I had an idea for a musical narrative which involved an in depth relationship between a young maiden and a very old tree. These two main characters would live in very different realities with different perceptions of time (i.e. one year for the Maiden would equal one minute for the Tree) and yet somehow there would be an intersection of these two realities at which they could meet and share perspectives and stories with each other. This song is the very reduced, instrumental version of the spirit I imagine this story would have if it ever gets told.

Musical Details:

This is the only piece of these 27 to be based on what I call the Mixolydian Pentatonic Scale, or in Western theory terms:
1 3 4 5 b7 (1), or in shakuhachi terms Ro, Re-meri, Re, Chi, Ri, (Ro or I). This is a great scale for free, unaccompanied improvisation, particularly on any kind of flute. It is a musical halfway point between common Western scales (major, minor, etc.) and non-major-scale derived "world music" scales and modes. The natural, strong-tone scale of shakuhachi, just to review, is what is called Minor Pentatonic in Western music theory or 1 b3 4 5 b7 (1), so this ("Mixolydian Pentatonic") scale only has one note shifted by a half-step: the Tsu or b3 (minor 3rd) now becomes Re-meri or 3 (major 3rd). This one little difference changes the whole flavor of the set of notes, the 3rd being a very powerful tone in terms of flavor (usually referred to as "quality" but I find "flavor" to be more accurate) in musical scales and chords.

In spite of the "5 Aspects Rating" system that I came up with as guide for the influences and recommended stylistic approach to each mukyoku piece, some of the pieces, such as this one, are simply Songs, and should be played as melodically as possible.


from Mukyoku: New Compositions for Taimu Shakuhachi, released October 10, 2010
Cornelius Boots: composition, performance on 2.45 Taimu Shakuhachi made by Ken Mujitsu LaCosse.



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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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