ct 21(27): e4

Research Article

Evoking the Mythic: Hearing the Sound of Sukhāvatī

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  • @ARTICLE{10.4108/eai.31-3-2021.169171,
        author={M.D.F. Evans and S. Hall and J. Dooley},
        title={Evoking the Mythic: Hearing the Sound of Sukhāvatī},
        journal={EAI Endorsed Transactions on Creative Technologies},
        keywords={Interactive audiovisual composition, image and sound interaction, transcoding},
  • M.D.F. Evans
    S. Hall
    J. Dooley
    Year: 2021
    Evoking the Mythic: Hearing the Sound of Sukhāvatī
    DOI: 10.4108/eai.31-3-2021.169171
M.D.F. Evans1,*, S. Hall1, J. Dooley2
  • 1: Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, 200 Jennens Rd, Birmingham, B4 7XR
  • 2: The Open University, Walton Hall, Kents Hill, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA
*Contact email: matthew.evans2@bcu.ac.uk


Buddhism has a rich visual history of ancient paintings and sculpture used to evoke spiritual and archetypal concepts. One of the key figures in Mahayana Buddhism is the celestial Buddha Amitabha, also known as the Buddha of Infinite Light. Several Buddhist texts describe the “Sukhāvatī” the land that that Amitabha inhabits. The texts not only describe the physical characteristics of this environment but also the soundscape. This paper discusses the process of transcoding an image of Amitabha into sound to create an interactive sonic environment. This process explores how choosing sounds based upon the literary description, can be a way of creating a link between an image and the literary counterpart.