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Kundun: Music From The Original Soundtrack Reviews
November 24th, 2011 by Aldouspi

Kundun: Music From The Original Soundtrack

For the second of 1997's dueling Buddhist epics (the other being Seven Days in Tibet, scored by John Williams), director Martin Scorsese made a wise--if commercially challenging--choice in tapping noted minimalist composer Philip Glass to score Kundun. Glass (who's previously scored the avant garde documentary Koyaanisqatsi trilogy, Mishima, and the strange Candyman horror series), is the perfect choice here; his own Buddhist beliefs play a key role in meshing image and music. Glass's familia

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Tibetan Freedom Concert; New York City, June 1997

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6 Responses  
  • G. Sawaged writes:
    November 24th, 20119:32 pmat
    17 of 17 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Vintage Glass with Tibetan Instruments, April 28, 1999
    By A Customer
    This review is from: Kundun: Music From The Original Soundtrack (Audio CD)

    This is vintage Glass. If you like “Koyaanisqatsi”, you should like “Kundun”. Like all of Glass’s work, this one takes some time to get into, but once you’ve heard it, it becomes compelling, hypnotic, even addictive.

    One of the reviewers below complains that this music isn’t Tibetan enough. This is like complaining that Beethoven doesn’t use Flemish folk songs enough. If you want traditional Tibetan music, buy some. If you want Philip Glass, buy “Kundun”.

    It’s true that the music is vaguely reminiscent of “Koyaanisqatsi”. This is not necessarily a bad thing, “Koyaanisqatsi” being one of Glass’s greatest works.

    Some of the music is also reminiscent of Bernard Herrman’s score for “Journey to the Center of the Earth”. Since Glass is a Minimalist instead of a Romantic like Herrman, however, don’t expect to hear the great bursts of emotion you find in “Journey to the Center of the Earth”. On the other hand, Herrman followed the action of the movie so closely that his score sounds like a series of unconnected pieces. “Kundun” is far more unified, and you feel like you’ve heard a symphony when it’s over.

    One of the reviewers complains that the orchestra doesn’t seem to contain many Tibetan instruments. I wonder how many Westerners can recognize Tibetan instruments when they hear them. If you look at traditional non-Western instruments all over the world, you find the same general themes over and over again: flutes (like the Andean pan-pipes), horns (like the Tibetan horns heard in this music), drums, and stringed instruments (like the Chinese biba or the Japanese koto). It takes a sensitive ear to hear the difference between one of these instruments and the Western equivalent.

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  • Clayton W. Hibbert writes:
    November 24th, 201110:26 pmat
    13 of 13 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Hypnotic, November 30, 2001
    By 
    G. Sawaged
    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)
      
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Kundun: Music From The Original Soundtrack (Audio CD)

    I may be in the minority of the reviewers here, in that I have never seen the movie “Kundun”. I picked up this cd because it looked interesting (I know…u can’t judge a book, or cd in this case, by it’s cover), but I am a great experimentor and I love ‘discovering’ different forms and types of music. And this looked intriguing and different. I thought it might be hard to get into, but not at all. From the opening track I was spellbound. I find the whole album to be very dark and mysterious…captivating, hypnotic and spellbinding. It is unlike any soundtrack that I own, and I love it. I’ve been playing it straight for the last 3 days, and the more I hear it the more I find to like. It’s a wonderful cd to relax and meditate too. It is very soothing. Now I just have to see the movie too. 🙂

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  • Anonymous writes:
    November 24th, 201111:20 pmat
    8 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Stands on its own as a dark, enchanting suite, August 27, 1999
    By 
    Clayton W. Hibbert (Seattle, WA, USA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Kundun: Music From The Original Soundtrack (Audio CD)

    While I found Philip Glass’s music a bit distracting while watching the film, the score by itself is incredibly beautiful. It’s more accessible than some Philip Glass works, carrying very definite melodies and themes.

    The horror of the Tibetan tragedy is painted in dark musical strokes, contrasted with delicate bells and chimes which can only represent the implacable dignity of the Tibetan people.

    This score tells the sobering story in its own way, perhaps in a more emotionally compelling way, than does the film. Not to be missed. A true tour de force.

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  • Brian Blueskye "dharmahooligan" writes:
    November 25th, 201112:01 amat
    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    The best way to remember this concert…., July 23, 2002
    By 
    Brian Blueskye “dharmahooligan” (Desert Hot Springs, CA) –

    This review is from: Tibetan Freedom Concert; New York City, June 1997 (Audio CD)

    The Tibetan Freedom Concert in 1996 when shown on MTV changed my life forever when I discovered what was going on in Tibet. And when I got my first glimpse into Buddhist culture. This CD goes over 2 years of the Tibetan Freedom Concert. It is the first 2 that were held in 1996 and then in 1997.

    The CD is not just a youth approach to doing something for the Buddhist nation of Tibet, it’s a celebration of Tibetan Culture. Many artists from Tibet appear along with bands like Rancid and The Beastie Boys on this CD. There are also chants from Buddhist monks. Eddie Vedder and Mike McCready of Pearl Jam play an acoustic version of “Yellow Ledbetter” that makes this CD well worth the money you paid for it. There is also a track that appears only on this CD from Rancid titled “The Harder They Come”

    Beck appears on the 3rd CD with “…” and De La Soul plays a very energetic version of “Me, Myself & I” The 3rd CD is also an enhanced CD for your PC that you will be very inspired by. It comes with a collection of information on what it is that you can do for Tibet and a Quicktime library of video files showing The Beastie Boys, Radiohead, Ben Harper, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, and some very special messages from His Holiness The Dalai Lama. As well as a short video of Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys explaining how he got involved. This CD is truly a great way to remember these concerts. If you buy this CD, you not only get music, but a celebration of Tibet’s spirit and culture celebrated through 2 years of concerts.

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  • Anonymous writes:
    November 25th, 201112:52 amat
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Whole Set is Worth Yellow Ledbetter, July 31, 1998
    By A Customer
    This review is from: Tibetan Freedom Concert; New York City, June 1997 (Audio CD)

    Even though I got this album for free through the radio station that I work for KVCH, I would have paid the thirty dollars for the album just for this rare, live edition of Yellow Ledbetter. What an excellent, bluesy version of this Pearl Jam classic. Along with many other great tracks from our favorite rock groups, this album is definitely worth 50$!

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  • Anonymous writes:
    November 25th, 20111:22 amat
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A wonderful mix of great artitst and for a great cause!, July 19, 1998
    By A Customer
    This review is from: Tibetan Freedom Concert; New York City, June 1997 (Audio CD)

    I love music, which is one reason I bought this collection: It’s full of many artists I love. But, the most important reason was because of the cause. I highly recommend this collection if you want great music for a great cause. Don’t hesitate to buy this any longer.

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