Jesse Budel

to let go | mindlessness

Emerging from a prompt — a folded piece of paper with the words ‘to let go’ on the outside and ‘mindlessness’ accompanied with a graphic on the inside — the work initially took the form of a sound art work. The prompt’s text resonated with my practice as a student of Tibetan Buddhism, which involves the recitation of sutras and mantras.

Initially, an audio track was developed, involving the recitation of the Heart Sutra (a short but comprehensive teaching articulating the core tenets of Mahayana Buddhist philosophy) alongside the recitation of the mantra ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’. For this, autoconvolution reverb employing the Heart Sutra mantra ‘Tadyatha Om Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha’ was applied to both audio elements, resulting in a complex soundscape of mantra enfolding into mantra.

Subsequently, this track was played directly through the prompt piece of paper by means of a transducer, which resonated the paper at particular frequencies based on its physical properties. In a sense, this action imbued the paper with the significance of the sutra and mantra texts, which aim at the cultivation of altruistic behaviour, amongst them mindfulness. A recording the sound activity of the transducer playback into the paper was made and added as an additional layer to the original audio track.

Finally, a video work was developed to accompany the audio, which comprises negative image of the text from the original prompt.


Accompanying items on display with sound + video link. Not for sale.

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Jesse Budel is a composer-performer, sound artist, curator and arts entrepreneur based in South Australia.

His works are for diverse media and spaces, ranging from acoustic concert instrumentation through to installation works, and have been performed by the Australian String Quartet (AUS), Zephyr Quartet (AUS), Elder Conservatorium Wind Orchestra (SA) and Corvus Ensemble (Alaska, USA).  He has been an artist-in-residence at Adelaide City Library and Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre in Mount Gambier (SA), as well as at Arts Letters and Numbers (Upstate NY, USA).

Jesse recently completed a PhD in Music Composition at Elder Conservatorium of Music, supported by a Research Training Program scholarship (provided by the Australian Government), and receiving a Dean’s Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence. His research focussed on adapting the innovative field of soundscape ecology to compositional process, producing creative works responding South Australian ecosystems and soundscapes.  Previously, he graduated with a Bachelor of Music (Composition) with First Class Honours, studying with Graeme Koehne, David Harris and Charles Bodman Rae, also receiving numerous Director’s Awards for ‘outstanding achievement as a composer and a high level of commitment in the promotion and performance of new music’.

As a emerging member of the Acoustic Ecology and Ecoacoustic communities, Jesse currently serves as the Secretary for both the Australian Forum for Acoustic Ecology and World Forum for Acoustic Ecology.


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