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Honkyoku 本曲,
traditional Buddhist pieces from different temples in Japan.

The calming effect of moonlight has spoken to poets and philosophers for years and is the inner feeling from which one plays this song. The form of an object is illuminated by light, and casts shadows which surround it. The space around the object shapes and defines it. One should focus on the space in the physical realm wherein lives the spirit of light. Freeing one’s mind in the non-physical realm, like the spirit of light, allows one to take on any form.

Shingetsu is characterized by the interspersing of a very light komibuki [pulsing breath] technique throughout the composition. This adds a bit of forward movement or momentum to the piece, but since the tempo is very slow as compared to Daha or Nezasa pieces and has no variation, it tends to create a safe and secure feeling. The player knows what is coming next and at what speed. There are very long one-breath phrases which maintain a feeling of calmness throughout this song. The signature phrase found in the middle of the piece and again in the last line where the “Ho” note is repeated should be played in a reverent spirit. A longer shakuhachi is best for expressing the depth of feeling and mood of Shingetsu.

(description excerpted from Chikuzen Shakuhachi Series Sheet Music, written by Michael Chikuzen Gould)

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from Mountain Hermit's Secret Wisdom, released December 21, 2013
Cornelius 深禅 Boots, 2.75 Taimu shakuhachi

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Cornelius Boots (Shinzen 深禅 Shakuhachi) San Francisco, California

The shakuhachi & Taimu explorations of Cornelius Boots: heavy chamber music composer, Zen flute preacher, master of reality, breath wizard and retired rock bass clarinet virtuoso. Founder of the bass clarinet quartet Edmund Welles. The first student of Grandmaster Michael Chikuzen Gould to have earned a Shihan (master teaching license): his shakuhachi name 深禅 "Shinzen" means depth Zen or deep Zen. ... more

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