We've updated our Terms of Use. You can review the changes here.

Wood Prophecy

by The Wood Prophets

supported by
Eden thumbnail
Eden Quite simply one of the deepest and most enjoyable recorded musical experience I've ever had.

The last time I had such a strong reaction to something I listened to was when I discovered the legendary (if a bit obscure) Presque Rien n°1 by Luc Ferrari. Favorite track: V. Wood Prophecy.
The Opening Section is a transcription/adaptation of the Reverend E.D. Campbell from his sermon "Wait Until Your Chance Comes" from 1927, Memphis, Tennessee The Closing Section is a transcription/adaptation of the Seventh Day Adventist Choir from their lined-out hymn "On Jordan's Stormy Banks We Stand" from the early 1930's in Atlanta, Georgia
Taimu, composition, recording: Cornelius Boots © 2021 Wood God Music


A Woodwind Animism Saga
Elemental Nature Music in the Hour of Man's Demise

We are a Bass Shakuhachi Quartet playing Wood God Hymns and forest anthems: soothingly feral new music at the intersection of Zen nature meditation, rural blues, jubilee gospel and sacred Renaissance polyphony.

World-building Chamber Music.
Dark Green Religious Music.
Bamboo Gospel.

This album is being released in 3 full editions of varying audio mixes and 5 more editions of each movement that will include raw mixes, solo stems and complete sheet music.
Primary Edition (this one) - released June 14, 2022
1929 Edition (vintage 78 rpm transfers) - released July 14, 2022
Church Edition (reverent reverberant iteration) released August 14, 2022

Out of the deep woods comes a chamber group like no other. Composting “styles” and morphing boundaries, they give voice to a rare and musky instrument: Taimu, the Bigfoot of flutes.

Pioneers of “woodwind animism,” the Wood Prophets return to the roots of music itself. Performing all new compositions by founding member Cornelius Boots, their forest hymns and bamboo gospel music transports the listener to the ancient days of the Earth, when trees were gods, and the old gods sought gnostic symbiosis with musicianers in general, and woodwinders specifically.

Their early concerts were described as listening to a gospel quartet of large owls performing the music of Funkadelic, Tool, Muddy Waters and Palestrina. Recipients of a 2020 InterMusic SF musical grant program commissioning award, their five-part woodwind chamber saga Wood Prophecy is an adventure in timbre, pulse and structure; Wood Prophecy transmits the wordless wisdom of the old gods of the woods.

Emerging from the Black Earth Shakuhachi School, and formerly known as The Heavy Roots Shakuhachi Ensemble, The Wood Prophets is the world's one and only Taimu Shakuhachi Quartet. The sound is of natural life, the conceptual bones are creativity and multiculturalism.

When founder Cornelius Boots began writing for under-valued-yet-potent woodwinds in 1994, he changed his name to align with this singular artistic vision. After a quarter-century of reed and flute adventures -- rock bands featuring the robot bass clarinet; intensive circular breathing; aggressive style sorcery; Edmund Welles: the bass clarinet; heavy metal and blues iterated on solo shakuhachi; 175 compositions; 12 albums; 3 music degrees; a shihan (master) shakuhachi license; a few grants, commissions and festivals; dozens of students, lectures, performances -- Wood Prophecy is a kind of apotheosis for Boots.

Luckily his student of 17 years, Kevin Chen, has also become a true master of wind, breath and sound and together they were able to start the Taimu ensemble experiments that have now flowered into The Wood Prophets.

"Shakuhachi" is a vertical, end-blown flute made of root-end bamboo that emerged from Japanese Zen Buddhism back in the old feudal/samurai times. The design is painfully basic -- no parts, no mouthpiece, no keys, only 5 finger holes and a blowing edge at the very end of the tube (no whistle design as in recorders, we need a flute-like embouchure) -- and the instrument appears as a cured and cleaned up version of exactly what it was when it grew from the ground. To keep the inner bore natural is called "jinashi" and to use a wider, thicker piece of bamboo is called "hocchiku."

San Francisco renegade flutemaker Ken Mujitsu LaCosse created the Taimu in the early 2000's by modifying jinashi, hocchiku versions of shakuhachi so that they had a bigger, "fog-horn glow" to their tone. Taimu means "the big nothing" and it is considered the full-throated, baritone or bass variant of shakuhachi: the Barry White, the redwood tree -- the Bigfoot of all flutes. So rare, it almost didn't exist at all, but thankfully, here we are. Thank you Brother Ken (1960-2019).

A Wood Prophet understands and demonstrates the wisdom of symbiosis. Specifically, collaboration between a human musician and the element of Wood. Backed by the power of the deep past, a Wood Prophet is the bridge between many styles of music, and the intelligence of living Nature. Masters of respiromancy and proponents of natural music, Wood Prophets' mission is to provide the soundtrack to a profound shift in the human/Nature relationship.

"We are not problem-solvers, gatekeepers or soothsayers. We are breathy shepherds of illumination. The unknown is not always the unfamiliar."

Kevin Chen
Jesse Bates
Brett Thompson
Cornelius Boots

Former members:
Ken LaCosse
Darrell Hayden
Chris Adkins

Brain Trust:
Felicia Chavez, Andrew Lloyd Westhoff, Tyler Sterkel, Filipe Lopes Chaves, Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, Virginia Dofflemyer, Kevin Chen, Nils Frykdahl, Gentry Densley

Agrippa, The 3 Tons (Ellington, Kenton, Clinton), the Jameses (Etta, Brown and Ronnie Dio), Dolphy, Coltrane, Kirk, House, Patton & Watazumi


released June 14, 2022

Cornelius Boots: bass shakuhachi (Taimu), composition and recording
© 2021 Cornelius Boots
© 2021 Wood God Music (BMI)
Wood Prophecy is funded by InterMusic SF's Musical Grant Program
© 2022 Root Philosopher Records

recorded June 5 & 6, 2021 at The Barn


all rights reserved



Cornelius Boots - Bass Shakuhachi, Nature Blues 尺八 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Woodwind Nature & Rustic Flute Spirituals: from hymns to heavy metal. New music/compositions for jinashi & bass shakuhachi (Taimu), the robust woodwind of Japan.

Cornelius Boots is a leading creative shakuhachi composer-performer, active internationally in woodwinds since 1990. A grandmaster (Dai Shihan) in the Zen lineage of Watazumido. Ex-orchestral/rock bass clarinetist, jazz/funk bandleader.
... more

contact / help

Contact Cornelius Boots - Bass Shakuhachi, Nature Blues 尺八

Streaming and
Download help

Shipping and returns

Redeem code

Report this album or account

Cornelius Boots - Bass Shakuhachi, Nature Blues 尺八 recommends:

If you like Wood Prophecy, you may also like: