What happened when Grammy award-winning producer and musician Imogen Heap hiked the Bhutanese Himalayas with The Happiest Place film team -then got her hands on hundreds of hours of sound samples from this remote Buddhist Kingdom? Something beautiful.
Inspired by her trek through this magical country, with its rich culture and heritage firmly in tow, and their considered steps into the future, Imogen Heap wrote two striking pieces of music for The Happiest Place film score. In this behind-the-scenes clip, Heap explains how the sights and sounds of Bhutan -temple bells, the crackling of fires, the thwick of an archer’s bow, Buddhist monks and nuns chanting, the shoeing of a horse, inspired the creative process. Cycle Song & Climb To Sakteng are from Imogen’s newest album Sparks.
Secrets from The Happiest Place, Director Ben Henretig, TEDx Stanford, 2014. The talk offers a sneak peak of footage from The Happiest Place film and explores what may be at the heart of Bhutan’s contentment -their strong sense of connection to each other, to the natural world, and to a sense of purpose.
Many know Bhutan as one of the happiest places on earth, as the last Himalayan Buddhist Kingdom and the only country in the world to use ‘Gross National Happiness’ as its primary yardstick for progress. The Happiest Place, tells the story of filmmaker Ben Henretig’s incredible journey to uncover the secret to Bhutan’s happiness. In 2011, Henretig joined a team of four adventure athletes on a quest to cross the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan by foot and bike. The journey gave rise to the feature-length documentary that explores what people in the West can learn from Bhutan’s unique policy of ‘Gross National Happiness’ about living happier, more meaningful lives. With unprecedented access, the film offers a glimpse into a forgotten world that may have hidden within it the key to ‘responsible progress’ in the 21st century. In Bhutan’s rugged mountains and pristine forests, in the smiles of farmers and archers, in the hillside monasteries and ancient fortresses, we see reflected the grace of generations of wisdom. A fragile beauty that is emblematic of all those natural spaces, traditions and cultures around the world that are slowly disappearing in the wake of progress.