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The International Shakuhachi Society

Zen Music with Ancient Shakuhachi - Disc 2

Zen Music with Ancient Shakuhachi - Disc 2

"The first recording of its kind, John Singer performs 16 Zen Buddhist pieces using 11 ancient and rare Edo and Meiji period instruments. (Disc 2)"

John Singer
Blue Phoenix Music - JS-07CD
2003

Track Title Kanji Length Shakuhachi Shamisen Koto
1 Choshi (Myoan Shinpo Ryu) 調子 05'54 John Singer

(Introduction) Choshi was originally used at Myoan-ji Temple in Kyoto for ceremonies and memorial services and is valued as a fundamental warm-up exercise. It is said that when playing this piece one searches for inner harmony and repose of the mind.
2 Sagari Ha no Kyoku (Myoan Shinpo Ryu) 下り葉の曲 03'45 John Singer

(Falling Leaves) This piece was originally used at Shinto Festivals. The Honkyoku Sagari Ha developed over the centuries. There is a saying that in falling, a leaf is momentarily floating free from all restraints, headed for re-birth as newly decomposed nutrients for the tree. This way of thinking follows into Zen practice and the discipline of letting go to empty the mind.
3 Reibo Maebuki 02'24 John Singer

(Yearning For The Bell) This is the introductory section for the piece called Reibo.
4 Chôshi (Yamato) 調子 (大和) 02'29 John Singer

(Alternate Introduction)
5 Kokû (Taizan Ha) 虚空 09'02 John Singer

(Empty Sky) Legend has it that Kyochiku, a founding monk of the Myoan-ji temple in Kyoto climbed Asama mountain and spent the night there. In a mystical dream he heard this melody. Koku is one of the three most important Honkyoku along with the pieces Mukai-ji (misty ocean bell) and Kyorei (Empty Bell).
6 Sugagaki 菅垣 04'21 John Singer

This is a rare Gikyoku or “playful” piece. The term Sugagaki originally meant to perform with stringed instruments without voice. The origin of this very melodic piece is unclear, however, it is said that the great 19th century Kinko master Yoshida Iccho arranged and added it into the Kinko repertoire, though it is not one of the original 36 Kinko Honkyoku.
7 Matsukaze (Nezasa Ha) 松風 (根笹) 05'12 John Singer

(Wind Blowing Thru The Pines) There is an interesting story regarding Matsukaze: On a clear moonlit night during the mid-autumn of 1864, at the rear of the Purple Hall of the Kyoto Imperial palace, the resonant sound of a shakuhachi drifted afar and soothed the troubled hearts of the people caught up in the Meiji Restoration and many were deeply moved. The player was Nui Getsuei, a Master of the Nezasa Ha Kinpu Ryu and the piece was “Matsu Kaze”.
8 Kyorei (Taizan Ha) 虚鈴 08'30 John Singer

(Empty Bell) This piece is considered to be the oldest , and contains the fundamental characteristics of all Honkyoku. It represents the sound of a bell rung by the 9th century wandering Chuan Buddhist monk Fuke Zenshi. Legend has it that a monk named Chohaku, inspired by Fuke and his teachings, composed this piece.

The International Shakuhachi Society - 2017