Four Songs on Buddhist Texts

for Soprano and Piano

Composed by Robert Kelley November 1999 - January 2000
This work explores four authentic pentatonic scales as well as Buddhist philosophy


I. from the Vishuddimagga

Suffering alone exists, but none who suffer;
The deed there is, but no doer thereof;
Enlightenment is, but no one seeks it;
The path is there, but no one travels it.


II. Vocalise


III. The Next-to-last Poem (Issa)

Man's body moves
from that first washing to the lastó
the interim
mere gibberish


IV. by Sariputta

Not fain am I to die nor yet to live.
I shall lay down this mortal frame anon
With mind alert, with consciousness controlled.

With thought of death I dally not, nor yet
Delight in living. I wait the hour
Like any hireling who hath done his task.


Approximate duration: 6 minutes

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