The first ever concentrated show of oriental culture in Estonia, a tradition going back to the year 1992, has brought the most authentic performers from India, Siberia, Arab countries, South East Asia and mystical Tibet. It is certainly a leading musical event in the Baltic States where music lovers can enjoy performers like Hariprasad Chaurasia, ensemble “Kodō”, Ravi Shankar, Anoushka Shankar, Burhan Öçal, Sevara Nazarkhan, Gyuto and Gyume Buddhist monks, Wu Man, etc. Keep a close eye on our website and advertising – the show goes on.
4th May Latvia (joint project of Orient-Festival and Origo Folk Festival)
5th May Latvia (joint project of Orient-Festival and Origo Folk Festival)
6th May Vanemuine Concert House (Tartu)
7th May Pärnu Concert Hall
8th May Estonia Concert Hall (Tallinn)
9th May Martinus Hall, Vantaa (joint project of Orient-Festival and Surya Ry)
10th May Savoy Theatre, Helsinki (joint project of Orient-Festival and Surya Ry)
JEWELS FROM THE ROOF OF THE WORLD – Tibetan ritual music, chant and dance of Drikung Kagyu tradition.
The ritual dance and mystical music of the 13 nuns of Samten Ling nunnery convey a kind of healing message which is central to high Tibetan monastic art. As a result of the various items on the program we are offered an insight into the profound methods of Tibetan Buddhism with its goal of peace and happiness for all sentient beings.
Performed by the nuns of Samten Ling monastery: Lhakye, Thupten Yangkye, Rinchen Tsomo, Penpa, Könchok Gamtso, Lhatok, Pema, Tenzin Dölma, Könchok Sangmo, Dhega, Sönam Chogzin, Nyima
Kagyu lineage prayer. In Buddhism an authentic living transmission of the master’s teachings and experiences to the disciple is considered of essential importance. The original teachings and meditation practices have been retained via an unbroken line of transmission down to the present day. Through the prayers to the enlightened masters of the Kagyu lineage a great blessing is instilled from this line of descent.
Achi invocation and melody. Achi Chökyi Dölma is the enlightened protectoress of the Drikung Kagyu tradition. She is the “mother of mothers”. We invoke the mind stream of Achi when we need help. On a worldly level we appeal to Achi for personal safety, good health, success and wealth. At a higher level we request her assistance in removing obstacles on the spiritual path and as a support in developing mental qualities. During the invocation the whole tonal spectrum of sounding instruments and percussion are employed.
Buffalo dance. In the tantric tradition certain animals such as the the buffalo are part of the mandala of various deities and play a particular role. Buffalos are messengers of the Chechog deities, furious manifestations of Buddha Vairocana. These sacred dances are highly creative and very entertaining as well.
Kunrig – divine sign-language. Kunrig is a tantric method for purifying negative karma. The sung rendition of the Kunrig text is as powerful as it is difficult. To perform it correctly each word of the sacred text must be sung, meditated upon and physically incorporated via the cryptic sign-language of the deities – all at the some time. The 13 trained nuns will sit in the meditation posture, wearing their traditional Drikung Kagyu meditation hats and engage in a communion with the deities with body, speech and mind.
Five deities’ dance of Tseringma. The female deity Tseringma and her four sisters are protectors of the Buddha’s Teachings. Originally they set up meditation obstacles for Milarepa, the famous Tibetan saint, using their magic powers. Milarepa was able to persuade them to protect the Buddha’s Teachings instead and they become his most eminent non-human disciples. After Achi Chökyi Dölma they are the most important protectors of the Drikung Kagyu tradition.
Download: Mask of Tseringma, photo by P Vähi, jpg, 300 dpi, 2838 KB
Deer dance. Also the deers are messengers of the Chechog deities, furious manifestations of Buddha Vairocana. The nuns wear animal masks as they dance to the rhythms of the ritual music and the percussion instruments.
Chöd meditation. This is a tantric method for acquiring merits, in which one imagines offering oneself in the form of nectar to nourish the object of veneration and other beings. Chöd is a very special and unusual meditation, whose sound and visualisation can cure all physical sickness and mental delusions.
Mani prayer. Avalokiteśvara is the embodiment of boundless love and compassion for all sentient beings. He is at the same time the particular protective deity of Tibet. His profound mantra Om Mani Padme Hum is well-known beyond the borders of Tibet. By praying to Avalokiteśvara love and compassion can arise in our mind and establish a benevolent connection with all sentient beings.
