EVENT #3 21 JANUARY 2024



14h00 (CET)Welcome
Elliot Kanshin KallenKumoijishi (Lion Dancing in the Clouds) Kinko-ryū/Chikuyusha
Jim FranklinRyūmeicho (Cry of the Dragon) by Sakai Chikuho II, 1934. Chikuho-ryū
Joseph Pepe Danza Dorofuxin (J.P. Danza)
Lindsay DuganKoden Sugomori (Cranes’ Nesting) KSK
Hélène Seiyu Fukurō (Owl) by H. Seiyu
Kiku DayBetsuden Shika no Tōne (Distant Cry of the Deer), Zensabo school
Alfredo García & Jesús Saiz HuedoA Battle of Ants (Improvisation for shakuhachi & guitar)
Antonio Enzan OliasTsuru no Sugomori (Nesting of the Cranes) Miyata Kohachiro version
ca. 15h00 – 15h15INTERVAL
Gunnar Jinmei LinderHōshōsu (Phoenix/Praise of the Mythical Bird) Kinko-ryū/Chikumeisha
Horacio CurtiInsideout (Improvisation)
Bronwyn KirkpatrickMiyama Higurashi (The Sound of Crickets in the Inner Mountains) by Fukuda Randon, 1928. KSK/Azuma-ryū
Bob PriceMeidō no Hatsuyume (鳴童の初夢/Meido’s First Dream)
Improvisation/bird song/ambient
Araki Kodo VIKon Kai (Howling Fox) arrangement for solo-shakuhachi. Kinko-ryū/Kodo-kai
Elizabeth BrownHermit Thrush (E. Brown, 1991)
Teruo FuruyaAzumajishi (Azuma Lion Dance) Chikushinkai/KSK
ca. 16h00
concert ends
sequence subject to change
Times are in Central European Time (CET)

About Shakuhachi Animals


ESS NEW YEAR CONCERT 2024 ProgrammeDownload

in alphabetic order /for performance sequence see above

Elizabeth Brown Hermit Thrush (E. Brown, 1991)
I wrote Hermit Thrush in spring 1991 at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire. At this Artists’ Retreat, I was working alone in a cabin in the woods. At dusk, I often heard the clear, ethereal song of the hermit thrush. This bird is seldom seen, but often heard. Like me, it was making music while hidden in the woods. Its song has phrases that are the length and shape of a breath, just like traditional shakuhachi honkyoku.

Composer Elizabeth Brown’s music has been heard at World Shakuhachi Festivals in London, Kyoto, Prague, Sydney, and New York. She won grand prize in the Makino Yutaka Composition Competition and a prize in the Senzoku Gakuen Shakuhachi Composition Competition. Brown studied Kinko-ryu shakuhachi with Ralph Samuelson, Mizuno Koumei and Yamato Shudō. A Juilliard graduate and Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, she also plays flute and theremin.

Horacio Curti Insideout (Improvisation)
This is a small improvisation made on a 1.6 shakuhachi at the very beginning of the year 2024 in the middle of a cool Barcelona afternoon. At that moment of the day when the birds have just stopped singing, the dogs are about to start barking and the trains keeps on passing.

Horacio Curti got his shakuhachi shihan in Japan where he studied under Kakizakai Kaoru focusing on KSK honkyoku. He completed a PhD with a thesis between ethnomusicology and artistic research.
His projects in the last years included: a tour with Nō’s National Living Treasure Reijiro Tsumura, premiering a concert for shakuhachi and orchestra by Ramon Humet, or the creation of ‘Ukigumo’ with dancer Andres Corchero. He was chairperson for the ESS between 2019 and 2022.

Kiku Day Betsuden Shika no Tōne (Distant Cry of the Deer) Zensabo school
This solo version of the famous Shika no Tone is most probably a variation composed by Watazumi Doso. It depicts deer in rut – a time that can have aspects of longing, violence, and tenderness. A stag can lose 25% of its body weight during this time, so it is no game, and the piece shows this masterly.

Kiku Day (PhD ethnomusicology) is a Zensabō player and has been studying with Okuda Atsuya since 1990. She plays honkyoku and contemporary music. Her passion is to disseminate the shakuhachi in Europe and elsewhere. In January 2024 she will play computer game music Genshin Concert at the Royal Festival Hall and Carnegie Hall. 

LIndsay Dugan Koden Sugomori (Cranes’ Nesting) KSK
Koden Sugomori is an exceptionally short Sugomori variant. According to Kanda Kayu, Higuchi Taizan appended a longer Sugomori variant that originated in Aichi Prefecture to create Sugomori (Koden), which comprises only five dan. Higuchi’s score for that piece is very similar to the KSK Koden Sugomori score. I played this piece at the last lesson I had with Yokoyama sensei in 2010, and his feedback was that my ‘ma was dead’. I hope I’ve managed to resuscitate it since then.

