Temple Noise (series: Noise. Life. Death. part 4)

The ‘ichi go ichi e’ project and my ‘(D/R)CnSTRXn’ tracks.
by Dave Skipper

DEPARTMENT PAGE FOR THIS SERIES: NOISE. LIFE. DEATH.
PREVIOUS ARTICLE IN THIS SERIES: Absolute Limits of Noise
NEXT ARTICLE IN THIS SERIES: Mutually Exclusive Noise (introduction)

Introduction

Last year I was invited to participate in an unusual collaborative music project, which is seeing its online release today (2020/02/20):
https://wavefolder.bandcamp.com/album/i-go-i-e

In this article I want to go into some detail about why and how I joined this project, and my thought processes behind my approach to creating my musical contribution to it. I will follow this outline:

  • The Call: Introduction to the ‘ichi go ichi e’ Project
  • The Context: ‘The Pure Land’ School of Buddhism
  • The Challenge: Preserve, Reflect, Embody
  • The Concept: Construction, Deconstruction, Reconstruction
  • Conclusion: Temple Noise

The Call: Introduction to the ‘ichi go ichi e’ Project

In the summer of 2018, my friend Radek Rudnicki spent some time recording musical instruments and ceremonies at three different Buddhist temples in Kyoto. His initial idea was to create his own series of compositions utilising and integrating these recordings, but somewhere along the way he realised the greater potential of including more artists into this venture. I was one of nearly 20 electronic musicians Radek invited to join in. These artists represent a diverse spectrum of styles and techniques in modern electronic music, and are a mix of Japanese and non-Japanese, so it’s a fascinating collection of music that is both eclectic and coherent. At first I was hesitant, though interested, because as a committed and active Christian I will not endorse or participate in Buddhist religious activities or ceremonies. But conceptually and creatively I thought it would be an intriguing project to contribute to in some way, on the condition that I would be able to write openly about how my faith informs my perspective. I am grateful for Radek’s willingness and enthusiasm to give me that space, which ended up being a concise written summary of my approach to the project which is included (along with Japanese translation) in the album release’s pdf booklet. This text also appears below. There is a lot that I wanted to say that couldn’t fit into such a short space, hence this more detailed article here. If you download the full project, you can read Radek’s summary of the project intent, along with the other artist’s creative approaches, and of course you will be able to listen to all the music we created!

What is behind the album title ‘ichi go ichi e’? This is a well-known Japanese phrase (一期一会) that has to do with the idea of the dynamic relationship between cause and effect, especially insofar as circumstances or events arise interdependently. A literal translation would be something like ‘once-in-a-liftetime encounter’. The phrase evokes a common Japanese idea and feeling of cherishing and making the most of a chance encounter or indeed any situation which could be a one-off unique experience. It also gels tightly with other Japanese/Buddhist sentiments such as finding great value and beauty in simplicity, and the importance of stillness, space, and slowing down to appreciate the moment. You can read more about the meaning and history of the phrase in Wikipedia here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ichi-go_ichi-e. It’s a fitting title for this project, in the way it connects together disparate artists around a common theme or set of recordings for an unrepeatable creative collaboration, and as an invitation to slow down and ponder.

As a Christian I don’t believe in the supremacy of chance. Rather I believe in the providence of God: that he created, sustains, oversees, and is sovereign over all things. And so a ‘chance encounter’ is rather a ‘divine appointment.’ A ‘coincidental circumstance’ is a ‘divine opportunity.’ And so I like the phrase ‘ichi go ichi e’ because it encourages a perspective that is expectant and appreciative of seemingly random encounters and opportunities, but their preciousness is amplified through their nature as Personal gifts from the God who sees and cares and is involved in the details of our lives. And so I wanted to embrace the chance to join this project as an opportunity to work out and express my faith in Him in a context where He is not known.

