“PURE AS LAPIS LAZULI”
Project by Erik Kramer
"The more I think about it the more I believe “place” and “music” are made of the same thing. Both place and music are constructed via the same processes- the creation of intent and inhabitation over time and space.
The desire to “inhabit” sound is something that propels a lot of deep and intentional listening- I believe it is a very similar experience to getting to know and love a place or a landscape. Thinking of music as a place to be, or as a landscape to explore that we can share mutual experiences of, is a helpful way to highlight the codependent and collective aspects of music making and listening.
When we begin to think of music as place, it becomes easier to shift the possibilities of sound-experience away from an atomized individual experience of music and more toward a communitarian, interdependent practice that dissolves the borders between our selves, others, and environments."
interact with the project by clicking the images
The Blue Sky by Gary Snyder
“Eastward from here,
beyond Buddha-worlds ten times as
numerous as the sands of the Ganges
there is a world called
PURE AS LAPIS LAZULI
its Buddha is called Master of Healing,
AZURE RADIANCE TATHAGATA”
It would take you twelve thousand summer vacations driving a car due east all day every day to reach the edge of the lapis lazuli realm of Medicine Old Man Buddha;
East. Old Man Realm,
East across the sea, yellow sand land
Coyote Old Man land
Silver, and stone blue.
Blue. belo, “bright colors of the flames”
flamen / brahman.
beltane, “blue fire”—
[the dappled cloud zone—
Sanskrit sku “covered”
skewed (pied) skewbald (.....”Stewball”)
skybald / piebald]—
Horse with lightning feet!
a mane like distant rain,
the turquoise horse,
a black star for an eye
white shell teeth.
Pony that feeds on the pollen of flowers
make thee whole.
Heal, hale, whole.
The Spell Of The Master Of Healing
Namo bhagavate bhaishajyaguru-vaidurya-
prabharajaya tathagata arhate samyak
sambuddhaya tadyatha om bhaishajye
bhaishajye bhaishajya samudgate
“I honour the Lord, the Master of Healing,
shining like lapis lazuli, the king, the
Tathagata, the Saint, the perfectly enlightened
one, saying OM TO THE HEALING TO THE HEALING
TO THE HEALER HAIL!
Shades of blue through the day.
T’u chüeh a border tribe near China
Turquoise: a hydrous phosphate of aluminum
a little copper
a little iron—
In the reign of the Emperor Nimmyo
when Ono-no-Komachi the strange girl poet
was seventeen, she set out looking for her father
who had become a buddhist wanderer. She took ill
on her journey, and sick in bed one night saw
AZURE RADIANCE THUS-COME MEDICINE MASTER
in a dream. He told her she would find a hotsprings
on the bank of the Azuma river in the Bandai mountains
that would cure her; and she’d meet her father there.
“Enchantment as strange as
the Blue up above” my rose of San Antone
Tibetans say that goddesses have lapis lazuli hair.
Azure Old French azur.
Persian lazhward, “lapis lazuli”
—blue bead charms against the evil eye—
(Tim and Kim and Don and I were talking about
what an awful authoritarian garb Doctors
and Nurses wear, really, how spooky it is.
“What should they wear?”
—“masks and feathers!”)
Ramana Maharshi Dream
I was working as a wood cutter by a crossroads—Ko-san
was working with me—we were sawing and splitting the
firewood. An old man came up the lane alongside a mud
wall—he shouted a little scolding at some Zen monks who
were piling slash by the edge of the woods. He came over
and chatted with us, a grizzled face—neither eastern or
western; or both. He had a glass of buttermilk in his
hand. I asked him “Where’d you get that buttermilk?”
I’d been looking all over for buttermilk. He said,
“At the O K Dairy, right where you leave town.”
Medicine, measure, “Maya”—
Goddess of this vast play.
Celestial. arched cover. . . . kam.
Comrade: sharing the same tent or sky,
a bent curved bow.
Kama, God of Love, Son of Maya,
bow of flowers.
Shakyamuni would then be the lord of the present world of
“Old Man Medicine Buddha”
The lord of the lost paradise.
(Glory of morning, pearly gates,
tlitliltzin, the heavenly blue.)
Thinking on Amitabha in the setting sun,
his western paradise—
impurities flow out away, to west,
behind us, rolling,
planet ball forward turns into the “east”
Great Medicine Master;
land of blue.
The blue sky
the blue sky.
The Blue Sky
is the land of
OLD MAN MEDICINE BUDDHA
where the eagle that flies out of sight