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 - To have a little desire and be satisfied with a little gain "


A staged German-Japanese oratorio, with 7th century Buddhist chant sung by monks from Osaka and Nagoya, traditional Japanese instruments, a giant Javanese gong, and richly improvised saxophone-playing. A cross-cultural, inter-faith dialogue between East and West, past and present, and between personal and collective spheres.

Dedicated to the victims of the catastrophe in Japan on March 3rd, 2011

Project conception & artistic and administrative direction: Beate Gatscha & Gert Anklam

Shomyo is the Japanese term for reciting or singing the name and word of god. During the 6th and 7th centuries, as Buddhism spread from India via China through Asia, the Buddhist Sutras, or spiritual teachings, also gradually made their way to Japan. The practice of sung recitation became one of the central methods for achieving the cleansing and salvation of the soul, and was practiced as an ascetic exercise by the faithful. Although variation is used in tone and rhythm, for instance through the stretching of vowels, the goal is neither musical development nor the arousal of emotions such as joy or melancholy. Rather, the practice is intended to use the spiritual energy of the voice to bridge the gap between humanity and god, and to allow for the realization of inner peace. The chanting promotes physical and spiritual relaxation, whereby spiritual energy is renewed and true consciousness is achieved, allowing for the heart to disengage itself towards freedom. The monks' Shomyo singing and the celebration of their rituals were woven into a story about loss, grief and insight. The Buddhist saying "Sho Yoku Chi Shoku" ("To have a little desire and be satisfied with a little gain") became its central theme.

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