Unfortunately, the annucal conference held by the British Forum for Ethnomusicology has been cancelled. It was supposed to be held at Bath Spa University this year. It will be postponed till 2021.
I had so much been looking forward to be in panel with fellow ethnomusicologists Matthew Gillan and Andrea Giolai.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, my concerts in the USA: Playing Zen Love Song by Roxanna Panufnik with Los Angeles Masters Chorale at Disney Hall on the 28th and 29th March https://lamasterchorale.org/faure-requiem and playing at the Vegan Dinner Concert at Sound & Savour, Philip Gelb’s amazing concept of music and food on the 3rd April in Oakland and “Enter the Bamboo” concert with Cornelius Boots in San Francisco on the 5th April have all been cancelled. The latter concert perhaps it is only my appearance that has been cancelled so if you are nearby you may still be able to see/hear some cool jinashi shakuhachi…. Also lectures have been cancelled. I had been looking SO MUCH forward to visit my paternal country, seeing family and friends + performing/lecturing! Such a disappointment… but the situation is grave and this was necessary! I hope to reschedule at some time!
I will fly to Japan today to film regional shakuhachi players. I will start in Hirosaki, Aomori. Going there with film maker Delmar Mavignier and sound engineer Florian Siegmund. Can’t wait!
Frank Denyer is an English composer, who is like no other when it comes to his compositions. For us shakuhachi players, he is a very important composer due to his amazing collaboration with the just as amazing shakuhachi player Iwamoto Yoshikazu. Frank has also written a piece for me: “Woman with jinashi shakuhachi” and I love this piece. Frank has now published a book about his compositions and 2 CDs. If you are at all interested in what happens of very exciting music in the margins of new music today, the book and CDs may interest you. Read more about it here
I was invited to open the private viewing of the wonderful exhibition on Buddhism at the British Library with a very short performance. It was a great honour to play, and it was also very interesting to be part of the soundscape of this viewing which included monks and nuns from Thailand. The opening included speeches by Dame Carol Black, who is the Chair of the British Library and Lama Jampa Thaye from Sakya Dechen Ling Buddhist Centre, who is also a scholar. I was introduced to and sitting besides those people with my tengai on before my performance and during the speeches. When I began playing the first notes of Honte no Shirabe drew everybody’s attention and the atmosphere changed to a soft but very attentive space. I was only given 1 1/2 minute so I couldn’t even finish Honte no Shirabe. The atmosphere was very pleasant so it was hard to force myself to stop. I enjoyed it so much.
It was furthermore interesting to explore the anonymity of the fact of wearing tengai. Normally when I have performed there will be people coming up and commenting or at least look with acknowledgement towards me. After changing nobody recognised me as the player. That was very interesting to feel. I managed to enjoy my anonymity.
Autumn is a beautiful time of the year when everything slows down in preparation for winter. I find this time of the year a good opportunity to have a contemplative attitude in my own life, slowing down, playing more shakuhachi, meditating more and sense the season by harvesting the abumdance of treats both for the stomac and the eye. Tonight the vegetable garden group at the meditation centre will have a harvest gathering.
On the last day of 2018 I deleted by mistake almost the whole content of my website. I will slowly start building it up again. Please bear over with me.
I have decided to walk the Shikoku88 pilgrimage starting at the end of February 2019. It is a 1200 km route and I am eager to go! I have to prepare myself mentally and physically. So apart from walking lots of km’s, I am also thinking about the motive to do such a pilgrimage. The route has existed for more than 1000 years and has a depth to it worth taking seriously. I know one thing for sure, and that is I will play a piece on shakuhachi at every temple.