"A Universe to come "- 2001

The Force Behind TULKU by Peter Manzi
New Age Voice, May 2002

This last March, NAV caught up with a busy Jim Wilson. He just released his latest Tulku recording, and had just re-turned from performing at the opening ceremonies of the Salt Lake City Winter Games. Before this interview, our last conversation with the musician was four years ago.

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"The expansion of technology is bringing musical traditions from across the globe into our popular culture.
Tulku, a musical ensemble produced by world music pioneer Jim Wilson, reveals these global voices and rhythms in its latest venture, A universe to Come. The word "Tulku" means "the emergence of an old soul into a new body." And the group Tulku, as befits its name, is an evolving ensemble of voices. Featuring Mayan, Persian, Aboriginal, and Native American voices among others, this new CD incorporates these voices with trance-like electronic and native music.

In the cut I Am, Bernard Pomerance narrates a text fragment from the Gnostic Gospels. The music a rich blend of techno and traditional voice, moves the words to a climax as Pomerance narrates, "My offspring are my own birth, the source of my power. What happens to me is their wish."

A Universe to Come also includes the video Ayahuasca Healing, featuring dramatic footage of Peruvian shaman Benjamin Mahua and the voices of Ayahuasca chants. Both haunting and energetic, A Universe to Come is a great addition to a global music collection."

Randall Friesen - Science of Mind Magazine



"These are some far-out sounds. A combination of world music, trance, chanting, and techno-beat sounds are woven together by the inspired Jim Wilson, who has been critically acclaimed for his previous work with such luminaries as Rita Coolidge and Robbie Robertson. On this CD, Wilson features Jai Uttal,Krishnadas, and Consuelo Luz on several tracks. A musical exploration of mysterious spaces and textures, A Universe to Come will keep you moving along with the music's many changes, around the world and throughout the universe."

- Pearly Baker Best, Magical Blend Magazine.


 "Tulku" means the emergence of an old soul into a new body. In referring to the new musical work, Jim Wilson says, " Tulku is also a renewed voyage, a journey into the mystical traditions of the world, an exploration of our global rhythms."

Tulku has been in existence for six years. This world music with it's varying tribal rhythms and many voice ensembles includes Indian, Persian, Egyptian, Mayan, Aboriginal and Native American voices. The sources are amazingly exotic and diverse.
In "Ayahuasca Healing," for example, the Ayahuasca chants come from an unbroken lineage of shamans going back an estimated 12,000 years. The vocalist featured in this pieces, Ben Jamin Mahua, is considered to be a living master of this ancient healing tradition.

Wilson says of a Universe to Come, "This music is dedicated to the messengers of peace, and to the second voice, the voice of the heart, the voice of love. To them we play this music...we dance with them."

The Light Connection March 2002



"Jim Wilson the producer of and prime mover behind A Universe To Come, is a pioneer in the world music genre, best known for his production work on such highly regarded examples of New Native music as Walela's self-titled album and Robbie Robertson's Contact From the Underworld of Redboy. (Incidentally, the two Walela CDs have just been reissued on the Razor & Tie label, so if you missed them the first time around, get them now!) Here, as the writer and producer (and sometimes keyboardist, programmer, and guitarist) of the "group" TULKU, Wilson seeks out a wide range of musicians who share his affinity for musical exploration. Spirit is alive and lively in these infectious grooves, realized vocally by a talented array of guests, including Seattle's own Gina Sala."

New Times, March 2002


" The best news of the year is that Tulku is back. Grammy-nominated Jim Wilson, one of the most successful producers of New Native music worldwide, has brought together a stellar ensemble to produce a standout album. The luminary talent of Tulku includes Jai Uttal, Geoffrey Gordon, Krishna Das, and the amber-voiced Consuelo Luz, among others, combining their global vision with the ayahuascan trance-chanting of Shippibo shaman Benjamin Mahua, recorded in situ in Peru. Jim Wilson is a masterful alchemist of global fusion. Tulku's innovative world music merges sonic technologies with ancient sounds for a journey beyond the limits of time. The opening track Dub Gubbi draws us immediately into a deeply rhythmic and sensuous Andean world. The universe of the album expands to include the magical Indian sounds of Rahda Ramana and haunting influences of the Middle East in Temple Doors. Track by track, we journey far afield , travelling through a fragrance of bells In The Garden of Nothing to the whisper of a visionary future in Ayahuasca Wind. Tulku's music leaves us with the sense that on the other side of this new world vision, nothing will be the same again."

