For the past 8 years I have been translating Pali texts and composing music for orchestra, choir, and soloists. This April 22, in Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis, The St. Olaf Choir, Orchestra, and Chapel Choir will give the world premier of The Path, a concert-length cantata based on texts from the Pali Canon, the most ancient Buddhist scriptures. This world premiere, conducted by Steven Amundson, will feature performances by over 300 musicians.
For 2500 years, Buddhist monks and nuns have chanted the dhamma, the teachings of the Buddha, in Pali, the ancient language of Buddhism. The Path is a setting of 28 of these texts, taken from the oldest collection of Buddhist texts. It includes deep statements of philosophy like The Fire Sermon, which T. S. Eliot called the Sermon on the Mount for Buddhists. It has touching stories of the early monks and nuns, like Bhadda, who gave up everything to search for enlightenment. It has inspiring poetry like the Metta Sutta which is recited by school kids across Sri Lanka. The music ranges from dense and dissonant to lovely and innocent, from simple to fiercely challenging. It ends with a testament to the power of joy.
Tickets are available here.