COVER IMAGE
CD released: Oct 16, 2020

LAMA LOBSANG PALDEN AND JIM BECKER
COMPASSION
Label: DRAG CITY
Cat No: DC771CD
Barcode: 781484077121
Packaging: CD (0.1 g)

Compassion is a cycle of music born of
the need for healing.
It's a great moment in life to realize
when healing is required. No matter how
broken in body and spirit, to be able to
recognize what is needed-that something
is needed at all-is the beginning of relief.
Jim Becker has been playing music
for several decades, in Chicago and
around the world, with lengthy tenures
in Califone and Iron & Wine and many
additional production and playing credits
to his name.
Lama Lobsang Palden is a gifted
energy healer, teaching Yantra Yoga and
Buddhist meditation. As a young boy, he
was recognized as a tulku-a reincarnation of a Nyingma guru yoga master.
Following the path, he studied all aspects
of Buddhist philosophy in Tibet and India
and has taught meditation, yoga and the
Buddhist Dharma all over the world.
The relationship that allowed Lama
and Jim to make this record started with
treatment, three years before the record
was begun. Jim went to the Lama for healing, to address the many aches and ills that
medicine couldn't seem to heal. As Jim was
leaving his first session, the Lama said to
him, "You and me, we make a record." It
would be years and many other life events
before a record could be undertaken,
much less completed. It was a long road ahead to becoming whole, but that was the
beginning.
Jim found the therapy sessions both
personally restorative and stimulating.
As a musician, Lama's use of chants,
bells, gongs and percussion in his practice
resonated within him. A listener to all
kinds of music, Jim understood that
the recording would have to represent
more than a straightforward capture of
performance. Among other possibilities he
heard in response to Lama's music, he was
inspired by the soundtracks in Satyajit Ray
films, where the realities of life shown on
the screen are accompanied by a climatic
dreamscape of sound representing inner
emotional and spiritual depths. This
perspective gives the music of Compassion
a wide space in which to place the listener,
with Lama's music at its center.
In 2013, they began at Lama's house,
recording on a Tascam Portastudio. Sessions stretched out over a year. Intent on an
organic, acoustic sound-bed, Jim chose his
instruments carefully, tuning to the drum
skin or pitch of a gong. Then they'd play
music! Lama's performances and Jim's accompaniment, filling first the channels of
a 4-track cassette tape, then tape after tape
with more music. As their horizons expanded, they included some sounds from
the world outside-rain falling, waves
breaking-with an eye toward the greater
encompassing reality of the finished set. Finally, when they'd compiled nearly 450
minutes of performances, the music was
bounced from 4-track to ProTools at Jim's
home studio, and he began the process of
culling complimentary pieces to flow as
one. Lama was receptive to Jim's inspiration, making himself available to any idea.
In this fashion, further overdubs and edits
brought the arrangements of the songs
and the album into shape. In addition to
the many roles and instruments that the
Lama and Jim played, music was played
by Rob Frye, Teddy Rankin-Parker, Rob
Mazurek, Becca Wilcox, Becca Ridge,
Marion Jackson, Yngrid Diaz, with
Quinn Tsan, Becky Levi and Clara Palden
adding additional voices.
The 43 minutes that comprise Compassion are a deeply felt and wide-ranging
musical synesthesia, a telescoped recapitulation of all the time over which they were
conceived-for Jim, this was a recapitulation of years of experiences, some happy,
some difficult; many moods and places,
alone and in the company of different
people and thoughts passing through. For
Lama Lobsang Palden, this was a chance
to teach about the relaxation of the mind,
the Tibetan mantra, and most importantly,
to allow people to know his heart through
his chants and music. A transcendent
collaborative encounter, Compassion is an
epic piece of music about the epic search
for the same.

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LAMA LOBSANG PALDEN AND JIM BECKER
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