New Rituals //

Album label: 
Release date: 
Recording location: 
Rainbow Studio, Oslo
Recording date: 
Sunday, May 21, 2017
Thanks to all the people over at RZS with a special thanks to Koun, Peter, Aris, Petter, Leni and Kreg with an additional thanks to the latter for editing the liner notes. A big thanks to Mikkel Cappelen Smith for enduring, partaking and creating. Thanks to Sarah Isakson for proofreading. An endless thank you to the musicians: Agnes, Adrian, Ayumi, Andreas – the fantastic four! Also a big thanks to: Björn Larsson, nyMusikk Oslo, Koshin, family, friends and loved ones. Lastly a big thank you to Norsk komponistforening for invaluable financial support.
Cover design and photos: 
Mikkel Cappelen Smith
Mix/Master and Recording engineer: 
Peer Espen Ursfjord
  • 1. pt. 1 - Lotus Sutra (16:50)
  • 2. pt. 1 - Heart Sutra (02:38)
  • 3. pt. 1 - Dharani for Preventing Disasters (01:37)
  • 4. pt. 1 - Shakyamuni Eko (01:02)
  • 5. pt. 1 - Dharani for the Great Compassionate One (02:50)
  • 6. pt. 1 - Patriarch Eko (01:24)
  • 7. pt. 1 - Dharani for the Hungry Ghosts (03:11)
  • 8. pt. 1 - Hungry Ghost Eko (00:54)
  • 9. pt. 1 - The Final Instructions of Master Kōzen Daitō (02:13)
  • 10. pt. 1 - The Four Great Vows (04:38)
  • 11. pt. 2 - Lotus Sutra (14:29)
  • 12. pt. 2 - Heart Sutra (02:40)
  • 13. pt. 2 - Dharani for Preventing Disasters (02:24)
  • 14. pt. 2 - Shakyamuni Eko (01:17)
  • 15. pt. 2 - Dharani for the Great Compassionate One (03:13)
  • 16. pt. 2 - Patriarch Eko (00:50)
  • 17. pt. 2 - Dharani for the Hungry Ghosts (03:30)
  • 18. pt. 2 - Hungry Ghost Eko (00:41)
  • 19. pt. 2 - The Final Instructions of Master Kōzen Daitō (02:02)
  • 20. pt. 2 - The Four Great Vows (05:06)
  • 21. pt. 3 - Lotus Sutra (16:15)
  • 22. pt. 3 - Heart Sutra (02:42)
  • 23. pt. 3 - Dharani for Preventing Disasters (02:41)
  • 24. pt. 3 - Shakyamuni Eko (01:13)
  • 25. pt. 3 - Dharani for the Great Compassionate One (02:32)
  • 26. pt. 3 - Patriarch Eko (01:30)
  • 27. pt. 3 - Dharani for the Hungry Ghosts (03:56)
  • 28. pt. 3 - Hungry Ghost Eko (01:07)
  • 29. pt. 3 - The Final Instructions of Master Kōzen Daitō (01:57)
  • 30. pt. 3 - The Four Great Vows (04:16)

Agnes Hvizdalek - voice
Adrian Løseth Waade - violin
Ayumi Tanaka - piano
Andreas Wildhagen - drums
Christian Meaas Svendsen - bass and compositions
Rinzai zen-senter Oslo - chanting

New Rituals is a piece of music in three 40 minutes long parts. Part 1 is written and performed by Nakama and a Zen Buddhist chanting choir from Rinzai Zen Center Oslo. Part 2 is played by Nakama alone whereas the third part is played by Christian Meaas Svendsen on solo bass and voice. All music is composed by Christian Meaas Svendsen

The three parts are built on the same material: 10 Zen Buddhist sutras. The recording is investigating the part of Zen Buddhist philosophy which states that no thing exists as a separate self; everything is inseparable from everything else and always in flux. All things are empty of «self», even though humans like to put words on and define things – even music, which in its essence is ephemeral. «Emptiness» means potential. The three parts are simply three potential outcomes out of an infinite array of possibilities. Form on the other hand clarifies the content, gives it substance – just like a picture needs a frame in order to define itself. New Rituals explores the necessity of form as a means to achieve freedom, both as a performer and a composer. Not freedom to choose, but freedom from choosing.Thus New Rituals is exploring the relation between form and freedom, between modern Western music and traditional Eastern culture, and between written and open musical material.

The music is released as a triple disc, with each part on its own LP/CD record. The release comes in 300x of the LP edition with an additional 200x of the CD edition (The LP edition entails within it the CD edition, which itself can be bought separate.) The packaging of the LP edition is a visual manifestation of how separate parts come together to create a new whole and has been specially designed on exclusive green pop art paper by Mikkel Cappelen Smith, 3D-designer Jørgen Håland and with good help from the manufacturer Fladby AS.

Form does not differ from emptiness, emptiness does not differ from form.
That which is form is emptiness, that which is emptiness form.
The same is true of feelings, perceptions, impulses, consciousness

Therefore, in emptiness no form, no feelings,
perceptions, impulses, consciousness.
No eyes, no ears, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind;
no color, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch, no object of mind;
no realm of eyes and so forth until no realm of mind consciousness.
No ignorance and also no extinction of it,
and so forth until no old age and death and also no extinction of them.
also no attainment with nothing to attain.
– Excerpt from the Heart Sutra