On June 5th, 2020, Tan Dun’s Prayer and Blessing will be broadcast by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) over 30 radio channels and to 29 countries as a featured premiere performance on UNESCO World Environment Day.
Prayer and Blessing by Tan Dun is his 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 instrumentations, 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…..
In addition to this reflection on the Covid-19 pandemic, members of the WDR Symphony Orchestra and percussionists from Vienna, among them Martin Grubinger, will perform Tan Dun’s percussion concert The Tears of Nature (2012) and a chamber music adaption of Beethoven’s 6th Symphony (the Pastoral Symphony).
The nature-inspired works in the program explore the impact of the environment and nature on music in both moments of suffering and harmony in our history.
In Tan Dun’s own words: “Harmony in life and harmony in music both need a delicate balance. To me, all life in our world is one. We must protect this balance, protect our earth and thus, ourselves. This is a special time in our history and as the world changes around us, moments like these where we are able to come together for one cause is incredibly important. I am so proud of the musicians and the team that are making this broadcast possible. We must remember that nature also has a voice, and who best to help our earth speak…but, the universal language of music!”
For more information about UNESCO World Environment Day, click here.
To access the radio channels broadcasting the performing, click here.
For more information on how to access scores for the work Prayer and Blessing, click here.