Auspicious prayers. At the end of the ceremony auspicious prayers are recited to create favourable conditions for our present life and our spiritual development. All the positive benefits, which the nuns and the audience have created during the performance are subsequently dedicated for the benefit of human and all sentient beings.
The musical instruments: gya-ling (oboe-like instrument with a double reed), dung-chen (long horn), kang-dung (short horn), dung-kar (conch), rol-mo (horizontally-held cymbals with a large rounded middle), sil-nyen (vertically-held cymbals), nga (big drum), damaru (hand drum), drilbu (handbell).
HOMAGE TO THREE GEMS
The most important chanting for the Buddhists which is performed before any practice or ritual. During this part practitioners are reflecting upon the good qualities of “the three gems” – Buddha, Dharma, Sangha – and asking them for spiritual guidance throughout the practice or ritual. Then the practitioners need to set up their motivation, which is done by praying to love, joy, compassion, equanimity. This prayer is to remind them of their final goal, i.e. striving for Enlightenment in order to help all sentient beings in a most effective way.
This ceremony is traditionally performed to consecrate a new temple or just a new building. Here the monks are inviting all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of all times and directions.
SELF-INITIATION OF GUHYASAMĀJA
Guhyasamāja is considered to be the King of Father-Tantra, he is a principal protector-deity of Gyume Tantric Monastery. This ritual is performed to renew tantric vows if someone happens to break them. To be able to do this, the monks visualize themselves in the form of Guhyasamāja and develop a very strong divine pride. This is achieved by wearing very impressive deity costumes that include a high black hat and a crown with seed-syllables of five Buddha-families.
GREEN TĀRĀ ADMIRATION
Green Tārā is the female aspect of compassion and a very popular deity in Tibetan Buddhism. She is depicted sitting on the lotus cushion with her right leg touching the ground. This unusual meditation position tells us about her readiness to come and help sentient beings at their slightest request. During this ceremony the monks invite Green Tārā and make to her traditional offerings and pleasant sounds of their cymbals. In their chanting, they request Tārā to protect sentient beings from being born in the six realms of samsara.
CEREMONY OF PROTECTOR-DEITIES
Verses of admiration and pervading sounds of big drums, cymbals, bells and long horns are offered to the principal Dharma-protectors of Gyume Tantric Monastery – Mahākāla, Kālarupa and Palden Lhamo as well as to Dzambala, deity of wealth and prosperity.
Admiration of Palden Lhamo and Dzambala, fragm, 160 sec, mp3
This ceremony is traditionally performed in the Tibetan community when prayer flags, called Lungta (‘windhorse’) in Tibetan, are being strung across high places, such as temples, stupas, mountain passes and bridges. The 5-colour flags bear auspicious mantras, designs, syllables and prayers that are read by the wind and bring luck and prosperity to the person who put them up. Apart from individual well-being, this ceremony is seeking to balance elements and bring harmony to a particular land or community.
This is another protector deity ceremony and, as such, heavily relies upon big sounds of monastic musical instruments. This particular pūja, even in the monastery, is performed on a very rare basis, usually within a Torchen ceremony. The aim here is to destroy power of the obstacles that always appear when the practitioner is particularly diligent in his or her spiritual practice.
Having set up their motivation in the beginning, the monks now have to dedicate their merits i.e. positive energy accumulated through the performance of sacred rituals and prayers. They dedicate it to achieving nirvāna in order to help sentient beings, which is the ultimate goal for all Mahāyāna-Buddhists.
Pärnu, Tartu, Tallinn
MAHĀRĀJAS’ MEDITATIVE EVENING
Mustafa Raza (vicitra vīņā), Rohit Anand (bamboo-flute) & Peeter Vähi (tānpūrā)
Program: South-Indian early-night rāga Sarasvati, rāga Rageshwari, rāga Sugandh
Mustafa Raza, Thumri Piloo, live, fragm, 100 sec, mp3
Mustafa Raza’s family is associated with the Moradabad gharana through his grandfather Ustad Chajju Khan, a court musician. Vicitra vīņā (vicitra means ‘unique’) is a very rare North-Indian string instrument. Rohit Anand – disciple of Pandit Ravi Shankar and Ustad Ali Akbar Khan.
