This composition is inspired by a childhood memory: growing up in my grand parents’ house in Hong Kong, my grandmother had a daily routine of chanting to a statue of a Laughing Buddha (笑佛). What I recall, the figurine is a fat man with a big smile, dressed in a robe and surrounded by many adoring children. Since he represents contentment and abundance, the Laughing Buddha statue becomes a common sacred household item worshipped by many families in China regardless of their religions and differences.
Using a mixed ensemble of Chinese instruments (dizi, sheng, 2 erhu, pipa, guzheng) with percussion and Western cello, this work is written in loving memory of my grandparents to celebrate human spirit by tracing the character of a “good Buddha”: poor but generous, entertaining and loving.
~ Alice Ho