In conjunction with the exhibition Cave Temples of Dunhuang: Buddhist Art on China’s Silk Road, musicians from the Silk Road Ensemble are in residence at the Getty to create pop-up musical performances inspired by the art and replica caves on view.

Violist Nicholas Cords was inspired to perform “Loop” by Hungarian composer György Ligeti—which features repeated notes and rhythms—by the repetition of images of the Buddha (1,036 of them, to be exact) in replica Cave 320. In Buddhist art, replication of sacred images and texts is a devotional practice and a way to gain karmic merit.

Look for more videos coming soon featuring other artists from the Ensemble, playing music inspired by the caves.

More to Explore

Ko Umezaki Performs the Shakuhachi in Cave 285 companion video

Sandeep Das Performs Music Inspired by Cave 285 companion video

Cave Temples of Dunhuang: Buddhist Art on China’s Silk Road exhibition information

Silk Road Ensemble Interprets Dunhuang through Spontaneous Live Music Iris article

Silk Road Ensemble musician and instrument profiles

Art, History, and Conservation of the Cave Temples of Dunhuang video

Virtual Tour of Cave 320, Mogao Grottoes

Unlike other members of the Silk Road Ensemble that come from traditions where Buddhism features prominently in their religious and musical traditions… Other members of the ensemble come from places like Japan, India, and China, et cetera. I come from Minnesota, which has not a whole lot to do ...

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