Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sanya for

                 Katsuya Yokoyama
born in Numazu, Shizuoka Prefecture in 1934
                                              died April 21, 2010

In Memoriam
Hosen-ji Temple, 2-33-3 Chuo, Nakano-ku, Tokyo, from 10:30am of Monday, April 26th
All around the world homage will be played through the honkyoku Sanya at 11:00am Tokyo time.
This will be Chicago Central Standard Time 9 PM, April 25 tonight..

Join in the playing of Sanya around the world for this great teacher of shakuhachi.

"The events in our lives grow from the experiences we obtained through our past daily lives--we human beings live through day by day--and the fact that I am talking like this now (1991) is a sort of event, and not knowing what I should say, I sometimes think, "God, I shouldn't have said that".  But someow controlling myself, I manage to continue the discussion.  I used to think it was strange that I didn't have a similar experience in music, in sound, which is my occupation."

""Things turn out the way they will, and if things start to deteriorate, they will deteriorate to the end.  Really good things will survive whatever period may come.  That's what I think.  This is a nihilistic answer, I suppose.  We scarcely have room to present our performances to the public, nor do we have the energy to fight against these adverse circumstances.  I don't know if this has always been the case in the course of history, but now is a time we are exposed to an unprecented flood of sounds.  It will be a good trial to strive to compete under these circumstances with a great variety of music.  And only good things will survive for certain, and even some good things may be lost.  That is the reality.  It is just the same as the way in which good people tend to die earlier.  Good things may be lost at any time; we are living in such an age.  It makes me feel a stronger urge to keep on going, but under these circumstances, things will probably become worse."

preserve the heritage; persevere through sound

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Tengu and All Weather Open Sky Discipline

Tengu, long-nosed protective spirits of the mountains and forests, are sometimes associated with the practice of the shakuhachi, and the ascetic discipline known as shugendō.

Shugenja (修験者), "a person of training and testing", or "a person of shugen", in Japan and throughout the world,  develops spiritual strength and perseverance through challenging and rigorous tests of courage and devotion known as shugyō. Pilgrimages involving mountain treks are embarked upon by shugenja and komuso.

Also, like the tengai-wearing komuso, many modern shugenja maintain the practice of relative anonymity in their daily lives. 

Playing shakuhachi in adverse conditions is encouraged as a form of  shugyō and a way to develop the spirit, the heart, and the mind.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Sound Shakuhachi

"There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature." --Rachel Carson, founder of the contemporary environmental movement (Today is Earth Day)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Komuso Painting

by artist and shakuhachi player Chris Bogert

American Shakuhachi Pioneers

Early 1930's New York; Henry Cowell with shakuhachi, and participants in his course "Music of the World's Peoples" at New School for Social Research.  The man in the lower right may be Cowell's shakuhachi Sensei...

One of Cowell's most famous courses at the New School was "Music of the World's Peoples" which, in combination with concerts of non-Western music, became a model for the propagation of world culture. Believing since childhood that all music was equally valid, he had studied Japanese and Bengali instruments and theory in New York, and in 1931, armed with a Guggenheim Fellowship, eagerly devoured the gigantic recorded collection of non-Western music at the University of Berlin.  Cowell became convinced that composers should be able to regard the world's music as a pool of resources from which they could draw anything from any culture that stimulated them. For the rest of his life he passionately informed anyone who would listen about the glories of our planet's musics.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Two Old Myoan Shakuhachi Cousins

#1 restored by Dan Shinku:

#2 restored by Perry Yung:

Original seller Jeff Cairns photos at: photos 1.9

SOUND sample of old bat flute.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fools Day Art

Shakuhachi sculpture featured at Furnitureland South, High Point, North Carolina; the largest furniture showroom in the world. Priced at $2000.