Work

Lung Ta (1992)

Linda Bouchard

string quartet

Commission: Bang on a Can Festival with support from the Meet The Composer/Reader’s Digest Commissioning Program in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund

Program Notes

To the Tibetan people

For Tibetans the horse is the bearer of thoughts. It is often likened to the mind. A Tibetan yogi once called the mind a galloping horse which, wishing to fly like the wind, must be harnessed to be useful.

Tibetans offer up prayers into the unseen spiritual world by means of another sort of wind horse. They call their prayer flag “Lung Ta”. Each woodblock-printed flag carries prayers and invocations to deities and are imbued as well with the prayerful mental offerings of the people who make use of them. Lung Tas are strung up high on hills, from house top or trees. With each flutter in the wind, visible and invisible prayers are thus multiplied and sent off into the void for the benefit of those who made them and for all other beings as well.