#2 mukyoku 無曲, new compositions by Shinzen for Taimu shakuhachi.

Within a holistic Buddhist practice, the "concept" of Mu---or Emptiness, Void, Nothingness---always returns as a key feature for philosophical elaboration and contemplation. In an attempt to distinguish "conceptual emptiness" from the co-dependent origination of the Void, which is equal to the ground of all Being/Non-being as well as Tathagata (Suchness), Nagarjuna used the term Sunyata (sometimes spelled "Shunyata"). When your experience points beyond duality and returns you to absolute Emptiness, this is Shunyata. Emptying is a dynamic process, not a static state; there is movement in emptying. Returning your point of attention to the ground of being (no-self), and uniting and emptying with the sound and the flute is the process of this piece.

Musical Details:
Buddhist philosophy aside, this is just long tones, long tones with komi buki and larger spaces between phrases. I
recommend that the komi be done with the diaphragm: leave any tightening of the throat or any vocal sounds out of it when possible. Focusing your attention on the belly/diaphragm is recommended for all wind instrument tone development, and it is a practice shared with yoga, t'ai chi ch'uan, and many kinds of meditation. Focusing your attention on this point (lower tan t'ien: about 3 inches below the navel and 2.5 inches in from the skin) and making sure that the breath is generated and grounded at this point will increase your tonal power and your connection with the flute.

There are many wide intervals in this piece leading to expansive and simple melodic phrases that can help you connect the upper and lower parts of the flute into one whole. The pacing should be very slow and deliberate. You are free to: repeat individual phrases at will, breathe mid-phrase if necessary, scoop into some opening notes of phrases to get the position aligned, or otherwise modify the sustained sounds in order to get the breath into an active state.


from Mountain Hermit's Secret Wisdom, released December 21, 2013
Cornelius 深禅 Boots, 2.8 Taimu shakuhachi




Cornelius Boots - Solo Shakuhachi 尺八 San Francisco, California

Avant Nature Music. Bamboo Gospel & Buddhist Blues: from hymns to heavy metal. New music for standard & bass (Taimu) shakuhachi, the robust woodwind of Japan.

Cornelius Boots is a leading creative shakuhachi composer-performer, active internationally in woodwinds since 1990. A Shihan (master) in the lineage of Watazumido and ex-orchestral/rock bass clarinetist, jazz guy and bandleader.
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