a strong Spanish influence and is therefore quite different in character from my previous albums.

Supporting Yungchen’s strong, captivating vocals on the 12-track album are eleven musicians who play acoustic, Spanish and electric guitars, violin and cello, harmonium, bamboo and transverse flutes, sopranino saxophone, conch shell trumpet, bass, percussion (including tabla and thape drum), flamenco voice, and backing vocals.

The opening track ‘Awakening’ calls on the listener to realize how brief life is and to awaken to the many sufferings experienced by humans, animals, and the natural environment. Global issues may seem insurmountable, but every small act of kindness helps. Awaken to your full potential to be a shining light in the darkness. This leads to ‘Loving Kindness’, on which Yungchen is joined by flamenco legend Carmen Linares. We need to understand what it is in our mind that brings negative thoughts, feelings and emotions – and then discover that by cultivating loving kindness we can bring healing and freedom from suffering for ourselves, our loved ones, and others.

‘Compassion for All Beings’ helps us strive for the happiness of all living beings so that our lives have real meaning and we connect better with others through our unconditional love and compassion. To help us on this path, when we awake each morning we can make ‘Four Wishes’ that all beings have happiness, that they are free from suffering, that they live peacefully, and are free from bias, attachment or aversion to anything and everything around them.

‘Nature’s Tears’ reminds us that our natural world is also suffering and cries out for us to protect the environment and to cherish all nature as ourselves. As often as you can, slow down, stop, and be one with nature.

Every human life is precious, but death can come at any time, so awaken to the causes of suffering within you – pride, jealousy, desire, ignorance, greed, and anger – and to the inner power of generosity, right conduct, forbearance, diligence, deep concentration meditation, and profound wisdom, and follow a ‘Path to Awakening’. Your spiritual awakening can be now – this very moment! On ‘Auspicious Days’ good things may happen and open a new future for you, so be open to such possibilities – and may every day be an auspicious day!

Yungchen’s first recorded song in Mandarin, ‘Home is Wherever You Are’, tells us that ‘going home’ really means being true to yourself, and ‘being home’ means that you will find happiness and fulfilment in life – wherever you are.

Just as monkeys rarely stay still and are easily distracted, our thoughts, feelings, emotions and misconceptions whirl through our mind in the blink of an eye, creating our mental afflictions, emotional exhaustion and physical stress. Slow down, breath slowly, be mindful, let go of your ‘Monkey Mind’ – and so find inner peace.

Many parents live separately from their family, perhaps in a nursing home, and may rarely see their children, grandchildren or great grandchildren. No matter how far we have moved away from them, ‘Come Home My Dear’ reminds us that our parents gave us our precious human life, as well as love, food, clothing, shelter, and education. Coming home to be with them repays their kindness and lets them know how grateful we are.

Without the energy and light of the sun during the day, and of the moon at night, life would not exist on this planet. ‘Sun and Moon’ tells us that everything in our world is connected and interdependent – you may experience phenomena as being ‘real and separate’ from yourself, but examine them closely and you will discover that they are not.

Many people fall through the cracks in our societies and lose self-esteem or become depressed. The final track, ‘You Are Beautiful’, was writtento help them restore their human dignity. The greatest and most direct remedy to such negative thoughts and feelings is to realize that the true, inner nature of every living being is the beauty of enlightenment, combining perfect wisdom with perfect compassion – to which every being can experience an Awakening!

Albums by Yungchen Lhamo

Holmes Ives Ayriliq Ep
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