Friday, January 14, 2011
LUNGTA Triptych, (l to r) Manjushri, Avalokiteshvara, and Vajrapani
LUNGTA  -The Windhorse, is a collaboration of art, music, and dance,  premiered to standing room only at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia on March 6th, 2009. The impetus for the collaborative and the imagery for its visual component-the LUNGTA Triptych - springs forth form from that sublime altar of the earth that is the Himalaya—the Abode of the Gods, and from an artistic response to the global impact of accelerating change on its remarkable cultures. It was for purposes of gathering research for this project, that eminent Philadelphia composer, Andrea Clearfield, and I traveled to the remote mountain kingdom of Lo near the Tibetan border in late summer 2008.
What follows is a discussion of the visual imagery; but first, a brief history of the background is in order…
The collaborative’s origins lay in a commission from Linda Reichert, artistic director and founder of Network for New Music, a premiere national group dedicated to the commission and performance of new music. Reichert clearly had a specific synergy in mind; Andrea and I, along with choreographer Manfred Fischbeck, were invited for lunch and presented with her vision for the upcoming NNM 2008-09 season, which would devoted to collaborative explorations between music and the visual arts - appropriately entitled MIX. As the thematic subject of our particular effort was open, my thoughts turned immediately to my recent trek in 2006 to the Himalayan Kingdom of Lo. The catalyst for that journey had been my determination to rediscover and identify a particular landscape first glimpsed many decades ago in my high school library. The location portrayed in that earlier sighting was unidentified, yet as an image of terrible beauty, I had never forgotten it. Prolonged bouts of web-surfing finally yielded results; a photo depicting a virtually identical image was identified as the Kali Gandacki river gorge in Upper Mustang, Nepal. My mystery location finally revealed, I planned a journey about which I’d fantasized for decades. With my husband, Peter Horodowich, I traveled up that gorge beyond the massifs of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna to the kingdom of Lo Monthang in northwest Nepal in the fall of 2006.
Top to Bottom - Kali Gandak, Fortresses of the Raja and Rani and Meditation Caves
Lung-Ta refers both to the concept, and its vernacular form of the prayer flag.