International Shakuhachi Society Logo

The International Shakuhachi Society

Shakuhachi Bell

Shakuhachi Bell

"A performance of four Kinko Ryu Zen Buddhist pieces by John Singer combined with the Tibetan bells of Karma Moffett. The first piece Hifumi Hachigaeshi No Shirabe is a combination of two pieces, Hifumi No Shirabe (Introduction) and Hachigaeshi (Returning of the Bowl). The next two pieces Koku Reibo (A Bell Ringing in The Empty Sky) and Mukaiji Reibo (Misty Ocean Bell) are two of the most difficult and highly regarded of the Kinko Ryu Honkyoku pieces. And the fourth piece Yugure No Kyoku (Twilight Bell) is considered to be one of the most beautiful."

John Singer
Blue Phoenix Music. - JS-02
1991

Track Title Kanji Length Shakuhachi Shamisen Koto
1 Hi Fu Mi Hachigaeshi no Shirabe (Kinko Ryu) 一二三鉢返の調 12'36 John Singer

This piece, consisting of two pieces, Hifumi No Shirabe and Hachigaeshi can also be called Hifumi Hachigaeshi. The term Shirabe means to check the sounds and move the performer into the proper frame of mind before performing other Honkyoku pieces. Hachigaeshi means to give thanks for alms received (literally meaning returning the bowl).
2 Kokû Reibo 虚空鈴慕 13'15 John Singer

Koku Reibo, one of the most highly regarded Zen pieces, is also one of the most technically demanding. This Honkyoku was performed at ceremonial events where the Shakuhachi took the place of sutra chanting and was used in Blowing Zen, an aesthetic practice in every Fuke Sect temple.
3 Mukaiji Reibo 霧海箎鈴慕 13'47 John Singer

It is said that this piece, along with Koku Reibo, came to the priest Kochiku in a dream during a temple visit at the foot of Kishu Asakuma mountain. In his dream, he heard these two haunting melodies while gazing at the moon from a boat. As soon as he awoke, he tried to play this strange music with his Shakuhachi. He later returned to his teacher Kakushin (founder of the Fuke Sect) to report on these events. These two pieces later came to be among the most important and highly ranked of all the Honkyoku.
4 Yugure no Kyoku 夕暮の曲 14'18 John Singer

This title means the tune of evening or Twilight Bell. It is said that this piece was composed from musical impressions of the evening bell of Chi-On-In, a famous temple in Kyoto. There are numerous sections which suggest the sounds of the temple bell. This piece is one of the rare poetic Honkyoku pieces having a melody which is very emotional in nature.

The International Shakuhachi Society - 2017