HONORARY ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER
Paul Horn was named as our first "Honorary Advisory Board Member" of the "Great Pyramid of Giza Research Association". He was awarded this title because his album "Inside the Great Pyramid" did more to publicize and promote interest in the Great Pyramid than almost anything else this past century. We are honored to have Mr. Horn as our first recipient of this award.
ABOUT PAUL HORN
Paul Horn has recorded over fifty albums in over four decades. He received his Bachelor of Music degree at Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio and his Master's at the Manhattan School of Music in New York. He served in the Army and afterwards played in the Sauter-Finegan big band in New York and then toured with the Chico Hamilton Quintet. He later formed his own band, the Paul Horn Quintet and performed and recorded with such greats as Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Buddy Rich, Chick Corea, Quincy Jones, and Ravi Shankar.
He received two Grammy® Awards with Lalo Shifrin for Jazz Suite on the Mass Texts in 1965 and again in 1999 for Inside Monument Valley and was nominated in 1988 for Traveler in the New Age Music category .
In 1966 he became interested in Transcendental Meditation and studied with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in India. In 1968 he made a solo flute recording at night in the Taj Mahal and the album "Inside (The Taj Mahal)" sold more than a million copies. Later he did he a recording called "Inside the Great Pyramid" which sold over 1/2 million copies.
His autobiography, Inside Paul Horn: The Spiritual Odyssey of a Universal Traveler, is a fascinating and in depth look at Paul Horn's spiritual journey.
TIBET: JOURNEY TO THE ROOF OF THE WORLD
Paul Horn’s life and career is a long and storied journey filled with interesting twists and turns. His latest release documents a recent trip to Tibet, the spiritual land of mountains and snow. TIBET: Journey To The Roof Of The World features Horn playing at various monasteries and countless other locations along the way. This album (his first for the new Transparent label, but the newest addition to a catalog that includes more than 45 titles) is also the soundtrack to a PBS documentary entitled Journey Inside Tibet. The hour-long program narrated by Kris Kristofferson, follows Horn and a small group that included exiled Buddhist Monk Lama Tenzin in a secret return to his native soil. Making long voyages in search of spiritual and musical inspiration is nothing new for Horn. He's been doing it for decades.
Beginning in the jazz world as a saxophonist, clarinetist and flautist in Chico Hamilton’s legendary quintet back in the 50s, Horn was a man in demand. He recorded a number of albums as a leader, collaborated with Lalo Shifrin, and recorded as a sideman with Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and countless others
But for all his success as a musician, Horn the man found the jazz life lacking something. “I just stopped doing some things that were negative. I needed to find some answers for myself,” Horn says of his decision. He traveled to India in 1966 to live for four months and study under the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Horn returned to India in 1968 to produce a film about the Maharishi, but the production proved a disaster. (Among the many students the Maharishi taught while Horn was there this second time included 3 British musicians named John, Paul and George.) However, it was during this same trip that he recorded Inside The Taj Mahal using just one mono microphone and the acoustics of the building. A fertile time for creative music, the spiritual depth of his solo performance inside that greatest of halls caught the imagination of many, and the album went on to sell more than a million copies. Unbeknownst to Horn, Inside was to become the forerunner of the so-called “New Age” movement.
Horn makes no apologies for his path: “I still like to play jazz in the traditional sense of the word -- with a cookin’ rhythm section, I love that -- but my life took a turn in a different direction. It started with Inside the Taj Mahal. It's based on inner quietude and meditative feelings, which is totally different from the music I had previously recorded.” The spiritual principle guiding Horn’s muse has led him to record “Inside” albums in other holy places as well. In Tibet, Horn wanted to record inside the Potala Palace in Lhasa. Originally the winter home of the Dalai Lama, the palace is now a museum, albeit one that is very sacred.
“It's really a movie in your mind,” Horn says of TIBET Journey To The Roof Of The World. The album does not merely document Horn’s performance in the Potala Palace; it also documents the experience of traveling there to do it. The CD and documentary feature special moments from a three-and-a-half-week trek made by Horn, his soundman, his videographer, Lama Tenzin and the rest of a travel group that accompanied them. “This wasn't something that was fully okayed through the Chinese government,” Horn points out. They had a few things cleared, but Horn and Co. knew that they would not be successful if they simply asked the government to record in Buddhist Temples. Instead, they went as part of a group and, according to Horn, “just went in and took our chances.”
Journey is a magical soundscape that features Horn’s flute in different locations. “The Journey Begins” opens with the modern strains of television, jet engines and other sounds before it gently segues into the soothing “Sherpa Song.” “Interlude I” explodes like a thundering heard of elephants with bells tied around their feet. Further along in the journey, sharp-eared listeners will notice a few studio-enhanced collages that feature Horn on soprano saxophone as well as more material recorded with professional musicians in Kathmandu.
However, for the most part, this disc is a document of a personal, spiritual and musical voyage recorded a long ways away from modern studios. According to Horn, “The idea was to go to Tibet and just be a part of the culture and be open to it. Hopefully something musically might come of it.” In addition to the Potala, other tracks were recorded in such holy places as the Jokhang Temple (Tibet’s most sacred temple) and Samye Monastery (built in the 8th century). Yak butter lamps lit the temples and pungent incense filled the air while monks said their prayers, paying tribute to Buddha. The listener can literally inhabit the sound environment; and Horn’s extensive booklet notes, which offer detailed journal recollections, further embellish the scene.
Surprisingly all was not solemn and meditative. There were lighter moments as well, such as the time Horn went up on a roof and jammed with some workers who were weatherproofing the clay surface. Captured under the apt title of “Roof People Work Song,” the song finds Horn playing while workers sing and create a rhythm by stamping their feet and pounding staff-like sticks. “They probably thought I was nuts for climbing up on the roof to play with them,” Horn says with a chuckle, “and I probably was, but it was a fun moment. There were a lot of moments like that. It wasn't all about spiritual journeys in temples.
The disc closes with the Nepalese ensemble rolling through the documentary’s theme song. Upbeat and light, the bouncy folk tune serves as the symbolic closing credits to Horn's “movie in your mind.” In just 48 minutes, this master musician and his crew capture the essence of the Tibetan people and learn something about them at the same time. “They didn't have a lot, but they smiled a lot,” Horn says with admiration. “Even though not everything is good in their lives, including the occupation by a foreign power, they still go about living their lives with dignity.”