Breath of the Compassionate

Gamelan and video projection

Duration: 9 min.

Breath of the Compassionate, for gamelan playing in synchronization with video projection, is named for a type of pattern in Islamic geometric abstract art in which adjacent tiles alternately expand and contract into one another. This sense of visual inhalation and exhalation is known as the “breath of the compassionate” (al-nafas al-rahmânî) after the teachings of Ibn al‘Arabi, who named this universal principle of creation, joining the elements of fire, air, water, and earth. The piece can also be screened in a version without the live gamelan accompaniment.