For the last five years wherever I go around the Buddhist world I've been hearing certain contemporary Buddhist music that catches my attention. In almost every case the music comes from Imee Ooi, a Malaysian Buddhist composer from Kuala Lumpur. Her name in Chinese is Huang Huiyin (黃慧音）which means "Wisdom Sound." This trip to Malaysia I asked my hosts in KL if
(Photo Caption: Choi Yu, Rev. Heng Sure, Imee Ooi, Yvette Kang) there was any chance to meet with Imee and it happened. I spoke with her for three hours on Sunday evening, before my return to the US and I learned more about her music.
Imee takes chants, sutras, mantras and sacred names and sets them into melodies that she composes. The composing, arranging and performing are all done by her, including multi-track vocals. The result sounds ethereal and tranquil, but not syrupy or boring. Her melodies are fresh and moving.