During the Covid mess, I decided to write music based on meditations and reflections of imagery from Romio Shrestha’s book called Celestial Gallery.
Celestial Gallery is the largest book that we own, and was given to us maybe 15 years ago by alchemist author David Goddard, on one of his visits. It is so big, it demands ‘making space’ for it. I decided to pull it from the depths of our bookshelves, put it up in front of my keyboard, and starting writing a piece each day for 14 days based on my meditations and reflections of this work.
I have been practicing meditation now for over 35 years. I was one of the founders of the Boston Meditation Society and was a committed Buddhist monk for 4 years, so meditation can be a useful tool for me to access as a composer. But it is also tricky, since I am not intentionally writing music to meditate too. (That is not my thing). So this music is really my reflections on both the text and imagery from the book, after I contemplate, and mediate for perhaps 30 minutes.
So my routine was for 14 days. Read and Contemplate the accompanying text for one image. Meditate on the imagery. Then build out a full compositional track, and layer out the tracks while still absorbing the full image. I would do this from 3-4 hours each day for 14 days until I decided to stop this practice. I started on August 28th 2020 and ended on September 10th 2020.
In October 2020, then put on my producer hat, and listened to all 14 compositions. I decided to put together 8 of the 14 works, into the ‘Buddha’ project, and started mixing what I created for several weeks.