2016 // 5.5'
for amplified ensemble
commissioned by the Blueshift Ensemble
premiered June 9, 2016 at the Hi-Tone, Memphis, TN
recording mixed and mastered by Alexander Almgren at Freshly Baked Studios
Dharmakaya is the first movement composed of a planned three-movement piece entitled “Buddha Body.” In Tibetan Buddhism, the dharmakaya is the highest of the three bodily emanations of a Buddha, equivalent to enlightenment itself. The other two - the sambhogakaya, or enjoyment body, and the nirmanakaya, or physical body - will each be the subject of their own movements.
In this movement, I explore the nature of enlightenment, inspired by my own meditation practice in the Mahamudra tradition. I draw from '90s indie-rock (particularly shoegaze and dream-pop) textures, recontextualizing them for another time, place, and form.
While I have only a beginner’s understanding of the dharma, I believe we all contain Buddhas within ourselves. This piece is my attempt at accessing, and communicating, that best part of our humanity.
2 flutes (1 dbl. alto), clarinet (dbl. bass)
drum set, keyboard, guitar, electric bass