Prayer and Blessing is Tan Dun’s unique response to the COVID-19 crisis and an effort to bring together isolated musicians from around the world. Meant to be performed with varying instrumentation, together or remotely, virtually or live, the power of the music lies not only in its message, but in its flexibility.
The brief and poignant text is attributed to Chinese philosopher Laozi (BC 600-500):
Time is everlasting
May peace be a long blessing
Mercy on me, my nature and spirit
May you and I forever be one…..
This piece captures my love for us all – may our love for each other protect us until eternity and help us endure the ups and downs together. To me, the number 12 is one of the secret cycles of life. There are 12 months, 12 zodiacs, 12 tones, 12 years to Jupiter’s orbit around the Earth… That is why I have chosen 12 Tamtam’s from Wuhan, a spiritual connection to send prayers and blessings to everyone, all over the world.
Prayer and Blessing is arranged from the text of Laozi (dated 600 B. C.) and its wisdom fits our world today in a profound way. Thank you to the musicians who volunteered to help bring this work to life. I am glad we could connect in a different time and space through the power of technology.”
– Tan Dun