CHRISTOPHER YOHMEI BLASDEL, born in Texas, began the shakuhachi and studies of Japanese music in 1972 with shakuhachi master, Living National Treasure Goro Yamaguchi. He received a teaching license and the professional name "Yohmei" from Yamaguchi in 1984. At the same time, he completed graduate work in ethnomusicology at Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music. A permanent resident of Japan, he has performed, taught and lectured throughout China, Thailand, Europe, North America, Mexico, India, Malaysia and the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. He was an executive director of the Boulder World Shakuhachi Festival 1998 and is the artistic director of the Fukuoka Gendai Hogaku Festival for contemporary Japanese music. His book, "A Shakuhachi Oddyssey," written in Japanese, is published by Kawade Shobo Shinsha and was awarded the prestigious Rennyo Award for non fiction. In his musical activities, Blasdel maintains a balance between traditional shakuhachi music, modern compositions and cross-genre work with a great variety of well-known musicians, dancers, poets, and painters, both Western and Eastern. Blasdel presently performs, teaches, and records in Japan and around the world.


S-B6h. NAVARASA
Duets for Shakuhachi and Contra Bass
with Mark Izu (Contra Bass, Sheng & Sho)

This CD is based on the navarasa expressed through a combination of shakuhachi, bass, and mouth organ (the Chinese sheng and Japanese shô). The music is mostly improvised, based on the various rasa themes.

The Sanskrit word rasa literally means “juice” or “essence” and refers to the essential human emotional states—that “juice” which comprises our feelings. The Hindu concept of Navarasa, or nine rasa, dates from around the tenth century and elucidates nine basic emotions universal around the world; love, joy, wonder, peace, anger, courage, sadness, fear and disgust. The rasa are one’s reaction to external stimuli—the forces of the soul manifesting themselves in exuberant expression to the outside world.

1. Love (Sringaram) - Listen
2. Interlude for Sita (love filler) - Listen
3. Mirth (Hasyam)
4. Compassion (Karunyam) - Listen
5. Arjuna's Laugh (comic reprise)
6. Fury (Raudram)
7. Ganesha's Walk (comic reprise)
8. Heroism (Viram)
9. The Visage of Shiva (fear prelude) - Listen
10. Fear (Bhayanakam)
11. Dance for Hanuman (disgust/comic filler)
12. Disgust (Bibhatsam)
13. Wonder (Adbhutam)
14. Sita's Return (wonderment filler)
15. Tranquility (Shanta)
16. Rasa Reflections (bass solo)
17. Shiva's Dance (shakuhachi solo)

Mark Izu is a Japanese American who has spent his life on the American west coast as a jazz artist and composer studying Gagaku (Japanese Court Music). Izu’s (Composer, Bass, Sho & Sheng) award-winning musical compositions are an amalgam of ancient Asian traditions fired in smooth jazz. Izu is a founding member of the Asian American Jazz Orchestra, whose recording received a Grammy nomination in 2000.



Rick Marianetti's Review of Navaras and Interview with Mark Izu

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CD
$15.00

S-B6h. BREATHPLAY [J]
with Byron Au Yong

Collaborative CD with Seattle-based composer Byron AuYong. Shakuhachi with water, voice, er-hu (Chinese fiddle), piano and an assortment of Asian percussion in a recording that pushes past the traditional and avant-garde to music both ancient and contemporary.

1. Water Whispers
2. San'ya
3. Elephant
4. BreathPlay
5. Cricket
6. Mist

 

CD
$18.50

S-B6g. VISIONARY TONES

Two CD Set of traditional and contemporary Kinko-style shakuhachi music

1. Sokaku Reibo (Song of the Cranres) - [Kinko Honkyoku]
2. Yugure no Kyoku (Evening Song) - [Kinko Honkyoku]
3. Shigure, Kagero, Katsuragi - [Takahashi Yuji]

1. Sagari Ha no Kyoku (Song of the Falling Leaves) - [Kinko Honkyoku]
2. Tsuki no Kyoku (Song of the Moon) - [Kinko Honkyoku]
3. Byoh-for Shakuhachi Solo - [Hirose Ryohei]

 

CD

Currently
Unavailable

S-B6f. BAMBOO VOICE - HUMAN FLUTE
with Mika Kimula

Blasdel is joined by his wife Mika Kimula in duets for shakuhachi and voice.

