Music : LUSENET : bodhi : One Thread

Heard any Buddhist lately?

Chants, lyrics, forms?

-- Gary Gach (, August 24, 2001


"Wear with pride the scars ... " is a very evocative line (makes me picture a tatoo) ... do you remember what it's from?

Riley Lee is nice.

I haven't opened up the web page for the chapter on Music yet, but he probably has a page to link to: there certainly are some interesting ones for shakuhachi (, alo

Haven't heard Gary Stroutsos yet. (Pacific Moon looks intriguing: what do you recommend?) An all-time favorite is Paul Horn playing inside the dome of the Taj Mahal.

-- gary (, March 21, 2002.

Your suggestion of Kitaro's Mandala album was one of the best I have heard. I also have a couple of Shakuhachi albums as well. Riley Lee does an amazing job on his albums. Gary Stroutsos (sp?) is amazing as well. Also a favorite quote of mine is "Where with pride the scars on your skin, for they're a map of your adventures and the places you've been.

-- Graham M Moran (, March 21, 2002.

gassho The quote comes from a band called Poi Dog Pondering off of the album entitled Wishing Like a Mountain Thinking Like the Sea. I am not sure how to describe their style of music to be very honest. The Gary Stroutsos album entitled Pacific Moon is the only album of his that I have so I do not know much about the other albums in his collection. I have not heard the Paul Horn album when he plays the interior of the Tah Mahal. I do have two of his albums which he played with Carlos Nakai. One album is entitled Inside Monument Valley and the second album is entitled Inside Canyon De Chelly. They are both amazing albums. I am a huge fan of Carlos Nakai due to the fact that I play the Native American Courting Flute. With some more work I hope to be able to repeat what the Native Americans were able to do in terms of creating the sounds of nature. I firmly believe that I am blowing zen when I play the flute. I was listening to Arlo Guthrie today and really felt the buddhism in his music. The album was entitled All Over The World. I have never really felt the spirit of happiness and loving kindness flow from an album but in this case it did. I look forward to corresponding with you here and in other forums on this site. I want to thank you very much for what you have done for me. gassho

-- Graham M Moran (, March 22, 2002.

Find out about John Cage. He was a Zen Buddhist composer. It's not that his pieces 'sound' Zen. It's the way he made them. He would determine what questions he was asking himself for a particular piece. What note? How loud? What length of time? To answer these questions he would divide the answer into 64 parts, i.e. 64 possible notes. Then he would flip the I Ching coins to decide which note to write. This way, he took his 'preferences' and 'habitual likes and dislikes' out of the loop as much as possible.

A famous piece he made is called 4'33 (Four minutes and 33 seconds) for piano. The piece has three parts. In each, the pianist plays no notes. There is just the sound of the room. Many people have heard of this piece, but not many know that it took him months to make it. He used the I Ching method to combine tiny durations of silence into the full duration. Nuts, yes?

Don't bother buying his CD's. He didn't like recorded music to begin with, as it tends to de-emphasize the active aspect of Hearing. Do try to attend live performances of his work. And do read his books and lectures, or listen and watch recordings of his speeches.

Cage studied Zen with DT Suzuki and then proceeded to put the teachings into practice in his compositional activities and overall living. I was fortunate to visit with Cage two times. Once we were having lemonade. He pointed out the stone coasters our glasses sat upon. By some miracle, the drops of water on the outside of the glass were absorbed by the rock. I asked him "What kind of stone is that?" And he laughed and said "I don't know!". I believe that Cage himself was, and the record of his activities is, a direct expression of Zen. Studying Cage can be useful.

Peace, Ray

-- Ray Guillette (, April 24, 2002.


I give Cage, his music and art, a big spotlight in The Complete Idiot's Guide and concur: more, his is the aesthetic net of the 20th century for all artists to confront and pass through.

"My favorite piece of music is the one we're all listening to if we're quiet."

Since this is an online forum, here's a link to the Cage discussion group, of which I've been a member for 2 years now:

[Searchable Silence archives:] [How to join, unsubscribe, etc:]
[ or email with the text "info silence" ]

As with any list, I recommend newcomers "lurk" -- just hang out and listen to the level of discourse (pretty high here). Currently there's been a fascinating thread on how Cage's works are to be performed...

-- gary (, April 25, 2002.

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