I was invited to play at the priviate viewing of the exhibition on Buddhism on the 24th October 2019 at the British Library. I love the British Library’s exhibitions, so I was very excited to play there. The organisers were happy I could perform as a komusō. It was only planned to last 90 seconds – but surely the shakuhachi can really add to the athmosphere.
Another thing that was interesting was that there were many important people present and I was sitting beside people such as Dame Carol Black (Chair, British Library) and Lama Jampa Thaye (Sakya Dechen Ling Buddhist Centre) while waiting to go on stage and then waiting for the to finish their speeches. But nobody saw my face. It was convered with the tengai. I don’t even think my name was mentioned. Afterwards when I had changed back to my normal clothing and walked back into the crowd, there were no recognition of how the music had been. Nothing! I liked that and look at it as a way of reflecting on my ego. It did pop up a few times but most of the time I was very fine with it. There are bigger things than me (each of us).
But I am grateful my friend and great etnomusicologist ShzrEe Tan took the video. The exhibition was very interesting with some beautiful documents. I can recommend as well as their permanent collection.