The word “thukdam” refers to a rare occurrence in which the body of a Tibetan Buddhist monk does not decay for several weeks after death, but remains clean and present as if the monk were alive. As a Buddhist practitioner (albeit not in the Tibetan lineage), Seamus was fascinated by this concept, and used it to create this piece for clarinet, vibraphone and piano.
The piece follows a structure of “disintegrating loops.” The frenzied perpetual motion introduced near the beginning of the piece gradually returns more and more often to a source of stillness, much like the mind during a long meditation period. Seamus experimented with various methods of sustain on the piano, such as placing a guitar e-bow on a piano string, and holding down specific notes without making sound in order to excite harmonics. In the end, the piece reaches a state of unity in which motives from throughout the piece work in harmony, expressing the interconnection of all things, and a state of oneness after death.
Playing it Close to Home
Studio Z: 275 East Fourth Street, Suite 200, St. Paul
$15 / $10 students & seniors
With winning songs from the Eric Stokes Song Contest plus music by local composer Mary Ellen Childs, Zeitgeist's annual Playing it Close to Home concert celebrates the wealth of musical creativity found right here in our own backyard.
The program includes music by Eric Stokes Song Contest winners Michael Maiorana, Katy Vernon, and Seamus Hubbard Flynn, the world premiere of a new work composed by Mary Ellen Childs for Zeitgeist, plus several other works from Childs’ catalog, including excerpts from her opera Propeller, “visual percussion” pieces, and music for prepared piano. The concert will conclude with a multi-sensory sound installation created by Childs that invites audience members to explore three rooms filled with scents and music designed to pair with each aroma.