Regarding the source material, Radek generated his recordings from three temples representing three different Buddhist sects. My decision as to which samples to use myself was guided by two criteria. Firstly, because of my Christian faith I did not want to use any explicitly Buddhist material (chants, demon stories, prayers etc) for reasons that I will go into in more detail below. Secondly, my creative/artistic instincts and preferences: given my noisy inclinations I naturally gravitated away from the pitched instruments (biwa and sho). I generally prefer non-vocal non-melodic music anyway as that leaves more to the imagination. I love visceral abstractness in my sonics. This left the percussive instruments, in particular gongs. So all in all this was an easy choice for me – I love the sound of gongs: such rich and evolving timbres, long ephemeral decays, such open-ended and malleable sonics. Evocative and soothing, gongs function powerfully as a summons from slumber or conversely as an accompaniment to drifting into slumber!

Having chosen which source material to use, but before starting to work on my composition, I wanted to look more closely at where the gong samples were recorded: Ekoji temple, belonging to the Jōdo Buddhism Nishiyama Zenrinji School.

The Context: ‘The Pure Land’ School of Buddhism

The following information is summarised from Wikipedia:

Jōdo-shū (浄土宗) is a branch of Pure Land Buddhism established in 1175 by the monk Hōnen (法然) and is the most widely practiced branch of Buddhism in Japan. Hōnen developed a large following of those who had been excluded from serious Buddhist practice up to this point: women, fishermen, prostitutes, and fortune tellers. Hōnen sought to provide people a simple Buddhist practice that anybody could use toward enlightenment, no matter how degenerate the times. He taught devotion to Amitābha as expressed in the repetition of his name – “Namo Amida Bu”- known as the nembutsu. Through Amitābha’s compassion a being could be reborn in the pure land (Sanskrit Sukhavati) where they could pursue enlightenment more readily.

Repetition of the nembutsu is the most fundamental practice of Jōdo-shū, which derives from the Primal Vow of Amitābha. In home practice, or in temple liturgy, the nembutsu may be recited in any number of styles… However, practitioners are encouraged to engage in “auxiliary” practices, such as observing the Five Precepts, meditation, the chanting of sutras and other good conduct. There is no strict rule on this however, as Jōdo-shū stresses that the compassion of Amitābha is extended to all beings who recite the nembutsu, so how one observes auxiliary practices is left to the individual to decide.

The Infinite Life Sutra is the central Buddhist scripture for Jōdo-shū Buddhism, and the foundation of the belief in the Primal Vow of Amitābha. In addition to this, the Amitāyurdhyāna Sūtra and the Amitabha Sutra are important to the Jōdo-shū school. The writings of Hōnen are another source for Jōdo-shū thought.

As for the Ekoji temple in particular, this is a brief summary of their religious stance, from their website:

  • Reliance on the Amitabha Buddha and deep belief in his mercy
  • Praise the joyful Buddha
  • Live life according to the teachings of the Buddha
  • Live in harmony with people and purify society by receiving and following only the teachings of the Buddha

What about the role of music? And what function do gongs have? I tried to find out about the use of gongs at Ekoji temple, but didn’t get any specific information. However, here are some general points and observations about Buddhist temple music that I’ve gleaned from reading around a bit:

  • Temple ceremonies tend to be carefully structured, and the instrumentation and songs used reflect that
  • Some songs recount stories of spirits, demons, folk tales etc, of specific local spirits or of origins etc
  • Chants may be repeated words or phrases or sutras, and are a form of prayer to Buddha/spirits or meditation
  • Gongs can be used to mark and punctuate the ritual structure of a ceremony or the telling of a story, denoting beginnings, endings, and transitions between sections, or to introduce a period of silence
  • In temple life gongs can also be used functionally to mark specific times of day (waking up, call to prayer, mealtime, etc)

The Challenge: Preserve, Reflect, Embody

This was the challenge set by Radek to the participating artists:

  • How can we preserve the culture or reflect upon it through electronic media, composition and tools?
  • Can we link existing devices or create new digital artefacts, algorithms or pieces of music that embody the values of tradition/instruments/culture?

Immediately these questions raise further questions in my mind:

  • What is the culture to be preserved or reflected upon?
  • What are the values embodied in tradition/instruments/culture?

