Tajima Tadashi
Master of Shakuhachi
World Network

A shakuhachi is a vertical bamboo flute of varying length with five finger holes, which was only allowed to be played by a Zen Buddhist sect of itinerant monks in 16th and 17th century Japan. Although long secularized, the traditional repertoire still retains the original religious emphasis on meditation. Pieces move along slowly in apparently free rhythm with the length of a breath the basic temporal unit. Although the instrument is structurally simple and pentatonic in scale, much subtle variations in timbre and microtonal modulations with embouchure change, head movements, and breath control are effected by a master such as Tajima. The selections on this generous (72-min) album are all solo. Excellent for relaxation/meditation. - John Cho