2019 09 06

Heavy Requiem – Buddhist Chant Shomyo + Electronics, world premiere in Ars Electronica 2019


St. Florian Monastery, Basilika, Austria
Ars Electronica, “AI x Music”
2019/9/7  20:00 START


Heavy Requiem is a new collaboration that combines a Shomyo (traditional Buddhist chant) by Eizen Fujiwara, a buddhist monk and musician of Nanzanryu Shyomyo from Koya mountain, and electronic music by Keiichiro Shibuya. In 2019, there was a world premiere in the world famous media art festival called Ars Electronica, as a main act of the event “AI x Music” at St. Florian Monastery, Basilika, Austria.



Unlike western and serene requiems, it is an experimental work that explores the potential of a festive and sensational requiem that combines the deep bass, rhythm, and beats created by electronic music. It is composed of songs that image the six majors added “consciousness” to the five natural worlds like “earth, fire, water, wood/air, and universe”. Mr. Fujiwara selects and recites the songs of Shomyo based on these six images.


This novel requiem which doesn’t use either Western scales or chords intentionally creates the equilibrium and harmony that has never been heard before, through making the electronic sound and Shomyo exists independently.


The concept of a dubmix of the loud Buddhist music performed in a huge western-style church has been created by Shibuya for two years, and has finally been realized with an offer from Ars Electronica.


The video is created by Justine Emard, a French video artist who has announced numerous collaborations with Shibuya in years. After the 3D scanning of Koya mountain’s building, Buddha statues, etc., extremely abstracted 3D images are merged into the music on the stage.


Heavy Requiem, performance, 2019, Keiichiro Shibuya, Justine Emard, Eizen Fujiwara
© Justine Emard / Adagp 2019