I am interested in the specifics behind the scenes and below the surface. If the cultural element of the project is merely the physical instruments, the melodies, and the timbres then that is one thing, but these surely cannot be divorced from the deeper cultural context of religious belief and practice which provide the impetus and environment in which the music and instruments take form. Put simply, there are unquestionably elements of Japanese culture (and indeed of any culture) that I believe are wonderful and good and to be preserved, that are God-given and that express the generosity and creativity of God. But at the same time there are also always elements that I cannot seek to preserve or embody, that spring from the fallenness and sin and corruption of the human heart that infects all of us. Identifying and untangling these things is a complex and sensitive task, to be sure, but as a Christian I cannot avoid the responsibility to grapple with these issues from the Bible’s perspective.

A thorough analysis and comparison of Buddhism with Christianity is far beyond my ability and the scope of this article. My focus here is immediate and practical: how did I tackle these questions – the challenge Radek set – in this particular musical project? In the next section (The Concept) I will describe my overall perspective and practical approach, but first I need to lay out my theological foundations and broad response to the Buddhist context that was summarised above.

First, there is one true creator God who has revealed himself through Scripture, the Bible, and in His eternal Son Jesus Christ:

So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: we know that ‘An idol is nothing at all in the world’ and that ‘There is no God but one.’ For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many ‘gods’ and many ‘lords’), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.
from the Bible – ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭8:4-6‬

Second, because there is only one true God, all worship should be directed to Him alone:

‘You shall have no other gods before (or besides) me.’
from the Bible – ‭‭Exodus‬ ‭20:3‬

Third, therefore we should not worship or pray to or offer anything to any other gods:

What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.’ Therefore, ‘Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.’
from the Bible – ‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭6:16-17‬

Fourth, idols and false gods are nothing and are not to be feared:

Hear what the Lord says to you, people of Israel. This is what the Lord says:
‘Do not learn the ways of the nations
   or be terrified by signs in the heavens,
   though the nations are terrified by them.
For the practices of the peoples are worthless;
   they cut a tree out of the forest,
   and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel.
They adorn it with silver and gold;
   they fasten it with hammer and nails
   so that it will not totter.
Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field,
   their idols cannot speak;
they must be carried
   because they cannot walk.
Do not fear them;
   they can do no harm
   nor can they do any good.’
No one is like you, Lord;
   you are great,
   and your name is mighty in power.
Who should not fear you,
   King of the nations?
   This is your due.
Among all the wise leaders of the nations
   and in all their kingdoms,
   there is no one like you.
from the Bible – Jeremiah 10:1-7

Fifth, we can only approach God on His terms:

The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters. Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god. They will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God their Saviour.
from the Bible – ‭‭Psalm ‭24:1-5‬

Sixth, praising the one true God is for all peoples of the world:

Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvellous deeds among all peoples. For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. Splendour and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary.
from the Bible – ‭‭Psalm ‭96:1-6‬

It is plain from the foregoing that the foundational tenets of Buddhism are completely out of bounds for me. For example as espoused by the Pure Land School above: relying on the Amitabha Buddha, deep belief in his mercy, praising the joyful Buddha, living life according to the teachings of the Buddha. This is why I am not willing or able to partake in Buddhist rituals or ceremonies or prayers in any way, and why I had to be careful in how I joined this project so that I am not seen to be endorsing those beliefs.

But then what about the practical goals and values of Buddhism? For example from above again: living in harmony with people and purifying society. I want those things too! But there are crucial questions I have to ask:

  • Purity… meaning what? And on what terms?
  • Harmony… meaning what? And on what terms?

And then that other ubiquitous Buddhist term:

  • Enlightenment… meaning what? And on what terms?

