Toward the Night
String Ensemble Endless; Masaharu Kanda, cello; Kyoko Sato, soprano; Toshiyuki Uzuka, conductor
Mingling minimalism and traditional Japanese music, imperturbably ascetic textures and the sensuous appeal of endless melody, Satoh's music opens another window on comtemporary music for listeners already seduced by the music of Arvo Pärt, John Tavener and Henryk Gorecki
In Buddhism there is the idea of Samsara (transmigration). It is believed that man infinitely repeats life and death toward the next life. Mankind is also thought to repeat its fall and rebirth. After millions of years, the existence of mankind is beginning to sink into the deep dusk. As an ancient Chinese saint once said, "If I don't obtain enlightenment now, in which life should I be able to get it?" I find myself constantly returning to his words. "Toward the Night" is the tone of the dusk which resonates in my mind.
"Ruika" [an ancient Japanese expression] is an anthem to mourn the soul of the departed. Within this music we hear the wind from the world of spirit - it intrinsically emanates an odor of death. In listening, we immerse ourselves in the vibration of voices coming from the abode of departed souls, from a vacancy of sound, and we sense the waves of a glimmer appearing at the margin of sound.
"Homa" [Sanskrit] is a sacred fire, a fire of purgation, a sacrificial fire offering to celestial gods. In the summer of 1988 my grandmother passed away at the age of 90. I wrote this music as a prayer for the peace of her pure spirit in the firmament. This music is chanted as a mantra.
Om mani padme hum.
Om sarva-tathagata-pada-vandanam karomi.
Om svabhave-suddhah sarva-dharmah-suddho ham.
Om, jewel in the lotus!
Om, I believe in and worship Buddha, past, present and future!
Om, this eternal universe is the uterus of God and all the emerging events here are intrinsically pure and innocent.
Thus I myself am also pure by nature.
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