Soundscapes of Japan

Soundscapes of Japan

Tuesday, June 23, 2015
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Japanese shakuhachi master Kakizakai Kaoru will perform on one of the most ancient root-ended bamboo flutes of Japan: the shakuhachi.

Shakuhachi dates back to the 7th Century and was used by Zen priests in Japan as a sacred instrument to reach enlightenment. In the early 1970’s the first westerners started to travel to Japan to learn the sacred music of the shakuhachi called honkyoku.

Honkyoku means literally original piece. Original music for the shakuhachi, which can date back many centuries in the Japanese history. Honkyoku are musical pieces, actually sound landscapes, without rhythm and without melody. They are a translation of meditation experiences of monks into sound.

Kakizakai Kaoru is one of the few holders of an ancient lineage of players that dates back to the 1700’s. He studied under the Japanese Grand Master Yokoyama Katsuya who debuted Toru Takemitsu’s composition November Steps at the Carnegie Hall with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under the conductor Seiji Osawa.

Kakizakai performed the same piece with the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo and in the prestigious Salzsburg Music Festival in Austria, both conducted by Charles Dutoit and also with the Orchestra Nipponica conducted by Tetsuji Honna in Hanoi, Vietnam.

He has three CD’s released on traditional and contemporary music pieces.