'I don't mind repeating failures until I get them right, but I am not interested in repeating successes'.Philip Glass explains his creative approach in an interview with Vicki Mackenzie in her book Why Buddhism? Martin Scorsese's celebrated 1997 film Kundun about the exile of the Dalai Lama, was scored by Philip Glass. The composer has been involved with Buddhist and Tibetan causes since the mid-1960s, and in conversation with Vicki Mackenzie he manages to nail the essence of Buddhism in one sentence -
'Funny isn't it? It turns out the pie in the sky is the same pie that's in your fridge'.On 10 March 1959 an anti-Chinese and anti-Communist revolt erupted in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, which had been under Communist Chinese rule since the 1950 invasion. Protesters took to the streets of Lhasa on 12 March 1959 declaring Tibet's independence. Chinese and Tibetan troops moved into position over the next few days, and Chinese artillery was deployed within range of the Dalai Lama's summer palace, the Norbulingka.
On March 17, two artillery shells landed near the Dalai Lama's palace, triggering the flight into exile portrayed in Kundun. Open conflict began on March 19, including the shelling of the Norbulingka and Lhasa's major monasteries. Two days later the Chinese had suppressed the revolt. 86,000 Tibetans died in the 1959 uprising. Tibetan Uprising Day on March 10 commemorates these events every year. March 10 2009 marks the 50th anniversary of the continuing illegal Chinese occupation of Tibet.
Other composers influenced by Buddhism include John Cage, Jonathan Harvey, Lou Harrison and Edmund Rubbra.
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