Awakening - Ancient Wisdom & Wondrousound Sampler
At the turn of the 70s, Bhikshuni Heng-yin, a Buddhist nun transplanted to the Bay Area from Seattle in 1968, recorded a pair of albums: Benefiting Others, under her name, and Ancient Wisdom, under the group name Awakening. Penning all of the lyrics based on her Buddhist learnings and lending lead vocals, Heng-yin and a small crew of San Fran session musicians and assorted oddballs entered Warren Dennis Kahn’s Beggars Banquet studios and left with two eclectic, electric devotional rock oddities.
Benefiting Others was never released (to our knowledge or research), but the a-side of a 7” sampler for Heng-yin’s own Wondrousound label features “Heart Like Glue,” a revved up New Wave number with a spiky guitar line and sticky drum breakdowns, and “Consumer Fraud,” a weirdo jazz funk dump on capitalist culture, from those sessions. The b-side of the Wondrousound 7” sampler features “Might As Well Cultivate,” an absolute chugger with double-tracked, tape echo vocals and a bewildering Eno-esque harpsichord bridge, and “Way Out West.” “Might As Well Cultivate” is worth the 7” or 12” admission alone (it appears on both at different lengths).
We’ve unearthed some unplayed stock of the Wondrousound 7” and Awakening LP and are offering at the right price in honor of Heng-yin’s intention. “Music has a tremendous power to move people, and I hope to move them in the right direction, away from greed and anger towards wisdom."