His Holiness the Dalai Lama, composer Philip Glass, sitarist Anoushka Shankar, the throat-singing Gyoto Tantric Choir, and TOM WAITS - performing with the Kronos Quartet and Greg Cohen - are among those featured on HEALING THE DIVIDE: A CONCERT FOR PEACE AND RECONCILIATION, out July 10 on Anti-.
Culled from a September 21, 2003 benefit concert at the Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall in New York - during His Holiness the Dalai Lama's 20-day tour of the U.S. - HEALING THE DIVIDE is a musical meeting of East and West. Transcending cultural boundaries through music, the performances on HEALING THE DIVIDE range from meditative to theatrical; guttural to beautiful; and always powerful and purposeful in support of a very human cause.
All of the artists, Anti- Records, and Healing the Divide are donating all their proceeds from sales to Healing the Divide / Tibetan Health Initiative, a program that provides health insurance and medical care to impoverished Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns living in refugee settlements. Each CD purchase provides one year of health insurance.
In this recording of the 2003 event, His Holiness the Dalai Lama affirms, "It brings me great happiness to see artists and musicians gathered together here in support of the people of Tibet and in support of peace and reconciliation. We have to make every effort to promote human affection."
TOM WAITS headlined the evening in a night that featured a rich mix of musical traditions and cultures from Native American flute to West African kora. Four songs from his 50-minute performance are on the CD, most significantly the previously unreleased "Diamond In Your Mind."
For fans of WAITS, it's a pleasure and surprise to hear his voice large and dramatic against the spare, angular and expressive string arrangements that "worked ingenious variations on Mr. Waits's waltzes and hymnlike tunes, skewing the oom-pah-pah to various places around the beat," according to New York Times critic Jon Pareles.
When asked how he found himself sharing the stage in what was primarily an evening of sacred traditions in music, WAITS replied, "I'm no fool. It's a spiritual insurance policy. Hell, at my age, the next group I put together, everyone may be playing a harp. All kidding aside, I owed His Holiness a favor. He did all my papers in school."
Healing the Divide, a nonprofit organization founded by Richard Gere in 2001, is dedicated to collaborative solutions to humanitarian crises. "The release of this CD helps us raise awareness about the worsening condition of Tibetans both inside and out of the region," explains Gere. "The funds raised not only allow us to positively change the lives of the Tibetan people, but will also allow us to promote invaluable Tibetan Buddhist concepts of peace and compassion."