“Metta Prayer” by Opium MoonNew Collaboration with Benjy Wertheimerand Supreme Beings of Leisure

With Metta Prayer, twice-nominated Grammy winners Opium Moon offer a first song from their forthcoming
WHERE WE ARE GATHERED — their third album and their debut on the Hearts of Space label at Valley Entertainment. Co-produced by Supreme Beings of Leisure’s Ramin Sakurai, the single will be available
on all digital platforms on July 21, 2023.

With backgrounds in Iran, Israel, Canada and the U.S., Opium Moon are a band of immigrants whose mission in crafting their music is to transcend borders, creating a model for conflict resolution, tolerance, and harmony, and for dispelling preoccupation with the things that separate us. Metta Prayer is a perfect distillation of their hope and their virtuosity, at once captivating and celestial but also deeply rooted in earthy, sensual grooves.
Metta Prayer is a Buddhist “loving kindness” meditation (metta bhavana) set to the band’s rapturously seductive, ancient/modern sound — a unique chemistry of Lili Haydn’s soaring violin, the silvery glisten of Hamid Saeidi’s santoor, Itai Disraeli’s driving bass, and the chill beats of percussionist M.B. Gordy. This spacious, hypnotic new song is distinct from their earlier work, as its instrumentation is enhanced with lushly resonant vocal harmonies by the acclaimed devotional singer and multi-instrumentalist Benjy Wertheimer.

Wertheimer’s delivery is evocative of Gregorian chant, but the words are in the Pali liturgical language of the Indian subcontinent. In the opening and conclusion, the prayer focuses on Sabbe (“all beings”) and, in the solo section, upon the self:

Sabbe sattā sukhī hontu, May all beings be happy,
Sabbe hontu ca khemino. May they all (also) be secure,
Sabbe bhadrāni passantu. May they all see good fortune.

Sukhī attānam pariharāmi. May I keep myself at peace.

The Pali word metta means an all-encompassing, enlightened love that expects nothing in return; it is cultivated through practices such as chanting the Metta Prayer. It is said that after Siddhartha became the Buddha, he encouraged all his disciples to practice this special mantra of loving kindness, for themselves and for the world. Its value and relevance for people, and for the troubled world, is more profound today than ever before,

Metta Prayer will be available on July 21, with the full album scheduled for September 15, 2023

The single is now available on all major streaming platforms, including Spotify: Metta Prayer – Spotify.

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