- New Age Voice, March 2002


 "With the honorific Tulku, Tibetans recognize an old soul reappearing in a new body. This consciously honors the endless cycle of reincarnation, of Spirit taking form, shedding form and manifesting again.
Universe to Come is the third embodiment of this ensemble under the inspired guidance of producer Jim Wilson. It becomes contemporary vessel for the voices of Ayahuasca Shamans, Zoroastrian peace prayers, Indian puja chants and Gnostic Gospels. Thick with Neo-tribal atmosphere, Tulku III once again relies heavily on the complex, hypnotic and seductive grooves that carried its predecessors. Unlike much equally rhythm-driven but synthetic Techno or Ambient music, Tulku remains very organic and earthy.
Synthesizers are subtle and disguised enhancements, not mainstay fare. Hence, the aural color scale isn’t cool but warm, the scenery not a rave but the Amazon Jungle, or perhaps a Ghanja-soaked Baul party on the Nepalese temple grounds of Swayambunath.

While groups like Delirium, Deep Forest, AsiaBeat and Dead Can Dance cover parallel ground, Delirium and Deep Forest lack relative depth by comparison. Perhaps a few more happy returns on the Grand wheel of life would add the respective gravitas. AsiaBeat sports Malaysian bol percussive patterns just like some of those here but it radiates a different cultural aura. Lisa Gerrard’s output is still closer to Tulku, and closer yet is Jamshied Sharifi’s A Prayer for the Soul of Layla – for those who know either.

A Universe to Come reintroduces Jai Uttal and Geoffrey Gordon from the former’s Pagan Love Orchestra, two genre leaders who already participated on the first Tulku release Trancendence. Ladino vocalist Consuelo Luz, a now local talent since the New Earth label relocated its headquarters to Santa Fe, sings on the title track, a Nuevo Flamenco inspired romp with Gabriel Osuna on guitar that opens with a cosmic homage to the Creator. Singers Gina Salá and Sita Jamieson add Enigma-like fragments and Indian chants while famous Kirtan leader Krishna Das opens the Bhakti number "Shanti Puja" along an ancient Sanskrit mantra before a voice-coder and reverb enhanced English-based answer chorus shifts gears.

Unlike many productions that aim at introducing a spiritual element into music but derail into the preachy, trite or perhaps well intentioned but weakly realized, Tulku III pulls off this tricky tightrope act with supreme poise. Whatever your beliefs, Jim Wilson neatly sidesteps the issue of collision. He seemingly goes backward in time, into more primitive but pulsating virtual soundscapes. They are palpably radiant with the sort of soul stuff that degrades when talked about but remains a living presence when the appropriate space is held in silence. By using mostly foreign vocals in an instrumental rather than lyrical fashion, this underlying silence holds and builds indeed for the duration of this album. Only the last track, "I am", gets somewhat heavy. Bernard Pomerance recites a fragment from a Gnostic Gospel text found at Nag Hamadi in 1945 in too self-conscious a ‘Voice of the Almighty’ fashion. Outside this minor blemish,
A Universe to Come is one of the best examples of the growing genre of "spiritualized World Beat" that includes the formation Vas on the Narada label and Rasa on Hearts of Space as other attractive forerunners.

Enter Tulku then and momentarily find yourself turning into a Shaman, shape shifter, ecstatic devotee or wandering sadhu. Once the music ends, you’ll be back in your room and this reality, but with the flavor of elsewhere lingering around you a while longer - a tacit reminder that deeper layers of being can be accessed not only through formal meditation or near-death encounters but also, simply, by listening to the right kind of music in a vulnerable state of mind.

An old saying has it that if you move toward the Divine with one step, it will rush toward you by hundreds of steps. Approach A Universe to Come with a simple gesture of relaxed attention. You’ll likely find yourself carried effortlessly much farther than expected. If you enjoy this type of aural rejuvenation, Tulku III is most highly recommended and serves as personal jumping-off place on regular occasions."

-Enjoy the


" Tulku (a.k.a. Jim Wilson) presents listeners with another ecstasy-inducing excursion into ethnic trance fusion. A Universe To Come features twelve spiritual tracks influenced by sacred music sounds of Native American, Indian, Aboriginal and Persian cultures. Tulku provides heavy low-tempo beats with ambient soundscapes, instruments from a variety of cultures and a light layer of wispy drones that floats across each track. Making guest appearances on the album are Jai Uttal on "Temple Doors," Krishna Das on "Shanti Puja," Consuelo Luz on the title track and Geoffery Gordon on "Dub Gubbi."

-Music Design March 2002


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