Briefly, purity in the Bible means having a pure heart; being right before God; being free from sin; having right motives; following God’s laws; abstaining from evil behaviour, words, and thoughts; holiness. And the way to purity is to be cleansed by the blood of Jesus, by him taking our sin and stain away and giving us new hearts. Harmony means being in right relationship with God, with others, and with the creation; being motivated by love to act in service to God and others; seeking the good of others; living in accordance with God’s ways. The way to harmony is through the cross of Jesus Christ by which he reconciles people to God, removing the barrier of sin that separates us from a holy God. Enlightenment isn’t a word that appears in the Bible, but related terms would involve growing in knowledge and love of God, of his Word the Bible, and of His Son Jesus Christ; perceiving and evaluating ourselves and the world around us from God’s perspective; growing in wisdom and holiness. The way to enlightenment is having our minds and hearts transformed by being conformed to the will of God as expressed in his Scriptures and in the character of Jesus.

And so the path to purity, harmony, and enlightenment looks very different for me as a Christian when compared to Buddhist teachings. There is some common ground in terminology in goals, but the content and form is fundamentally different.

Finally, then, what about using the sounds and instruments used in Buddhist ceremonies? Is it possible to extract those from their temple context? It would certainly be difficult to do so with the chants and songs, but what about the gongs that I did incorporate? The next section explains a bit more, but again some underlying principles first. The following verses from the Bible offer some practical instruction on the issue of whether the early Christians should eat meat that had been offered to idols; you will notice that this issue was also referred to above in the first point, 1 Corinthians 8:4-6, taken from the same letter as here:

‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say – but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’– but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, for, ‘The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.’

If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. But if someone says to you, ‘This has been offered in sacrifice,’ then do not eat it, both for the sake of the one who told you and for the sake of conscience. I am referring to the other person’s conscience, not yours. For why is my freedom being judged by another’s conscience? If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I thank God for?

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
from the Bible – ‭‭1 Corinthians 10:23-31

The general principles here include:

  • Everything belongs to God because he made all that there is;
  • Everything God made is good, including whatever raw materials people use to worship idols and false gods;
  • We have the freedom to enjoy God’s creation and the works of people’s hands with thankfulness;
  • BUT it’s essential to seek the good of others in how we use our freedom;
  • Whatever we do should be done to the glory of God (and so not to the glory of self);
  • We should abstain from idolatrous/religious artefacts if they create confusion or compromise.

I need to point out that the gong sounds that I used were recorded in a non-ritual context, intentionally recorded for their sonic value and not as part of any ceremony. Though they have their function within the temple, I believe that I can receive them with thankfulness and re-orient their function in a way that glorifies God. I could well have declined joining this project on the grounds of conscience, but I figured that there was a greater opportunity to serve and love through joining. I hope to seek the good of others by offering a different perspective, by sharing a Biblical approach to sound and music, and by contributing music that might open up some new avenues of listening and thinking.

So all in all I guess my take on the project is more reflective than preservative. I went through a process of reflecting on these issues and on the meaning of the sounds in themselves, and I wanted to capture and present my reflections in musical as well as word form. I have no stake in wanting to preserve the religious trappings of temple music. And instead of seeking to embody the cultural values that these instruments came from, I tried to push conceptually into re-embodying territory. More on what I mean by this below.

The Concept: Construction, Deconstruction, Reconstruction

In order to tackle this ‘ichi go ichi e’ project I needed an example of a solid, practical, conceptual template for how to consciously integrate my faith convictions into a working model. In pondering how to tackle this project, I settled on a triple-pronged approach, inspired by the overarching Biblical motifs of Creation-Fall-Redemption (I’m delving deeply into the noise dimensions of this model in my series A Brief History of Noise.) I soon realised that each of these three prongs themselves need to be subsumed under the three stages of the project: pre-project, project process, and post-project. Let me go into this structure in detail now. (The indented text is what is included in the project’s pdf booklet; the additional notes add in a few extra thoughts that there wasn’t room for there.)

(D/R)CnSTRXn – Dave Skipper

Additional notes: the track title simply indicates the trio of motifs that I explore – Construction, Deconstruction, Reconstruction. Deep Breathing is meant to be listened to closely in headphones, an evocative, relaxing journey of thought. Time Fracture skids around to challenge expectations time and space and pull the listener out of their comfort zone. The two tracks contrast sharply in duration, dynamics, and content, and they are thus intentionally meant to be listened to consecutively as a unit for maximum impact.

