Mila's Journey Inspired by a Dream features the Tibetan singing of Lama Kunga Rinpoche, the English translation/singing of Robert Ashley, and the understated, tonal soundscapes of Eliane Radigue. In keeping with Radigue's musical commitment to Tibetan Buddhism, Journey tells the life story of Milarepa, the 11th century saint who spontaneously composed song poems to facilitate his teachings. Sung over Radigue's moody, gently rising and falling synths, Rinpoche's traditional vocalizing takes on an otherworldly quality that's striking. But for the unenlightened listener, Ashley's performance of the English translation is off-putting. While a distinguished composer in his own right, here Ashley's detached, almost rambling, presence breaks up the harmonious, ethereal qualities of Rinpoche's singing. Often, Ashley seems to be laughing at his own words, or, at the very least, under the influence of something other than Tibetan Buddhism. Even though his translation is helpful in following the story, a printed version might have been better, since the deceptively simple power of Rinpoche's compositions and Rinpoche's performance would then be more cohesive.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus