Sunday, December 16, 2012

Saturday, November 24, 2012

the sound of silence

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What we must pay utmost attention to is how to produce a variety of timbre from one note.  What is most important is timbre.  And this I think separates shakuhachi from other music.  It is all about timbre, basically.  -- Shozan Tanabe
Shozan Tanabe playing in the House of Torin (Torin-in) circa 2000 A.D.

From the DVD "The Sound of Silence", Shozan Tanabe performs at the House of Torin the music Otonai (sounds of tones) composed by Shozan Tanabe, Kogarashi (tune for shakuhachi Tozan school), Tranquility of the Great One of Truth--Sounds from the Universe, composed by Naoki Nishimura, which according to the composer includes the meaning of universe and the sound of heart, and At Times of Quiet composed by Joji Sawada.
Recording Engineers Yasuhiro Nishumura and Kazuta Ishiura.  Recording by Sounds U.  Audio mixer Hiroshi Kasai.  Produced by KBS Kyoto 2000.
Great nuanced recording of shakuhachi tones on this production.

envelope spectrum flowers

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Shakuhachi LIFE

Photos by Margaret Bourke-White 1952

Autumn Waterfall Window

An autumn evening;
The hole in the paper-sliding door
Is playing the flute.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Morimasa Horiuchi plays at Anderson Japanese Gardens on a Beautiful Autumn Day

Bunjinzo--Ancient Scholar:
 carved between 1400-1500 A.D. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Gift from Shinnyo-ji Temple

My teacher Morimasa Horiuchi Sensei in the mid-1960s used to play shakuhachi with his Sensei Tominomori Kyozan and on occasion an old shaven-headed monk, the head priest of Shinnyo-ji Temple, who made his own bamboo flutes and other works of art.

When the old monk heard that Mori-san was moving to America,  he generously presented my teacher with a going-away gift, his  shakuhachi made by the Shin-ryu that was stamped with the kanji Shin, or Truth.

The old monk also gave Mori-san his ink brush drawing of Daruma, or Bodhidharma, the Indian monk who transmitted Zen to China in the sixth century and began the first physical training of the Shaolin monks.
The jinashi bamboo nodes remain in the instrument bore refinements.

A meticulous method of tuning the flute for tone and pitch, slowly and minutely shaving tiny bits of bamboo out of the bore.

Nearly 50 years later, the monk/artist with the generous and kind spirit is still fondly remembered.