Upaya is the ambient instrumental project of American composer Dave Howard. Howard has released three CDs under his own name as a singer-songwriter and one with his rock band, The Shamey Jays. Dave has been practicing Buddhism since 1986 and began studying and practicing with Drupon Samten Rinpoche at Drikung Kyobpa Choling in 2006 after encouragement from his wife, Terri, who was already part of the sangha. Upaya music is atmospheric, environmental and evocative. Fans of Eno, Deuter, Steve Roach, Liquid Mind and Phil Thornton will find familiar musical textures, treatments and themes. "I have wanted to work with the lamas and nuns at DKC for a long time" says Howard. "Finally, the opportunity arose and I am thrilled with the results. I am sure this is only the first of many projects together."
The album was recorded in three sessions. "I met with Drupon Samten Rinpoche and the other monks and nuns and recorded them chanting acapella in the gompa (shrine room) at the Tibetan Meditation Center. After our session, I went back to my home studio and listened to the mantras. Meditating to these chants inspired the melodies and environments I created with the keyboard." The lamas (Ven. Drupon Samten, Gen Norbu and Omzed Stanzin) and nuns (Ani Chodron and Ani Dolma) were relaxed despite this being their first serious recording project. The chants were recorded without any guide track or musical accompaniment. The music was composed and arranged afterward to complement the key and melody to which the mantras were sung.
It is our hope that this recording will benefit all sentient beings by spreading the precious dharma and the virtues of compassion and mindfulness. For more information about Drikung Kyobpa Choling and our sangha, please visit our website at www.tibetanmeditationcenter.com
released 08 April 2011
Ven. Drupon Samten
all resident monastics at Drikung Kyobpa Choling Tibetan Meditation Center, Escondido, California
Music by Upaya