JON LIN CHUA
Mantra was originally composed as a 4-channel acousmatic work, inspired by the Buddhist Sanskrit six-syllable mantra "om mani padme hum." It is particularly associated with Avalokitesvara (known to Chinese Buddhists as "guan yin"), the Bodhisattva of compassion. The words themselves could be translated literally as "Behold the Jewel in the Lotus," and there are also various other interpretations concerning what each syllable represents. However, another view of the mantra is that the sounds in themselves are intrinsically meaningful, and do not simply function as carriers relating to a referent. The sonic quality of the mantra is thus the mantra itself. This idea intrigues me as a composer, and I aim to uncover part of the power of the mantra through exploring its sonic make-up.