‘Tea Notes’

Slowing down the passage of time and relaxing your mind.

Tea Notes cassette1


呷著讓人放慢放輕、心裡放鬆的茶,讀到研究茶文化的《Journal du Thé》寫到:「使茶壺成為茶壺的,是裡面的空間。」如果將這句話套用在生活裡面,感覺也不會錯。

《Journal du Thé》的編輯團隊邀請了兩位藝術家Jatinder Singh Durhailay和David Edren,一同錄製一張卡帶,分別以六種茶來命名與創作的六首曲目。除了較常喝到的烏龍、錫蘭、普洱、新茶,也有在印度被視為神聖香草的聖羅勒茶(Tulsi)。還有一種名叫Kava,卡瓦茶,是以卡瓦胡椒的根部提煉而成,在南太平洋一帶常被用在儀式與典禮上,有解壓寧神作用。據說喝完後,人的說話與行動力會變緩慢,並散發出恬靜渾融的氣息。

這時聽著卡帶裡傳來某種陌生的、幽幽而悠揚的樂聲,那是來自印度的弦樂器孔雀琴(Taus)。Taus的來歷也有趣,是十六世紀時,由錫克教精神領袖Guru Hargobind發明。聞說有天他聽到孔雀唱歌而忽發奇想,後來製作出這種模擬孔雀歌聲的樂器。


Recently, I have seen a movie about Japanese tea ceremony. It touches upon the idea of believing in our own pair of hands rather than using our brain, and through accustoming ourselves to the practice, our body will remember, leading to the unification of our mind and spirit. Every principle probably deserves to be understood for a reason. Whether we are learning about tea in an earnest manner, or are just casually making tea as a hobby, in the course of time, it will be nurtured into a taste of life.

While enjoying a cup of tea that slows down the passage of time and relaxes the mind, I came upon a passage in Journal du Thé, which goes, “It is said, that what makes a teapot a teapot is the empty space inside.”. It seems quite appropriate to apply this to our daily life too.

The editorial team of Journal du Thé has invited two artists Jatinder Singh Durhailay and David Edren, to collaborate in recording a tape which contains six songs based on and named after six different types of tea. Apart from Oolong, Ceylon, Pu-Ehr and Shincha, it also includes Tulsi, which is considered a sacred plant in India. There is also Kava tea, which is extracted from the root of a pepper plant called Kava. It is often used in ceremonies in the South Pacific Ocean area and for relieving stress and calming the mind. It is said that people who have drunk it will speak and move more slowly, and radiate a air of serenity.

From the tape, an unfamiliar yet serene music travels through the air, into my ears. It actually comes from Taus, a kind of string instrument from India. The origin of Taus is also intriguing, being invented by Guru Hargobind of the Sikh religion in the 16th century. The story goes that one day he heard peacocks’ singing and later came up with the idea to invent this instrument that modeled on their singing voice.

Even though I have never tasted this type of tea before, I cannot stop imagining as the music plays in the background, as if being taken to somewhere far away, with all my worries swept away.