Genesis of Karma Lelung Rinpoche arrived one morning at our school like The Man Who Fell to Earth. Of course, being a language school in London, we have students from all over the world. But Lelung was our first and so far our only reincarnated Tibetan Lama! Later, he joked that he was born in Asia but his English was born at Bell School. I would like to think that perhaps I performed the role of midwife, because I was his guru. The guru of the guru and in the limited field of spelling only, I must immediately confess! But something else was born at Bell School, because one day he showed me a poem he had written and had had translated into English entitled 'The Karma of the Floating Geese'. It was lovely, haunting and intriguing, and being a songwriter even more than a midwife, I immediately thought of a new chord progression that I'd been working out on the guitar, which was somewhat unusual and for which I had been struggling to find a theme and some lyrics. So two and two were put together, and in anyone's language and even in Tibetan culture they make five! Still later, it emerged that Lelung had a treasure trove of poems that could be translated into English and the idea came that maybe I could convert some of them to lyric form and put music to them. I don't like to have favourites when it comes to religion, but I've always had a secret soft spot for Buddhism, and a fascination for Tibet. Musically, my orientation is more Ipanema than Tsetang, and so our album is a kind of bossanova meets Tibetan Buddhism meets John Lennon. And when I say John Lennon, I hasten to add that I mean it in terms of his philosophy and not of course his phenomenal talent. It's just that Lelung Rinpoche and I both are idealistic and realistic enough to know that Love is The Answer and we should Give Peace A Chance! Richard Hillman Bell London April 2008.
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