Meditation on sounds in Bach’s music and the Heart Sutra
Mathias Woo Theatre Tech Installation Bach is Heart Sutra innovate classics with theatre technology, bringing the audience into a mirrored space to experience the hymn of The Heart of The Prajna-Paramita Sutra and the music of Bach’s Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello. Through handwritten sutra, experience the peace of mindfulness through the wisdom from the Heart Sutra with the audio-visual design of Bach is Heart Sutra; to feel a unique space where the audience could interact with oneself. Bach’s Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello merging with the technology of Soundscape and the Heart Sutra – with the profound Prajna-Paramita wisdom and Bach’s pure music, to see and illuminate to the emptiness in all matters. Each session is limited to four audiences to immerse in an “emptied” mirrored phantom. Construct a spiritual universe with music, projection, and space, create a gentle sensory fiesta, and transmit the healing power of the theatre.
Handwritten sutras in Sound, Form and Emptiness
In ancient times sutras (scriptures) were copied out by hand for posterity. Writing Buddhist sutras by hand can bring the mind and body together, and open the door for contemplation on the wisdom of the sutras. Calligraphy, a traditional art form of Chinese culture, is regarded as highly instrumental in nurturing one’s virtues and personality. In modern times when computer keyboards have replaced the need for handwriting, people have lost this skill and are unable to produce neat and legible texts by hand. In Bach is Heart Sutra, a special session is held to give participants the opportunity to write out a sutra by hand as a mind-purifying practice to help the mind and body abide in a restful state. Beyond just training one’s ability to concentrate, the handwriting act itself produces the same effect as a Buddhist sitting meditation. During the handwriting process, one is absorbed in reading the text, reflecting and meditating on the main points in synchronicity – thus not only practising one’s handwriting, but also enabling one to be enriched by the Buddhist teachings, and acquiring wisdom.
Z Innovation Lab
“Z Innovation Lab 2019” garnered the Red Dot Award in 2020. Curated and designed by Mathias Woo, Z Innovation Lab 2020 is a performing arts project that focuses on the integration of technology and creativity. The theatre serves as a stage and technology laboratory that experiments stage technologies with artists and technical specialists all over the world, to inspire creativity in the theatre industry and expands the possibilities of theatrical performance. We establish a platform for knowledge and ideas exchange, a platform to demonstrate stage technology exploration and showcase various technical configurations and applications, developing a new arts festival paradigm of “Technology + Innovation”.
“Z Innovation Lab 2020”, utilizes the server based control system, soundscape system, tracking, and other stage technologies to create an installation of sound and space that experiments with the chanting of Heart Sutra and cello music, and the sounds of technology and humans. The work collects materials on-site in real-time for visual and audio designs, creating an interactive feast for the eyes and ears of audiences.
Performer (recording): David Yeung
Music Editing: Yu Yat Yiu, Matt Hui
Sound Designer: Can. Ha
Lighting Designer: Adonic Lo
Video Production: Wing Chan
Graphic Design: Rachel Chak
Production Manager: Carmen Cheng
Technical Manager: Chow Chun Yin
Rehearsal Master: Charmaine Cheng
Stage Manager: Megan Hung
Deputy Stage Manager: Zeta Chan
Disguise System Operation: Johnny Sze
Assistant Stage Manager: Onki Chan
Stage Crew: Chan Chun Yin, Chim Man Lung, Tse Man Kuen
Backstage Interns: Chan Chi Kin, Chan Mei Yin, Wong Lai Man, Wong Long Yin, Yan Tsz Kwan
Company Manager (Administration and Finance): Jacky Chan
Company Manager (Programme): Doris Kan
International Exchange Director: Wong Yue Wai
Assistant Artistic Director: Cedric Chan
Senior Researcher: Theresa Leung
Senior Programme Manager: Bowie Chow
Public Relations Manager: Luka Wong
Programme Manager: Ho Yin Hei
Assistant Programme Manager: Ricky Cheng
Programme and Art Administration Trainee: Stephy Yeung