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Lovely documentary on Leonard Cohen’s time spent at Mount Baldy Zen Center
07:02 pm

For five years starting in 1994 Leonard Cohen lived at the Mount Baldy Zen Center 40 miles east of Los Angeles. There he studied with and assisted Zen Master Kyozan Joshu Sasaki Roshi. 

In the Spring of 1996, French artist Armelle Brusq filmed this documentary of Cohen going through his daily routine at Mt. Baldy.

Cohen’s cabin with his Technics KN 3000 synthesizer and computers are shown, and he sings his new song “A Thousand Kisses Deep.” He also recites three unpublished poems, two telling about Roshi (one titled Roshi at 89). The third was titled “Too Old.”

The camera also visits the office of Stranger Management: Cohen demonstrates his archives (lots of boxes full of notebooks, he shows a poster of his first book Let Us Compare Mythologies and a painting made by Suzanne, the mother of his children). Later a studio session is going on, he is working with Raffi Hakopian (violin) and Leanne Ungar (his sound engineer). Afterwards Cohen and Brusq dine at Canter’s.

In this documentary Cohen tells about his life, his memories, why he lives at the Zen Center. He suggests that some kind of a circle has been closed and now he can do something else.

Cohen will release his 12th studio album, Old Ideas, tomorrow. Its current rank on Amazon is #1. Clearly, Cohen’s second coming is just a continuation of a long and venerable path by one of music’s wisest elders.

Posted by Marc Campbell
07:02 pm