This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001

29Mar/21

SHOMYO: BUDDHIST RITUAL CHANT MOONLIGHT MANTRA

Who: Shomyo no Kai — Voices of a Thousand Years
What: An evening of shomyo Buddhist ritual chant
Where: Japan Society and University of Chicago
When: Tuesday, March 30, $12-$15, 8:00 (available through April 30)
Why: Japan Society and the University of Chicago have teamed up to present a concert by the vocal group Shomyo no Kai — Voices of a Thousand Years, which specializes in rarely heard early chanting rituals. On March 30 at 8:00, the company’s performance of a new work, Moonlight Mantra (Tsuki no Kogon), by female composer Yu Kuwabara, will premiere, available on demand through April 30. Part of Carnegie Hall’s “Voices of Hope” festival, the concert was held in the eight-hundred-year-old An’yo-in Temple in Tokyo, with the group, founded in 1997 by Rev. Yusho Kojima and Rev. Kojun Arai of the Shingon sect and Rev. Koshin Ebihara and Rev. Jiko Kyoto of the Tendai sect, wearing traditional monastic robes and moving slowly throughout the sacred space. (In March 2014, Shomyo no Ka made its North American debut at St. Bartholomew’s Church as part of a tour organized by Japan Society.) The online premiere will be followed by a live Q&A. In addition, there will be a “Shomyo for Everyday Wellness” online workshop on April 8 ($5, 8:30), in which participants can practice shomyo with the monks. “Voices of Hope” continues through April with such other events as “Ayodele Casel: Chasing Magic,” “Ephrat Asherie Dance: Odeon,” “Different Strokes / Different Folks: Queer Artists of Color Paint the 21st Century,” “Voices of Hope: True Stories of Resilience, Recovery, and Renewal,” and “American Voices: Selected Piano Works by Black and Native American Composers.”

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