Orchestration: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani, percussion (bass drum, chimes, glockenspiel, suspended cymbal, tam-tam, temple blocks, tom-toms, triangle, vibraphone, whip, xylophone), and strings
About this Piece
“If it can be said that there are five elements in Tibetan Buddhism (earth, water, fire, wind, and space), they define themselves as fundamental and sacred energies of existence encountered in the psychic dimension of [human] beings. The first four are the constituent material of nature, while the fifth contains all the others. The microcosm of the body is thus joined with the macrocosm of the Universe. These cosmic energies are at the origin of the worlds of earthly and spiritual existence: that is the Vajrayāna.
I conceived the piece as a progression through the different stages of the spiritual world. I have designated these states by means of rhythmic musical motifs – more often than not – because rhythm is at the heart of nature and energy. Each element corresponds to a [different] musical motif.
Ratna (Earth) is a primary, powerful but repressed, energy. In such ways, all the mysteries of the Earth are intertwined.
Vajra (Water) expresses anguish in its defensive aspect – the storm – which fades into a peaceful body of water.
Padma (Fire) is the spiritual place reached by violent, burning emotions, lacking inner control: it is the place of disorder.
Karma (Wind) corresponds to an impalpable element, weightless and fleeting.
Finally, Vairocana (Space) combines all these elements. Existing outside time, it is the most powerful state in this quest for transcendence; the ineffable fulfillment of the elevation of the soul; healing.” –Camille Pépin (translated by Michail Sklansky)