Music at the Dairy and Naropa University team up for “Contemplation”

Music for Buddhist ceremonies, jazz clubs and concert halls

By Peter Alexander

Japanese dancers/drummers  (Photo by Glenn Asakawa/University of Colorado)

Japanese dancers/drummers (Photo by Glenn Asakawa/University of Colorado)

There will be ancient chants. There will be jazz and contemporary compositions. There will be Taiko drumming and masked dancers.

“All of this and more!” as the ads might say, are on the program for “Contemplation,” an evening of music inspired by, or related to, Buddhism, presented by Music at the Dairy and Naropa University at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19, in the Dairy Center for the Arts (tickets).

The program is intentionally something of a potpourri. James Bailey, music producer for the Dairy, says the event was planned to be “a broad look at music and how it has been influenced by Buddhism, as opposed to a particular style of music, or a particular country, or a particular sect of Buddhism.”

If the program is bewilderingly eclectic, that’s OK. “It’s designed to be music that keeps the audience off balance, which is one of my favorite things to do,” Bailey says. “Like a lot of productions I do, you’ll never hear anything like this again.”

Very likely not. The program that has been announced features:
—“Bombai,” an ancient chant performed by ordained Buddhist priests Mason Brown and Martin Mosko;
—music by famed jazz musician and Buddhist Wayne Shorter, performed by pianist Annie Booth;
—music for saxophone and shakuhachi flute performed by Mark Miller, director of the music program at Naropa University, and adjunct Naropa faculty member David Wheeler;
—a piece for voice and viola by Naropa interim music chair, Paul Fowler;
—Japanese music and dance performed by the Jay and Mami Keister Ensemble;
—songs on Buddhist texts by Bill Douglas, performed by Douglas and Fowler;
—music by Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu for viola and piano performed by Lisa Harrington and Matt Dane; and
—drumming by Boulder Taiko Hibiki.

“I think it will be interesting for people to hear how different styles of music have been influenced by Buddhists, from the most profound to something that’s maybe more superficial,” Bailey says. “There’s music for Buddhist services, there’s music for jazz clubs, there’s music for concert halls.

“There’s not a button you can push anywhere to hear this music, especially in it’s entirely as a concert.”

Read more in Boulder Weekly.

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