YaoChen Composition: Emanations of Tara 度母化生




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Published on Jun 28, 2015

Composed by Yao Chen; finished in 2014. 12.
Written for violin, cello, clarinet/bass.clarinet, piano and pipa
Premiered by Civitas Ensemble and Yang Wei in Music Institute of Chicago on March 15, 2015.

Program Note:
Emanations of Tara is my musical interpretation of Tara, a figure in Tibetan Buddhism. Tara (Sanskrit) is a female Bodhisattva, an enlightened being presenting universal compassion and virtuous action. Tara is always ready to rescue all living beings from samsara, the never-ending cycle of birth, death and rebirth, and to guard her followers on their spiritual journey to enlightenment.

Tara appears in various Buddhist art forms and colors. My piece is a sonic portrait of five types of emanations of Tara according to her unique temperament and association with a particular virtue from Buddhism: Green Tara (originator, growing force), Golden Tara (prosperity, wealth force), Blue Tara (transmutation of anger, engendering spiritual awakening), Red Tara (fiercely magnetizing all good things and energies) and White Tara (compassion, longevity, healing and serenity). Taking my inspiration from the vivid hues and mystical nature of Tara depicted in traditional Tibetan Thangka paintings and statues, this musical composition explores this unusual quintet’s instrumental colors, textures, melodic gestures, and harmonies.

This piece was made possible by a grant from the Fromm Music Foundation.


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