Body Mandala


by Jonathan Harvey

Full Orchestra
3(III=picc).4.3(III=bcl).3(III=cbsn) – 4.4(I=ptpt).2.2 btrbn.1 – perc(5): I: crot/2 susp.cym/4 wdbl/ cluster/large BD II: 4 wdbl/2 bell III: c.bell/high wdbl/Tibetan.cym/tam-t IV: t.bells/susp.cym/Tibetan.cym/Tibetan bell V: Tibetan.cym/large BD/timp – harp – pno – strings:(1st vlns.2nd vlns.8 vlc.6 db) NB no violas

Commissioned by the BBC for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

First Performance
15.3.07, City Halls, Glasgow, UK: BBC SSO/Ilan Volkov

Score 0-571-51849-4 on sale, parts for hire

Programme Notes
The score is headed "...reside in the mandala, the celestial mansion, which is the nature of the purified gross body". I was in North India recently where I witnessed purification rituals in Tibetan Buddhist monasteries. This work is influenced by those experiences. The famous low horns, tungchens, the magnificently raucous 4-note oboes, gelings, the distinctive rolmo cymbals - all these and more were played by the monks in deeply moving ceremonies full of lama dances, chanting and ritual actions. There is a fierce wildness about some of the purifications, as if great energy is needed to purge the bad ego-tendencies. But also great exhilaration is present. And calm. The body, when moved with chanting, begins to vibrate and warm at different chakra points and 'sing' internally. As it were, 'lit up' with sound. Jonathan Harvey

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