STAGE 1: ARCHETYPE (Pre-Project: Philosophical-Theological considerations)

What paradigm guides my perspective on sound?

    • Creation
      At the sound of God’s command, the universe was created out of nothing, establishing his absolute sovereignty and absolute ownership of all things. Sound, scientific laws, cause and effect, purpose, ‘coincidences’, miracles, and all of time and space depend on God’s continual providence and plan. God declared his creation to be very good, including all sounds and sound-making possibilities. Mankind is the climax of creation, tasked by God to steward the world with love.
      Application: Sound is a tool of knowledge, communication, service, creativity, and worship.
    • Destruction
      Rebellion against God introduced disease, discord, disaster, and death. Life and culture and art have been tainted ever since. The verdict of God’s curse hangs heavy over all creation.
      Application: Sound can now inflict damage, danger, disorientation, deception, disruption, and division.
    • Re-Creation
      But God’s unshakeable plan is the restoration of the cosmos, achieved through the death, resurrection, and eternal rule of Jesus Christ. He starts with reconciling human hearts to himself, and ultimately he will renew all things.
      Application: Sound now becomes a recipient and channel of grace and transformation, and in the promised new creation will be purely good again.

STAGE 2: ALCHEMY (Project Process: Practical-Technical considerations)

How did I choose and use the source material?

    • Construction
      The only sound sources I used were three recorded gong samples. They make a beautiful sound! They were comfortable for me to use as they contain no explicit ceremonial content
    • Deconstruction
      With my modular synth setup I distilled, dissected, disintegrated, distorted, duplicated, and decayed the samples. These actions in part represent my dissociating the gongs from their Buddhist origin, but they go far beyond that…
    • Reconstruction
      …Deconstruction creates new sounds and forms and textures which continually develop and expand into fresh territory. While improvising I followed unanticipated paths as new patterns and possibilities emerged, before selecting the most evocative and exciting episodes.

Additional notes: the processes and modules I used involved looping and manipulating particles and chunks of the gong samples. In a very real and literal sense, then, this was an act of preserving and reflecting on those sounds technologically, as well as metaphorically.

STAGE 3: ART(EFACT) (Post-Project: Perceptival-Timbral considerations)

How does music put flesh and bones on beliefs?

    • Embodiment
      Striking gongs in Buddhist ceremonies punctuates time to herald beginnings, endings, and important transitions within ritual chants. Consider Jesus Christ: his timeless deity punctured history to herald God’s human-flesh presence into this world.
      Application: Sound as a physical marker points to change, surprise, narrative, and action.
    • Disembodiment
      The gong’s long trailing tone symbolises life’s slow fade into the apparent nothingness of death. By contrast, Jesus rescues us from ‘this body of death.’ How? Because he bore our curse in his body on the cross: fading out death to make way for new abundant life.
      Application: Sound that is disattached from its origin can be repurposed and reoriented toward a new future.
    • Re-embodiment
      In Buddhism, gongs invoke peace by facilitating a journey into blissful unawareness. By contrast, Jesus procures – for those who trust in him – unending peace in God’s presence with undecaying bodies. How? Because he rose from the dead, taking on incorruptible new flesh.
      Application: ‘Noisifying’ sounds gives them dramatic and visceral new ‘bodies’ as they die and are reborn. Creative sonic processes can facilitate mindful reflection on Christian themes of renewal and resurrection.

Additional notes: all art inescapably embodies culture, beliefs, agenda, priorities, and values. Artists have the privilege and responsibility of exploring and sharing their outlook through implicit or explicit means. My music is how I do this implicitly, and my writing is how I do it explicitly. The physicality of sound gives body to vibrations both literally and metaphorically. The field or practice of acousmatics (listening to sounds stripped from their source) is an exercise in disembodiment, but sometimes with a view to obscuring or denying the reality that such an attempt is never completely possible. Cross-fading is a common term in electronic music production, DJing etc, meaning smoothly fading between 2 different sounds, so as one sound gets gradually quieter the other sound gets gradually louder. In context, I refer to the sound of a gong fading slowly into silence, so the cross-fading is between sound and silence rather than between 2 sounds. The play on words is that I am also referring to the cross on which Jesus died – there he started the process of rolling back (‘fading out’) the curse of death, and through our salvation he ‘fades in’ eternal life. (“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” John 5:24) Re-embodiment can generate new and visceral sounds and experiences. Artists have the incredible opportunity to leave well-trodden paths and open up new paths and vistas for others to experience with them. This parallels the Christian worldview of ultimate optimism, that God will make out of this stained and decaying world something new and vibrant.

