Jonathan Harvey has written two Buddhist Songs, to be premiered as part of this year’s City of London Festival at the new LSO St Luke’s venue. Soprano Ailish Tynan will be accompanied by pianist Simon Lepper.
The composer writes:
‘These songs with piano are in a sense 'functional'; that is to say they are intended to embellish buddhist celebratory occasions, as and when needed. More will be written in due course, each one drawing on a translation of the classic ten-chapter poem, Bodhisattvacharyavatara - 'Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life' by Shantideva, who lived in India from 687 to 763. The English translation was made under the guidance of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, a Tibetan scholar and qualified Spiritual Guide. The first song explains the benefits of having a mind focused on bodhicitta, the aspiration to become a buddha with power to help all beings. The second song, through the act of making offerings, real and imagined, aims to purify negativity.’