Mandala of the Four Directions:
A Ritual Cantata for Four Singers and Four Ensembles
This music is conceived as the opening act of a collaborative all-night vigil, dedicated to synchronicity across different cultures and times. Four ensembles are positioned to represent the four cardinal points, with the audience in the center. The elements of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water are invoked and subsequently identified with each of the four singers and ensembles in their given location. The texts are drawn from a range of spiritual traditions, linked by their use of elemental imagery, and periodically repeating the call to stay awake through the night. Following a course shaped by the selected texts, the relationship between the different sound sources undergoes a journey from conversation to conflict to blending and union. A healing prayer near the closing is to be accompanied by projected film images related to the element of Water in its present ecological reality. The images are ideally to be filmed in the vicinity of the community in which the performance takes place. The closing music of the ritual establishes a loop-based rhythmic framework, which allows a DJ to match beats, mix in new material, and carry the music into a new stage of the night.
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