NYC: s.p., 1976
27.5 x 20.5cm, 2pp vintage performance score and instructions. Xerox as issued.
‘The ‘1st Milarepa Gatha’ is the most recently completed of a series of performance pieces that I have composed from time to time since 1961. I adopted the term ‘gatha’ for these pieces on analogy with its use for short poems composed by Zen Buddhist masters (it also designates a class of Avestan hymns). In each ‘gatha’ repetitions of a mantram–a saying or prayer repeated for meditative purposes–are drawn on quadrille graph paper, the placement of the letters of its English transliteration being largely determined by chance operations. In this gatha the mantram specifically associated with the Tibetan Buddhist master Milarepa (AD 1052-1135)–‘Je Mila Zhadpa Dorje La Solwa Debso’ is lettered vertically down each column. The choice of placements that fit on the quadrille paper was the only limit on chance. ‘A gatha may be performed by one person or any number of people. Each one starts at any square & ‘moves’ to any one of the 8 squares adjacent to its sides’ corners. One may say names of letters, any sounds the letters stand for in any language, syllables formed by letters adjacent in any direction, words or word like letter series so formed, word series, or the whole mantram, which may be repeated ad lib. any number of times at any point. ‘Each performer must listen intently to all sounds produced by other performers, audience, or environment, & to modify one’s performance accordingly. ‘Listen’ and ‘Relate’ are the most important ‘rules.”
This example is additionally inscribed, signed and dated on verso by Mac Low ‘With the very best to Mike Gibbs Jackson Mac Low 7/9/77, NY’. Gibbs is the well known poet and publisher from Amsterdam. Very good condition. Scarce.
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