Some music should be as boring as possible

I began to understand that night, for the first time, the inner usefulness, the psychological value, of the Terrible Deities painted for meditation purposes on the walls of the gompas. I saw that in their frank portrayal of the horror of anger, desire, greed, and lust for power, they do not merely terrify the onlooker, they give him an opportunity to confront those parts of his energies which he is repressing, to confront, understand and master them, to turn them [...] into a power to heal.
That extract is from Andrew Harvey's Journey in Ladakh. The sixteenth or seventeenth century thangka seen above shows a heruka, a wrathful male deity, and comes from a temple in Ladakh. Eliane Radique's electronic masterpiece Trilogie of Mort is inspired by the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Kyema, the first part, represents the six stages of the intermediate state of bardo between life and death. The second part, Kailasha, evokes an imaginary pilgrimage to the Buddhist holy mountain of Kailash, and the third, Koumé, is a syncretic exploration of reincarnation. Trilogie de la Mort is an intense exploration of the ragged edge of classical music that questions spatial conventions with its immersive sound, and which reaches beyond music into infrasound At almost three hours duration and with extended periods of virtual stasis, it challenges accepted concepts of development. This follows the approach of the Tibetan Master, Trungpa, who taught that some meditation should be as boring as possible, because in intense boredom all our habitual responses and concepts are dissolved.

Header image via Wisdom Publications. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Also on Facebook and Twitter.


Pliable said…
It is pleasing to see this post being tweeted by USA Network Radio. Pleasing simply because Eliane Radique's Trilogie de la Mort is mentioned in the tweet, thereby exposing a very deserving composer to a whole new audience - the tweets around it are about Dolly Parton and Justin Bieber!

Recent popular posts

A street cat named Aleppo

Master musician who experienced the pain of genius

The Berlin Philharmonic's darkest hour

The act of killing from 20,000 feet

Storm clouds gather over Aldeburgh

In the shadow of Chopin

How classical music slipped a disc

Benjamin Brittten's relationship with children

Whatever happened to the long tail of composers?

Critical Mass