Lindsay Dugan has played shakuhachi since 2004. He holds Masters degrees in shakuhachi performance from Sydney Conservatorium of Music and Tokyo Geidai, and also holds a shihan license as a member of the KSK. In 2015, he commenced his PhD candidature in Ethnomusicology at University of Melbourne, researching musical structure and interpretation of San’ya variants. Currently based in Tokyo, he regularly performs and teaches KSK and Kinko lineage repertoire. 

Jim Franklin Ryūmeicho (Cry of the Dragon) by Sakai Chikuho II, 1934. Chikuho-ryū
Ryūmeichō is a modern piece, composed by Sakai Chikuho II Nevertheless, it is ranked amongst the honkyoku of the Chikuho-ryū. The ‘dragon’ is an Asian dragon of good fortune. In the first section, the dragon’s call is heard; in the second, the dragon appears before the listener; in the third, it soars into the empty sky; finally, it returns to earth. May the dragon bring good fortune for 2024!
Jim Franklin studied shakuhachi with Riley Lee, Furuya Teruo and Yokoyama Katsuya, receiving his shihan-menjō from Yokoyama-sensei in 1996. In 1998 he received his PhD for research into his modern compositions with shakuhachi. 2003 – 2021 he lived in Germany, working as a freelance shakuhachi artist. 2006 – 2009 he was founding chairperson of the ESS. In 2018 he was programme director of the World Shakuhachi Festival in London. Since 2021 he lives in Japan.

Teruo Furuya Azumajishi (Azuma Lion Dance) Chikushinkai/KSK
This is one of the various “Lion Dance” pieces which are executed on the occasion of the Shinto religious festivals in the Azuma region, to the South of the present-day Tokyo. It belongs to the secular repertoire, called gekyoku,(as opposed to the main repertoire, honkyoku) which means “leisure piece” or “music played for fun.” It was most typically played by Zen monks during their leisure time.

Teruo Furuya is one of the most respected shakuhachi performers in Japan today. He started his study with the legendary Katsuya Yokoyama (1934–2010) in 1969 and worked with him for more than 40 years. Currently Furuya is the director and chief instructor of Kokusai Shakuhachi Kenshūkan founded by Yokoyama in 1988. He is also head of Chikushinkai Tokyo.
He has recorded numerous CDs, spanning from honkyoku to contemporary music.

Elliot Kanshin Kallen Kumoijishi (Lion Dancing in the Clouds) Kinko-ryū/Chikuyusha
Here he is performing the short Kinko-ryū Honkyoku Kumoi Jishi.

Elliot Kanshin Kallen is a shakuhachi player from northern California and the current president of the International Shakuhachi Society. He received his shihan (teaching credentials) and performance name from Chikuyu-sha, the largest Kinko-ryū teaching organization in Japan.
He enjoys performing and recording in a wide variety of musical contexts including traditional Japanese solo and ensemble music as well as rock, pop, jazz, and modern creative improvised music.

Bronwyn Kirkpatrick Miyama Higurashi (The Sound of Crickets in the Inner Mountains) by Fukuda Randon, 1928. Azuma-ryū.
Composed in 1928 by Fukuda Rando, this piece evokes the sound of crickets deep in the mountains in late summer. This piece is typical of Rando’s plaintive, folk-like style.

Bronwyn Kirkpatrick began her shakuhachi journey with Grand Master Riley Lee in 1997. Captivated by the sound, Bronwyn studied with Riley for the next seven years, then continued her studies in Japan with Kaoru Kakizakai and Katsuya Yokoyama. Since then Bronwyn has performed at numerous festivals, including three World Shakuhachi Festivals and is an active teacher of the shakuhachi in the Blue Mountains, Sydney and around the world via Skype.

Araki Kodo VI Kon Kai [吼噦] Kinko-ryū/Kodo-kai,
Kon Kai is a jiuta piece, traditionally played on shamisen and accompanied by shakuhachi. The song tells the story of a fox who has fallen in love with a young woman who has taken ill. Disguised as a priest to be with the woman, he’s revealed when the real priest arrives. In this excerpt, you can hear the yip! yip! yip! of the fox as the priest throws stones to chase him away…

Kodō Araki VI is the head of the oldest lineage in Kinko-ryū shakuhachi. He made his concert debut in 1988 in Japan and continues to play and teach around the globe to the present day.

Gunnar Jinmei Linder Hōshōsu / 鳳将雛 (Phoenix/Praise of the Mythical Bird) Kinko-ryū/Chikumeisha

* The correct reading of the characters are hō-shō-sū, i.e., all vowels prolonged, but the Kinko-ryū version of this piece has the name Hōshōsu, i.e., without prolonged vowel for su.

