• Jonathan Widran

Rigzin, PROTECTION


A powerful and expansive music and vibration driven expression of her many years of devoted practice to Tibetan Buddhism, Rigzin launched her Sacred Trilogy series in 2010 with UNION (a compendium of the most common Tibetan Buddhist mantras) and kept the beautiful, multi-textured flow going on TRANSITION– Prayers for the Dead and the Dying, comprised of practices and mantras created to foster peace in the process of transitioning our consciousness to eternal purposes.

Just as earlier in her life, the ethereal voiced singer could not have imagined a career in music that would come from her spiritual practice, she surely could never have known how perfect the timing would be for the release of the trilogy’s trippy, dreamy, exotic, trance-dance driven conclusion PROTECTION, a mind-bending, consciousness expanding 11 track journey setting a ceremony of protector prayers to electronic world fusion music – created in collaboration with celebrated DJs and producers from the West Coast art, music and festival scene, including Random Rab and David Starfire.

With the planet and its inhabitants seemingly in an ongoing outer vortex of anger, chaos and destruction, people are longing more than ever for inner protection – one soul at a time. It is Rigzin’s belief that the only way we can change the outer conditions is by shifting our inner mindsets. During these dark, troubled times, these compelling vibration altering mantras provide a powerful tool for such change.

A lot of the benefit that derives is how open one is to go deep into the experience. If you just listen on a surface level for Rigzin’s dreamy soulful vocal chants, the enveloping atmospheres and its firewalls of deep, edgy machine generated grooves, it’s mainly a cool new age electronica musical experience like no other. But if you approach it in a meditative state, ready to let all the clutter out of your mind so you can truly immerse and let Rigzin’s universal messaging wash through your soul, you might just find yourself protected from the storms that rage just outside in your life and the world around you. The mantras are an ancient spiritual technology of transmutation that have the power to dispel negativities for oneself and all beings, destroying the things that obscure our view of our true enlightened nature and commonalities.

Rigzin’s heart for PROTECTION begins with a subtle “Call to Awaken” featuring an introductory moment filled only with exotic drumbeats, a clarion call from a natural horn and her exquisite, gossamer voice that’s deep in prayer, enhanced with only an insistent chime. She then introduces us to the “Buddha” with brief but penetrating spoken words from the master: “Hatred will never be overcome by hate. Hatred will be overpowered by love. This is an eternal truth.” A chaotic chorus of voices is on hand to absorb this, with the hope of finding peace through a deepening practice. Rigzin then brings us into the heart of the project, her wild collaborations with the master DJs and sonic architects, first with the David Starfire-produced “Red Lotus Dakini.” It’s a conversational, transcendental, deep bass immersion alternating between an ear penetrating male vocal chant and expressions of her own truth, all over a mystical synth wash with intense percussion fills and sonic effects.

The intensity of that track is offset by the calming atmospheric musical waters of Prophecy (produced by Kraddy), which builds in percussive intensity and adds a distant male harmony vocal but never at the expense of rigzin’s exquisite vocal prominence. Later in the piece, she turns to spoken word about a protective army arising. “Wrathful Guru” blends a tight, edgy, synth generated slowly danceable groove and whimsical harp like sounds with her lush and prayerful vocal, while the title track “Protection” (produced by Surround) opens with chaotic horn calls and spacey atmospheres before evolving into another solemn moment of prayer that becomes a richly textured tribal chant.

From there, the inner journey takes to more expansive pieces like the eight minute slow burn chaos to gently hypnotic, rhythmically soul seductive prayer and meditation “Vajrasattva” (produced by BioLumigen) and the deeply rhythmic, sonic effects laden Kilaya (produced by Kayla Scintilla), which is mostly an instrumental excursion with male chant echoes. The KMLN produced “Protectors of the Land” is a ten minute, deeply atmospheric meditation featuring rigzin’s lower range vocals praying over an insistent drumbeat and a later male vibrational voice introducing deeper chaos that she ultimately relieves.

One of our final seals of PROTECTION find her taking us into the “Heart of the Lotus” (produced by Chris Sia), which merges her brief breathy expressions surrounded by a wild chorus of male vocal sounds, hypno-percussion and freewheeling tribal chants, then conducting a guided spoken word meditation over a deepening ambience. Rigzin’s course in sonic miracles concludes with the Random Rab produced “Bodhicitta,” an easy flowing, soulful Sade-like slice of pop/jazz that’s pure dreamy transcendence free of the earlier shifts in tone and intention. It’s the calm and cool we’ve been yearning for all along, an artful farewell for now which seems more like an entry to the next experience rigzin will grace us with down the road.


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