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On Being with Krista Tippett is a public radio project delving into the human side of news stories + issues. Curated + edited by senior editor Trent Gilliss.

We publish guest contributions. We edit long; we scrapbook. We do big ideas + deep meaning. We answer questions.

We've even won a couple of Webbys + a Peabody Award.

While editing what feels like a multisensory experience for Hussein Rashid’s piece on our blog, "Qawwalis, Found Sounds, and Benghazi: Locating the Sacred in a New York Church," our senior editor Trent Gilliss included this video of Korean-American experimental musician Bora Yoon. She creates soundscapes from found objects and digital devices, mixed with her voice:

"She has an ethereal voice that sounds like it would be at home in the Choir at the Church of the Ascension, which it is, or in the Elvish kingdoms of The Lord of the Rings.”

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Riyaaz Qawwali performs one of the oldest qawwalis, ”Man Kunto Maula.” Attributed to being written by Khusro to praise Imam Ali, the song is considered a manqabat , which is loosely translated as “characteristics” from the Arabic.

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trentgilliss:

While editing a post on Rosh Hashanah, women, and sealed spaces for On Being, I found myself enchanted by this choreography set to Ani DiFranco’s “Splinter.” Makes you feel good and peaceful, doesn’t it?

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Such a pretty tune on this Monday morning. Thanks to bitzlbitzlr:

Colossal Gospel - ‘Bloody Boat’

A duo that manage to sound like an entire chorus choir, Colossal Gospel are Stephen Weibelt and Chris Johnson, just a couple of southern folkies -  Leeds, Alabama to be exact.

As they harmonise on ‘Bloody Boat’, their chorals rattle and echo against a roll of steely guitar, swelling with reverberation. “Though you do not speak, I know you are with me”, they quiver on the chilling bonfire song - a real raw, Gothic Americana tune.

The track is off their debut album called Circles - out now on Autumn Tone.

[autumntone.com/circles][facebook/ColossalGospel]

~Trent Gilliss, senior editor

(via mhisadj)

Tagged: #music
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The Russian punk band Pussy Riot have been found guilty of religious hatred for their protest inside the Cathedral of Christ the Savior today. The Interfax news agency translates the Khamovnichesky Court verdict as such:

"The Pussy Riot singers colluded under unestablished circumstances, for the purpose of offensively violating public peace in a sign of flagrant disrespect for citizens.,” the court said in a verdict being pronounced on Friday.

The women were motivated by religious enmity and hatred, and acted provocatively and in an insulting manner inside a religious building in the presence of a large number of believers,” the court said.

The court also has found that the Pussy Riot activists realized that their actions during the “punk prayer” in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior were insulting and intended to communicate information on the stunt to a broad range of believers.

"Intending to make the planned actions public and ensure that they drew public response, to draw the attention of the public to their illegal actions, and to communicate the expressed disrespect not only to the clergy and people in the church, but also to other citizens who were not present in the church at the time [of the punk prayer], but shared Orthodox traditions, Samutsevich, Tolokonnikova, Alyokhina, and their unidentified accomplice informed various media assistants and active bloggers on their action," the sentence read in the Khamovnichesky Court on Friday says.

Up top is the video of the Pussy Riot "protest-as-prayer" performance for which three members of the band have found guilty.

~Trent Gilliss, senior editor

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Knitting. Fractals. Twitter. If you haven’t listened to this interview with Rosanne Cash, you should. She’s absolutely delightful. You’ll learn something.

~Trent Gilliss, senior editor

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"You have to show the Muse you’re serious."
~Rosanne Cash, quoting Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art in her interview with Krista Tippett
Photo of Gabriel Royal playing cello in the New York subway by Dan Nguyen. (distributed with Instagram)

"You have to show the Muse you’re serious."

~Rosanne Cash, quoting Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art in her interview with Krista Tippett

Photo of Gabriel Royal playing cello in the New York subway by Dan Nguyen. (distributed with Instagram)

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Agreed.

mhisadj:

What a gorgeous way to wake up.

halfgifts:

SYNTAKS ~ Awakes

(first track they did together)

~Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Tagged: #music
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trentgilliss:

Since I just returned from old Constantinople, this track from The Decemberists performing live at WDET studios in 2005 takes on new resonance.

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trentgilliss:

Elizabeth Cotten’s “Freight Train” is just what I needed this evening.

(h/t to Jeff Guntzel)

We haven’t posted a Tuesday evening melody in several weeks. And this ditty couldn’t be a more fitting reentry.

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Kara Holden offered this lovely Friday intermission in response to our question about the best song you’ve heard all week: Beneath us, constellations.

~Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Tagged: #music #video #song
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The track that ends our upcoming show on the sounds of silence and the last quiet places? An instrumental song from The Pines.

~Trent Gilliss, senior editor

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Adam Yauch’s Buddhism in Two Tracks

by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

I’d like to send you off this Saturday with a pairing of tracks from the Beastie Boys’ Ill Communication: “Shambhala” and “Boddhisatva Vow.” After I read Tricycle's interview with Adam Yauch about his life and his commitment to Buddhism in the mid-1990s, I came across this photo and caption by an Aussie, Julian Wearne:

A tribute to Adam Yauch

I woke up this morning to hear the sad news about Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch’s passing after a three-year battle with cancer. I felt the only appropriate thing to do was put Paul’s Boutique on the turntable, turn it up, and enjoy one of the finest hip-hop albums ever released.

I’m not religious at all, and I’m not at all educated on the teachings of Buddhism, but I do think MCA’s interpretation of Buddhism can teach anyone a lot. From his song “Bodhisattva Vow”:

A Strength From Within To Go The Length
Seeing Others Are As Important As Myself
I Strive For A Happiness Of Mental Wealth
With The Interconnectedness That We Share As One
Every Action That We Take Affects Everyone
So In Deciding For What A Situation Calls
There Is A Path For The Good For All”

I’ve listened to these tracks so many times but had never really thought about the lyrics and what they said or whom they came from. It should’ve been obvious, but it took an Aussie’s photo on Flickr to shine a light on them in a new way. I hope you take a few minutes to listen to these tracks and remember the life of MCA, a phenomenal artist and a fine human being.

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I think there are a lot of misconceptions in society in general about what actually brings happiness, we’re caught up in all these ideas that having a lot of money or having somebody beautiful to have sex with or having some cool objects, having a cool car, cool stereo or whatever is gonna make us happy. And those things actually don’t bring us happiness. I’ve learned a tremendous amount about how compassion or altruism actually brings a person happiness and I think that’s a lot of what’s trying to be put forward through the concerts and it seems like the optimum way to put those ideas forward is through helping the Tibetans gain their freedom because those values are so inherent within Tibetan culture.
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Adan YauchAdam Yauch (1964-2012), MCA of the Beastie Boys, from the Frontline report "Dreams of Tibet"

Yauch, best known by his rap moniker MCA of the Beastie Boys and his activism for Tibetan freedom, died yesterday from a three-year battle with cancer. Jaweed Kaleem offers a fine round-up for The Huffington Post on how Buddhist spirituality permeated his life and music, noting that he was “born in Brooklyn, New York to a Catholic father and a Jewish mother, [and] had practiced Buddhism since 1994.”

In the photo to the right, Yauch speaks at a press conference on June 13, 1998 prior to the Tibet Freedom concert at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC.

(Photo by Stephen Jaffe/AFP/Getty Images)

~Trent Gilliss, senior editor

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