International Shakuhachi Society Logo

The International Shakuhachi Society

Musiques de l'Asie Traditionnelle Vol 20 Japon - The Shakuhachi of Reibo Aoki

Musiques de l'Asie Traditionnelle Vol 20 Japon - The Shakuhachi of Reibo Aoki

Aoki Reibo II
Playasound - PS 33526

Track Title Kanji Length Shakuhachi Shamisen Koto
1   Shika no Tône (Kinko Ryû) 鹿の遠音 11'08 Aoki Reibo II

It is told that this tune was composed by Kinko Kurosawa II around the eighteenth century.

Two shakuhachis are alternately played in a way called "Yobikaeshi". The process of the two gradually coming closer is dramatically expressed. The theme and motive come from the cry of male and female deer in deep mountains and dark valleys. It is not just a program music. It is a pure instrumental absolute music, a song of a man's heart. I wonder what the people thought and felt of echoes of deer cries in the deep mountains when they played this tune. More than two hundred years have past since this tune was made. We living in the concrete jungle today do not play this tune merely by admiration for nature and nostalgia. My wish is to play this song contemplating reality and my own way of living. I would like to convey the feeling of a living being to this song and thoroughly sing out. (played with an Itshaku-hassun-kan: shakuhachi of about 55 cm).
2   Meikyo 明鏡 12'49 Aoki Reibo II Nishigata Akiko
Composed by Seiho Kineya in 1975. It was first performed on 7th October, 1975 at Tokyo Iino Hall, at the original concert for the new compositions of Seiho Kineya. It was then played by Seiho Kineya's sangen (a.k.a., shamisen, a three-string instrument) and Reibo Aoki's shakuhachi.

The comments by the composer on the published sheet music say as follows: "It is long since shakuhachi has taken the place of kokyu (a Chinese fiddle) as one of the "Sankyoku" (the trio of instruments with koto and shamisen). And now, the ensemble of shakuhachi with "Sokyoku" (koto music) type of instruments and players is thought to be the most natural and the most easy to be fused. I think quite exactly so, but when we consider how a shakuhachi is played in shakuhachi honkyoku, shuchu and Kinko-ryu styled play, the timing and breath are quite similar to that of shamisen music including "Nagauta" (Japanese long epic song) and there we can perceive the possibility of a new combination. MEIKYO was composed in order to provide material to test this thought of the composer. It starts from a slow part, moves to a light moving part, then moves to a part of alternate exchange of rather long phrases. The it moves to a very fast part and ends with a slow part that is different from the starting part."

(plated with an Itshaku-kyusun-kan: shakuhachi of about 58 cm).
3   Ôshû Sashi 奥州薩字 08'08 Aoki Reibo II

Each of well-known "Komuso" (mendicant Zen priest of Fuke sect who plays a shakuhachi) had a characteristic and improvisational tune to play when he went about asking for alms. The tunes played in religious mendicancy was commonly called "Sashi".

Ohsyu-sashi was a tune that was played by Master Masanosuke Jinbo (1841-1914) who lived in the rural district of Fukushima prefecture and was commonly called JINBO SANYA. It was then transmitted to the komuso-dera (temple) Itcho-ken in Hakata city in the island of Kyushu.

To some people, this tune is better known as OSYU SANYA or OSYU REIBO. The tune has a typical form of traditional shakuhachi tunes with parts called "Shirabe", "Honte", "Takane" and "Hachigaeshi". The characteristic of shakuhachi music is lively displayed in this short tune.

(played with a Itshaku-kyusun-kan).
4   Kyôsôteki Nijûsô 協奏的二重奏 07'50 Aoki Reibo II
Fukunaga Chieko
Composed in August, 1969. Originally performed on 14th November, 1969 at Tokyo Dai-ichi Seimei Hall at Shizuo (now Reibo) Aoki's solo concert by Shizuo Reibo's shakuhachi and Tadao Sawai's koto.

This tune was composed without being too sensible of the traditional side of the instruments shakuhachi and koto. It is composed with the free use of the twelve-tone technique.

This tune has a song, a poem and a novel. It has charm and tenderness, elasticity and toughness. It is a drama of eight minutes. An epitome of life. It is also a tune that has first clearly shown double stopping by shakuhachi.

(played with an Itshaku-hassun-kan).
5   Midare Rinzetsu 08'28 Aoki Reibo II
Kamijo Taeko
(Shakuhachi part arranged by Reibo Aoki) Shakuhachi Kaede (accompanying melody) by Reibo Aoki

Koto Honte (main melody) by Taeko Kamijo

Kengyo Yatsuhashi (1614-1685) pursued the spontaneousness and independence of sokyoku (koto music) and composed "Dan-mono" (musical piece in several steps) of six dan (steps) and eight dan (steps). MIDARE is mostly considered as the composition of Kengyo Yatsuhashi. It is developed from RINZETSU of Chikushi Koto. But it should be considered that it was greatly arranged by Yatsuhashi. There is another theory that say further arrangement was added by the top pupil of Yatsuhashi, Kengyo Kitajima.

While other dan-mono has the equal beats of 52 for each don, the number of beats in each dan of this tune is irregular, and the change of tempo is more free and varied, where the name MIDARE (disorder) comes from. Shakuhachi Kaede was arranged by Aoki for this recording in January, 1982.

Played with an Itshaku-hassun-kan).

The International Shakuhachi Society - 2018