Playing at the private viewing of the new exhibition on Buddhism at British Library (24.10.19)

I was invited to open the private viewing of the wonderful exhibition on Buddhism at the British Library with a very short performance. It was a great honour to play, and it was also very interesting to be part of the soundscape of this viewing which included monks and nuns from Thailand. The opening included speeches by Dame Carol Black, who is the Chair of the British Library and Lama Jampa Thaye from Sakya Dechen Ling Buddhist Centre, who is also a scholar. I was introduced to and sitting besides those people with my tengai on before my performance and during the speeches. When I began playing the first notes of Honte no Shirabe drew everybody’s attention and the atmosphere changed to a soft but very attentive space. I was only given 1 1/2 minute so I couldn’t even finish Honte no Shirabe. The atmosphere was very pleasant so it was hard to force myself to stop. I enjoyed it so much.
It was furthermore interesting to explore the anonymity of the fact of wearing tengai. Normally when I have performed there will be people coming up and commenting or at least look with acknowledgement towards me. After changing nobody recognised me as the player. That was very interesting to feel. I managed to enjoy my anonymity.

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