The percussion-ensemble “Drums Of India”: Aushim Chauduri, Arshad Syed, Brian Melvin, Aditya Kalyanpur
“… a veteran Indian music expert” (San Francisco Examiner / Chronicle), “Alla Rakha’s foremost student in this part of the world” (Zakir Hussain), “.. among the world’s greatest percussionists” (Wembly Conference Centre).
Download: poster, jpg, 100 dpi, 264 KB
Aditya Kalyanpuri trumminõiduse puhul tundus, et tegu on inimvõimete piiriga, sest tihedamaid põrinaid pole kõrv enam suuteline eristama, peale selle veel need meeletud teiste tämbritega lisalöögid… Puhas meeleränd on ylev asi ja kahtlemata tõstavad sellised kontserdid kuulajate emotsionaalset intelligentsust, olles ehk isegi religioossete toimingute asendajaks. Kui yle tyki aja silmad avasin, tundsin, et muutunud on nii ymbritsev ruum, inimeste näod ja olekud kui ka minu kujutlus endast. Selliste nimetute sisemiste vastuvõtlikkushetkedeni ei kyyni just sageli. /…/ Mustafa Raza muutus raga arenedes tavapäraselt ekstaatiliseks ja ta pilli järsumate sööstude kõla hakkas täiesti meenutama Mahavishnu Orchestra psyhhedeelseid jämme. /…/ Yks tuttav ütles pärast kontserti naljatamisi: “No nii. Lähme lööme nyyd oma trummid puruks.” /…/ Oriendi festivali kontserdid on ikka olnud talvise muusikaelu solaarium ja higistamistelk, et põhjamaalastele pimedatel aegadel kauge kaarega ergem olemine ja lootus tagasi tuua. (Lauri Sommer, Muusika, No 2, 2004, Estonia) English translation
PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE “KODŌ” (Japan)
Shake, fragm, 47 sec, mp3
Exploring the limitless possibilities of the traditional Japanese drum, the taiko, Kodō are forging new directions for a vibrant living art-form. In Japanese the word “Kodō” conveys two meanings: firstly, “heartbeat” the primal source of all rhythm. The sound of the great taiko is said to resemble a mother’s heartbeat as felt in the womb, and it is no myth that babies are often lulled asleep by its thunderous vibrations. Secondly, read in a different way, the word can mean “children of the drum”, a reflection of Kodō’s desire to play their drums simply, with the heart of a child. Since their debut at the Berlin Festival in 1981, Kodō have given over 2600 performances on all 5 continents, spending about a third of the year overseas, a third touring in Japan and a third resting and preparing new material on Sado Island. Kodō strives to both preserve and re-interpret traditional Japanese performing arts.
Pandit HARIPRASAD CHAURASIA (bamboo flute, India) and his ensemble
Program: North-Indian classical rāgas
Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia is known internationally as the greatest living master of bānsurī (Hindi बांसुरी) , the North-Indian bamboo flute. He is probably the most accessible Hindustani musician who has done a lot to popularize bānsurī and classical music among the masses.
Hariprasad Chaurasia was born in Allahabad in 1938 into a non-musical family. His father was a wrestler, and his mother died when he was very young. Hariprasad had to learn music almost in secret, scared of the father who wanted him to become a wrestler. First he started learning vocal music from Pt Rajaram at the age of 15. Later, he switched to playing the flute under the tutelage of Pt Bholanath of Varanasi. Much later, while working for All India Radio, he received guidance from the reclusive Smt Annapurna Devi (daughter of legendary Baba Allaudin Khan).
Pt Chaurasia is a rare combination of innovator and traditionalist. He has significantly expanded the expressive possibilities of North-Indian classical flute through his masterful blowing technique. Hariprasad Chaurasia is one of the busiest North-Indian classical musicians, regularly traveling and performing throughout the world. Apart from classical music, he has made a mark as a hindi film music director along with Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma forming a group Shiv-Hari. He has also combined with various world musicians at experimental music, including the famous group Shakti, John McLaughlin, Jan Garbarek, etc.
