Three years after Canadian singer and songwriter Leonard Cohen died in November 2016, a posthumous album of his work titled Thanks For The Dance is set to be released on November 22. A video of the first single, Happens to the Heart album, released on October 22.
The video was inspired by Cohen’s experience as a Buddhist monk, Rolling Stone reported. The musician had been ordained a monk in 1996, after spending time in seclusion in a monastery outside Los Angeles run by a Japanese Zen teacher named Kyozan Joshu Sasaki.
Cohen later spent time in Mumbai to attend the lectures of the Advaita master Ramesh Balsekar. “Every day in that autumn of 1998, Cohen was reciting the verses of the 13th-century Marathi bhakti poet Sant Dnyaneshwar,” his friend Ratnesh Mathur wrote in Scroll.in. “He wasn’t just reciting the verses by rote: he knew the English meanings of the words. He was pondering the concepts of sagun (the worship of God with form) and nirgun (the worship of God without form) and why both were essentially the same.”
The video of Happens to the Heart has been directed by Daniel Askill. It is the first release in a series commission by the video platform Nowness, which has “invited a global roster of filmmakers and artists to present visual interpretations of Leonard Cohen’s life and lyrics in a new and exciting collaboration with the Leonard Cohen Estate and Sony Music Canada”.