Conclusion: Temple Noise

The Christian understanding of what a temple is is very different to Buddhism. Here is a very brief overview.

In the Bible, Solomon (the third king of Israel, and son of Israel’s greatest king, David) built a temple for God in the 10th century BC. His father David had wanted to build it, but God told him that he shouldn’t do so as a man of war. The temple was to be a special place to meet with God and in which animal sacrifices were made for the people’s sins. Upon the temple’s completion, Solomon prayed the following words at its dedication:

“But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! Yet give attention to your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy, Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day. May your eyes be open towards this temple night and day, this place of which you said, ‘My Name shall be there,’ so that you will hear the prayer your servant prays towards this place. Hear the supplication of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray towards this place. Hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive.”
from the Bible – 1 Kings 8:27-30

Four hundred years later, Solomon’s temple was destroyed by the Babylonians who conquered Jerusalem and took many Jews into exile. Following 70 years of exile, they returned to build a second temple, which was still standing and in active in Jesus’ day. One day, Jesus entered the temple and overturned the tables of the moneychangers who had wrongly turned the house of prayer into a market. When challenged about his actions,

Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.’ They replied, ‘It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?’ But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.
from the Bible – John 2:19-22

Within 40 years of Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension to heaven, the temple was violently destroyed by the Romans (in AD 70), never to be rebuilt again. The primary reason for this, theologically, was that there was now no longer any need for priests and sacrifices as Jesus was the final complete sacrifice for sin, and he is also the ultimate Great High Priest who gives us access to God’s presence. But this was not the end of the temple concept:

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your bodies.
from the Bible – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

The Bible declares that all who trust in Jesus Christ are temples of the Holy Spirit – God has purified us from all sin, reconciled us to himself, and dwells within us. Prayer, worship, purity, harmony, and enlightenment are now brought close, accessible through Christ’s death and resurrection. Physical temples are no longer needed. And then there is the promise of eternity, when those belonging to Christ will be in his presence face to face:

I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendour into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honour of the nations will be brought into it. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
from the Bible – Revelation 21:22-27

What does this have to do with noise, music, and this ‘ichi go ichi e’ project? Simply this: I have recommissioned, as it were, the temple gongs as tools for worship and prayer to my God, replacing the Buddhist temple with my own mind and heart and ears and hands as a temple dedicated to Christ. This is my act of worship, my way to reflect upon and redeem these beautiful instruments. I believe that all art flows out of and reflects the individual artist’s underlying worldview, whether explicitly or implicitly. I want my beliefs and my actions, my ideas and my attitudes, my words and my noise, to be part of a consistent whole, a whole that desires to pursue the glory of Jesus Christ. I hope that my contribution to this fascinating project, submitted as it is in a spirit of gentleness and care, will serve that purpose.

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”
1 Corinthians 13:1

He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

* Check out the album here: https://wavefolder.bandcamp.com/album/i-go-i-e

DEPARTMENT PAGE FOR THIS SERIES: NOISE. LIFE. DEATH.
PREVIOUS ARTICLE IN THIS SERIES: Absolute Limits of Noise
NEXT ARTICLE IN THIS SERIES: Mutually Exclusive Noise (introduction)

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2 Responses to Temple Noise (series: Noise. Life. Death. part 4)

  1. Pingback: [日本語] (D/R)CnSTRXn | The Word on Noise

  2. Pingback: Mutually Exclusive Noise – introduction (series: Noise. Life. Death. part 5) | The Word on Noise

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