1. Tamuke
2. Uguisu (The Nightengale)
3. Koujou no Tsuki (The Moon over the Ruined Castle)
4. Defune (Departing Boat)
5. Hama Chidori (BeachPlovers)
6. Kaze (Who Has Seen the Wind)
7. Mari to Tonosama (The Lord and the Ball)
8. Five Pieces Set to the Poems of Kaneko Misuzu
9. Osaka no Komoriuta (Osaka Lullaby)
10. Yamato Komoriuta (Yamato Lullaby)
11. Calligraphy for Voice and Bamboo
12. Samuyo Mukashi Banashi (Storytelling on a Winter's Night)
13. Song of Atitlan

CD

Currently
Unavailable


S-B6e. HEART OF BAMBOO
with Sam Hamill & Elizabeth Falconer

Poetry and music in the zen tradition.

1. Heart of Bamboo
2. Waka from Only Companion
3. Song of the Dream Garden
4. Shunga
5. After Han Yu
6. Talking to Myself
7. True Illumination
8. A Lover's Quarrel
9. Midsummer
10. Four Letters to Hayden Carruth

CD

$17.50

S-B6d. VOICES FROM WITHIN [I] CD
Shakuhachi. koto, shamisen, oud & voice.

1. Yearnings
shakuhachi solo
Composed by Christopher Yohmei
2. Dorian Dance
for shakuhachi and twenty-stringed koto
Composed by Christopher Yohmei
3. The Gates of Heaven and Earth
for shakuhachi and double bass
Composed by Christopher Yohmei and YOSHIZAWA Motoharu
4. Storytelling on a Winter's Night
for shakuhachi and soprano
Composed by TAKEUCHI Akihiko
5. The Shadow of the Rose
for shakuhachi and oud
Composed by Christopher Yohmei and Hamza el DIN
6.Worthless Shakuhachi--Five Songs from the Kanginshu
for shakuhachi, soprano, narrative and shamisen
Composed by Christopher Yohme
7. Tears of Heaven
for shakuhachi and piano
Composed by Michael REIMANN

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CD

Currently
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S-B6c. ZEN REVERIES with Kazuo Uehara

1. Another Kind of Dream
2. Gendai Choshi *
3. Pale Lights
4. Morning Becomes Electric
5. Replay
6. Zen Mondoh

All compositions by Christopher Yohmei and UEHARA Kazuo, except
* Gendai Choshi by Christopher Yohmei Christopher Yohmei Blasdel: Shakuhachi, Kazuo Uehara: Synthesizer



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CD

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S-B6b. NIGHT OF THE GARUDA

1. Night of The Garuda
improvisation for shakuhachi and ryuteki
Composed by Christopher Yohmei and SHIBA Sukeyasu
2. Tsuki
for shakuhachi and sho
Composed by MASSUMOTO Kikuko
3.The Song of Atitlan
for shakuhachi and soprano
Composed by Christopher Yohmei
4. Hi-fu-mi Hachigaeshi Shirabe
Kinko style honkyoku
5. Mama no Kawa
for shamisen and shakuhachi
Composed by KIKUOKA Kengyoo


CD

$26.50

S-B6a. WATCHING THE WAVES with Sam Hamill C $10.50
Shakuhachi accompanies poetry with traditional Japanese and zen Buddhist themes. Classical & modern poems with honkyoku.

1. Visions of Ryokan
(to the tune of Choshi & Sanya)
2. Visions of Tu Fu
3. Visions of Li T'ai-po
4. A Lover's Quarrel
5. 10,000 Buddhas/10,000 Sutras
(to the tune of Song of the Cranes)
6. Tangled Hair Poems
7. A Deagon in the Clouds
8. Watching the Waves

Cassette
Tape

$10.50

Learn More About Christopher Blasdel
THE SINGLE TONE: A Personal Journey into Shakuhachi Music
THE SHAKUHACHI: A Manual for Learning
THE ZEN MIND Video


Monty H. Levenson, P.O. Box 294, Willits, CA 95490 USA
monty@shakuhachi.com    www.shakuhachi.com

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