In the Lotus Symphony a mixed chorus recite excerpts from “the Expedient Means” (Chapter 2) and the “Life Span” (Chapter 16) of the Lotus sutra. The texts, both prose and verse, are often presented in the form of Buddha’s discourse with his close follower Shariputra.
The two chapters of the Lotus sutra used in this composition are recited in Japanese. They form part of the ceremony called Gongyo which is performed twice daily by members of Soka Gakai International, followers of Nicherin Buddhism. This composition is not intended as an alternative to the solemn ceremony of Gongyo, it is simply the composer’s artistic response to the beautiful ideas and images contained in the ‘wonderful law of the Lotus flower’. Quite apart from the meaning contained in the words, the extraordinary sound of the recitation, its rhythm of dynamic determination and joyful courage was the starting point for this musical journey.