Composed by the talented Jing Xian, “Grand Descent of the Deities” offers a sonic journey that bridges the celestial and terrestrial realms, reminiscent of the epics from ancient Chinese cosmology. In this tradition, the heavens and Earth are vast expanses—distinct yet interconnected at pivotal moments.
A Portal to Ethereal Realms
From the very beginning, the unmistakable sound of the gong envelops listeners in its rich, metallic bronze timbre. This brilliant sound, reminiscent of golden splendor, hues so central to Buddhism and emblematic of the heavenly world, establishes an ethereal realm. It serves as the portal, inviting listeners into a world where fairies dance gracefully while Buddhas silently observe the cosmic spectacle unfolding.
The Creator’s Call
The ethereal strains of strings and harp at [1:02] conjure the majestic appearance of the Creator. The music softly weaves an atmosphere of compassionate divinity, with a solemnity reminiscent of the profound words of the Dharma echoing throughout the symphony.
By [1:17], the drum and gong signal a pivotal juncture in this celestial narrative. Divine beings, responding to the Creator’s call, make the monumental decision to descend to Earth to rectify the Fa. Their commitment is captured in the resolute crescendo of brass, signaling not just a momentous event but a proud and challenging mission.
Journey Through Cosmic Realms
Around [1:35], a unique sensation captures the listener. The composition transcends temporal boundaries, guiding listeners back to the primordial formation of life—a moment when time folds onto itself, and history is but a mere ripple in the vast ocean of existence. It evokes deep nostalgia and awe, making one feel as if they’re taking part in this historical descent, witnessing the divine interplay of cosmic realms.
At [1:57], the dainty sounds of flutes, piccolos, and oboes conjure visions of sparkling galaxies. Supported by the commanding might of trumpets and trombones, this cosmic energy propels through the universe, journeying across galaxies and planets, accelerating towards Earth. By the time the strings surge in urgency, a transformation has occurred: divine beings have taken human form, reincarnating on this terrestrial plane.
Civilizations Rise and Flourish
Building upon this theme, at [2:26], the orchestra’s brass lays foundational tones as they lay the creation’s onset. The strings then continue the glorious process, echoing the ebb and flow of civilizations. Leading to [2:46], where the rich tapestry of human culture and moral elevation unfolds.
Immersed in Ancient Chinese Splendor
As we move to [3:59], the orchestra immerses us in an ancient Chinese ambiance. The distinct harmonies of pipas and erhus, traditional Chinese instruments, meld seamlessly with the soft undertones of woodwinds and strings. Vivid images emerge: graceful ladies adorned in traditional attire dance to the court’s opulent tunes, painting a scene from an era teeming with cultural richness, divine grace, and sophistication.
As the symphony progresses, a shift in tone occurs. By [4:31], the gentle melodies give way to a powerful rhythm brought forth by the percussion and brass. This transition evokes images of dignified mandarins. The symphony illustrates the revered journey of divine beings reincarnated as humans, serving a king, who is the Buddha reincarnate. Together, they weave the grand tapestry of human history, infusing peace, prosperity, and heavenly values into every dynasty they touch.
In essence, “Grand Descent of the Deities” makes me contemplate the nature of existence, the interplay between the cosmic and the mundane, and the timeless dance of destiny. I find myself grateful—for the experience, the emotions it evoked, and the introspective journey it spurred. I am left with a profound sense of connection—a link to the ancient, the divine, and, most importantly, to the core of my being.
For those eager to immerse themselves in the world of Shen Yun, their compositions, including this gem, can be streamed online via Shen Yun Creations (Shen Yun Zuo Pin).
This post is also available in: Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)