Mandala: The Beauty of Impermanence

I heard from Larry Beckwith, who is Artistic Producer of Confluence Concerts, that they’re offering something titled Mandala: The Beauty of Impermanence:

“Premiering Online
January 27, 2021
6:30 pm Pre-Concert Chat:
Make a Mandala
6:50 pm Concert
Available until
February 10, 2021 on
Confluence Concerts’
YouTube Channel

Mandala is a word, rich with associations in different cultures.

Erika designed a birthday card awhile ago that included a mandala.

Erika Barcza’s original design for a birthday card for a friend.

I recall the Buddha statues in Afghanistan, destroyed by the Taliban. I couldn’t help thinking that if we could ask the Buddha about it we might be told something like “don’t worry, this too is what it is”, because of course, whether we speak of a small circle of coloured sand erased by the sweep of your hand, or a huge statue exploded by dynamite: the lessons are the same.

Lately concerts or performances have often been postponed or cancelled due to the coronavirus. Businesses have gone under, and of course, many lives have been cut short.

If we are very precise in our language, we think of the mandala as a shape, a design, a symbol. But we may recall that a mandala is a kind of model for the world and life. The shape becomes a mirror or even a portal through which we look as we meditate, helping us to shed our immediate concerns (what’s for dinner? Did I pay that bill?) to peer deeper at what’s right in front of us.

There’s a bit more in the message from Confluence, from Suba Sankaran

Welcome to Mandala: The Beauty of Impermanence. Mandala is a universal symbol meaning “circle” in Sanskrit. It is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism, representing the universe. The circular designs symbolize the idea that life is never-ending and everything is connected. In this concert, and in every song and poem, you will experience a mandala within the music itself, whether sacred or secular, be it as a singing round, a ground bass, an ostinato pattern, a recurring rhythmic cycle, or within the lyrical or poetic context.

From ancient to modern, spanning several centuries and styles, the repertoire ranges from Hildegard von Bingen to Joni Mitchell, Schubert to Steve Reich, and Monteverdi to Sting. You will hear music from India, the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Europe and Iran, original compositions and arrangements, and Sufi poetry as well.

I’m excited and humbled to have an embarrassment of riches with the artists participating in this show, and I want to thank them for the many gifts they brought forth. These artists include Confluence Concerts’ artistic producer Larry Beckwith and artistic associates Andrew Downing and Marion Newman, as well as Gordon Gerrard, Bijan Sepanji, Sheniz Janmohamed, my husband, Dylan Bell, my father, master drummer Trichy Sankaran, and my dear friend and bandmate Ed Hanley, who makes a cameo appearance playing a singing bowl, in addition to having captured and edited most of the video for this show.

During the pre-concert chat, Sheniz’s voice will guide the audience through a nature mandala creation. Don’t forget to take a photo of your creation before you “disappear it”! Send a copy of the photo to We hope to create a community collage of your spontaneous inventions! A MESSAGE FROM SUBA SANKARAN This is a reminder that these beautiful mandala creations are in-the-moment and then disassembled, giving one the sense that nothing lasts, and so we must enjoy the experience in the now. That is the hope of this concert, Mandala: The Beauty of Impermanence. Experience and enjoy this musical journey and audio-visual feast as fully as you can, as it happens, and gracefully let it go as it naturally comes to an end.

Thank you for joining us, and enjoy the show!

This entry was posted in Art, Architecture & Design, Personal ruminations & essays, Press Releases and Announcements, Psychology and perception, Spirituality & Religion and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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