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Listen: What a Record-Breaking Symphony of Singing Bowls Sounds Like

Audrey McGlinchy/KUT
Jenna Sherman, 18, readies her singing bowl as she prepares – along with 277 others – to become a world record holder.";s:

Nearly 300 people sat cross-legged in the Texas Capitol extension’s open-air rotunda, tracing wooden sticks around crystal, brass and iron bowls.

They were there to celebrate the Dalai Lama's birthday and – with the utmost tranquility – become the largest group to ever play Tibetan singing bowls, according to the Guinness Book of World Records


The 278 participants played Tibetan singing bowls in honor of the His Holiness' birthday on July 6, who turned 79.

The bowls chime at different notes, depending on what they're made of, and are traditionally used in Buddhism and music therapy to facilitate meditation and relaxation.

Attendees brought their own bowls, or rented them from Ten Thousand Villages, the fair trade shop that hosted the record attempt. Although there was no standing record on the books, the Guinness Book of World Records requires a minimum of 250 people when setting a new record. Ten Thousand Villages’ first attempt failed last year when less than 200 people showed up at the Capitol.

Those who took part said the experience was calming, and a bit otherworldly; apparently Tibetan singing bowls produce a sound similar to those made by the rings of Uranus.

Audrey McGlinchy is KUT's housing reporter. She focuses on affordable housing solutions, renters’ rights and the battles over zoning. Got a tip? Email her at Follow her on Twitter @AKMcGlinchy.
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