He has won a number of prestigious awards including the Sangeet Natak Academy (1984), Padmabhushan (1992) and Padma Vibhoosan (2000).
live recording from Orient-Festival, fragm, 113 sec, mp3
Dowload photo: Hariprasad Chaurasia, photo by P Vähi, jpg, 300 dpi
O-SUWA TAIKO, the ensemble of Japanese drums, artistic director Dainichi Oguchi
SEARCH FOR THE SOUL OF ASIA, the photo exhibition; co-starring FUDO, the Ensemble of Japanese music
KONCHOK SANGYE, Tibetan Buddhist monk (recitation, nga-drum, silnyen-cymbals) – the rituals of Tibetan Drikung Kagyu lineage
MUSIC AND DANCE FROM SRI LANKA: V Hemapala Perera, Mudiyanse Dissanayake, Chinthatka Bandara, Isuru Warna Perera
PRAKASH YADAGUDDE (Indian classical bharata-nātyam-dance, India)
JAYALAKSHMI SEIKAR (vocal, Malaysia) & SUTRA DANCE THEATRE (Malaysia), artistic director and soloist Ramli Ibrahim
The dancer and choreographer, Ramli Ibrahim, has become one of Malaysia’s most internationally acclaimed artists. Trained in classical ballet, modern dance and Indian classical dance, he is a creator and a visionary in the Arts who sees unity within the diversity of all artistic endeavours.
AKRAM KHAN – Indian classical and contemporary dance
Akram Khan is a young British-born Asian dancer. He has been trained in the 500 year old tradition of kathak dance under the world-renowned guru, Sri Pratap Pawar. Since an early age Akram has danced around the world, working with leading artists and companies including Ravi Shankar in The Jungle Book, and the RSC in Peter Brook’s Mahabharata.
PHAM DUC THANH ENSEMBLE (Vietnam) & ILYANA “MEDVEDITSA” PAVLOVA (vocal, Jew’s harp, Northern Siberia)
MUSIC FROM THE FAR EAST: Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, conductor TANG MUHAI (China)
Muhai Tang’s international career was launched in 1982, when Herbert von Karajan invited him to conduct concerts with Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Muhai Tang still has close ties with his homeland, where he conducts regularly as well as in other Asian countries and Australia.
MUSTAFA RAZA Ensemble (vicitra vīņā, Indian classical rāgas)
Mustafa Raza is the only vicitra vīņā player originating from a family of binkars, and his style offers incomparable quality and technical mastery. He shows his ability by playing alaps, rare rāgas, and very fast improvisations on this difficult instrument.
PURNIMA JHA (Indian classical kathak-dance) and her ensemble (India)
Purnima Jha is the foremost exponent of both the softer, fluid, more expressive Lucknow and the rhythmically controlled dynamic Jaipur styles of Kathak dance. “Music-making footwork” (Washington Post), “Display of brilliance… a pattern of syncopation as intricate and intoxicating as any jazz drummer’s…” (Daily Californian)
Mit diesem Konzert wird dem neuen Saal nach dem Eröffnungskonzert quasi die geistliche Weihe gegeben. Die Mönche des Gyudmed-Klosters sind berühmt wegen ihrer besonders tiefen, raumgebenden Stimmen, aus denen sich um so besser Obertöne abspalten können, um aus dem meist einstimmigen Gesang Mehrstimmigkeit zu machen. Dabei fasziniert vor allem, dass am Ende eines jeden Abschnittes die Stimmen abfallen, d.h. tiefer und leiser werden. (Gerhard Lock, Leipzig-Almanach, 2003, Germany)
… Hariprasad Chaurasia ja ta on 63-aastane küps meister, kelle virtuoossusest ja muusika väe valitsemisest räägitakse legende. (Immo Mihkleson, Postimees / Arter, 5.05.01, Estonia)
Briti lehed kirjutasid, et üle hulga aja on moodsas tantsus esil nimi, mis on vallandanud samasuguse ühemehe-“revolutsiooni” nagu Mark Morrise debüüt omal ajal. Tänaseks on 26-aastane Bangladeshi päritolu /…/ Akram Khan oma suveräänsust vaid kinnitanud – tema isikupärasel stiilil, kus on kokku miksitud Põhja-India klassikaline kathak-tants ja lääne moodsa tantsu tehnikad, ei ole ligilähedaseltki analoogi… (Tiit Tuumalu, Postimees / Arter, 5.05.01, Estonia)
See also: Orient festivals, Orient presents in 2010, Orient 2009, Orient presents in 2008, Orient 2007, Orient presents in 2006, Orient 2005, Orient in Palmyra (Voices from the Stars Above the Desert), The Path To The Heart Of Asia (the CD recorded with featuring musicians of Orient 1992)