Arts Partner: Japan Society
Premiere: Tuesday, March 30, 8 PM EDT—Followed by a Live Q&A Calculate your local time
Shomyo for Everyday Wellness
Thursday, April 8, 8:30 PM EDTHailing from two of Japan’s major Buddhist sects (Shingon and Tendai), the critically-acclaimed group Shomyo no Kai—Voices of a Thousand Years will showcase their mastery of a millennium-old chanting ritual with a performance that transcends sectarian boundaries. Discover one of the earliest forms of vocal music reimagined in a new work by the young female composer Yu Kuwabara, titled Moonlight Mantra (Tsuki no Kogon). With a performance set in the exceptional acoustics and grand sacred space of An’yo-in Temple, one of the oldest temples in Itabashi Ward in Tokyo, this concert offers a rare opportunity to hear this ancient oral ritual come to vibrant life. Clad in brightly colored monastic robes, the choir alternates between monotone stillness and ecstatic polyphony. The ethereal voices of Shomyo no Kai swell in powerful harmony, enrapturing the listener into a transcendent meditative state.
The performance will begin with a lecture on the history of shomyo led by musicologist Steven G. Nelson, a professor at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, and conclude with a live Q&A featuring the head monk of the Shingon Buddhist sect, Rev. Kojun Arai. Held in conjunction with Japan Society Gallery’s exhibition When Practice Becomes Form: Carpentry Tools from Japan, the concert will also highlight the temple’s well-preserved architectural style of vintage kanawa tsugi technique, a traditional Japanese method of joining wood without nails or glue.
-You will receive a separate email with the performance link and instructions.
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- March 30, 2021