The komuso had in their repertoire pieces for all occasions. There were early morning pieces; pieces to play while walking down the road while practicing mendicancy; pieces performed in the afternoon while "off duty"; pieces of gratitude; pieces for funerals and for the impending birth of a child; pieces for celebrations; and pieces to play at the solemn and sometimes secret (i.e., important and sacred) ceremonies held in the middle of the night. Shin'ya no kyoku (literally Deep Night Piece) communicates the unique atmosphere of such a late night meditation.
There is a classical honkyoku for solo shakuhachi by the same title, which was traditionallyperformed in meditation sessions that took place after midnight. This duet was written by Riley Lee in 1994. He performs both parts in this recording.