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The International Shakuhachi Society

Sangai Rinten

三界輪転

This is a piece of genre Modern. This piece was composed for Shakuhachi by the person Yokoyama Katsuya in 1980.

Sangai Rinten appears on the following albums

AlbumShakuhachiKotoShamisen
Sangai Rinten - 1 Yokoyama Katsuya

    Composed in 1980, the title of the composition is literally "three-worlds rotation." Sangai is a Buddhist term referring to the three worlds in the transmigration of the soul, but it also has the meaning of the past, present and future, as well as that of the wide-world or universe. Here it is intended to symbolize the desire to fly and play in a huge space.

    The chanting at the beginning and end of the piece is of a part of a Zen chant written by the Zen priest, Hakuin. It is chanted by Kinshi TSURUTA accompanying herself on the biwa with a background of the intoning of OM which gradually changes to the "OM" of the shakuhachi. The rhythmical. and melodic section which follows with seven shakuhachi mixes the feeling of a repeating Buddhist chant with the frolicking of a children's game song as each performer plays his own improvised pattern. The koto solo which follows is by Yokoyama using a striking technique with rubber-tipped drumsticks which he himself devised. Next, there is a shakuhachi-biwa improvisational duet followed by the last part of the Zen chant.


The International Shakuhachi Society - 2018