鳳 (hō) is the Chinese phoenix
将 (shō) carries the meaning of both “leading” as well as “becoming” 雛 (su/sū) is the character carrying the meaning of a chicken.
The origins of the title of the piece is not clear, but it supposedly refers to a story from Song dynasty China building on an event in the Later Han period. The meaning, as the characters tell us, is about a chicken that will grow and become a Phoenix. That image contains the idea of a child prodigy, a young person of remarkable talent. Musically the piece has parts that are descriptive of birds, even though it is not as obviously programmatic as for example Sōkaku Reibo (Tsuru no Sugomori) or Shika no Tōne. For me, this piece has an elegant and graceful feel to it, with a nice and natural flow. It has a special flavour to it, a little bit different from other honkyoku within Kinko-ryū. The whole piece is approximately 25 minutes long, and I perform today an abbreviated version.

There are two theories about the creation of Hōshōsu. In the Kinko techō (The Kinko Notebook, probably written in the early nineteenth century) it is stated that the originator of the Kinko- ryū – Kurosawa Kinko I (1710–1771) – composed it. Another theory put forward by SatōSeibi (1906–1983) is that the first third of the piece was composed by Kinko I and that the remaining two thirds were composed by a local feudal lord and shakuhachi player – Hosokawa Okifumi (aka Getsuō, 1723–1785). It is however more likely that the whole piece was composed by Kinko I, and that Okifumi received this piece from Kinko II, the son of Kinko I. The oldest text that mention any honkyoku played by the komusō warrior-monks is the 1664 Shichiku shoshin- shū, in which only the pieces Gorō, KyōRenbo, Renbo-nagashi, Yoshida, and Samuyaigawa are mentioned as “pieces played by the komusō” (notably, none of the so-called three classics – Kyorei, Kokū and Mukaiji – are mentioned in that text) without mentioning any composer. If we the theories above that Hōshōsu was composed by Kinko I and maybe partly by Getsuō, it would be a rare example of a piece of which we know the composer.

Gunnar Jinmei Linder (PhD, MA, shihan)began shakuhachi in Japan in 1985, studying with Yamaguchi Gorō. He obtained an MA degree as a soloist from Tokyo University of the Arts, and was awarded shihan and the name Jinmei from Yamaguchi. Linder performed and taught professionally in Japan for twenty years before returning to his native Sweden. He now performs and teaches regularly throughout Europe. Linder is also actively conducting research and was awarded the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation in 2016 for his cultural and academic activities.

Antonio Enzan Olias Tsuru no Sugomori (Nesting of the Cranes) Miyata Kohachiro version
This truly marvellous composition of Miyata Kohachiro is one of the most splendid works related to modern Tsuru no Sugomori works. The piece begins with two cranes approaching from a very far distance, how the parents feed the baby crane, how the baby crane cries, how the baby crane becomes an adult and flies, and finally, the parents die, and the adult crane flies until it disappears. 

Antonio Enzan Olias received instruction in both styles, classical Honkyoku and contemporary music. Antonio received tuition from Tanaka Komei “Kinko Ryu Chikumeisha”, Etsuzan Fujiyoshi “Fuke Shakuhachi”, Maekawa Kogetsu “Kogetsu Kai”, Kuniyoshi Sugawara, Kato Hidekazu and Takeo Izumi “KSK”, Kohachiro Miyata and Teruhisa Fukuda, who awarded him with Dai Shihan License in 2014. Etsuzan Fujiyoshi awarded him with the professional name Saiho Enzan “Fire Mountain from the West”. Antonio Enzan is currently teaching online-in person and performing.

Hélène Seiyu Fukurō (Owl) by H. Seiyu
Fukurō is Hélène’s first composition, for shakuhachi 2.4, commissioned by the puppeteer Lejo (Leo Petersen) for his show “Hands On!” in 2017.
In Leo’s “Owl Scene”, his two hands meet and join to create an owl. After flying and singing together as an owl, they greet each other and go their separate ways.

Hélène Seiyu 聖優 is a shakuhachi teacher and performer living in the Netherlands since 2013. In 2023, she received her Dai shihan licence from Fukuda Teruhisa, founder of Hijiri-Kai.
The spirituality of shakuhachi and playing in nature are essential for her. She likes to bring shakuhachi music elsewhere than in concert halls.
She has released two solo shakuhachi CDs with her own compositions: “African Memories” (2020) and “Reflection” (2021).

ESS Member ‘Call for Contributions’

Joseph Pepe Danza Dorofuxin (J.P. Danza)
Joseph Pepe Danza will perform an original piece called Dorofuxin . The composition expresses the playfulness and joy of dolphins at play, the fluidity of the element of water, and also the sadness of witnessing these beautiful creatures in an enclosed space on a TV, and feeling our disconnection to the natural world.

Joseph Pepe Danza heard the Shakuhachi for the first time in 1978, while living in Washington DC, and was instantly hooked! Soon enough he began studying with Master Player/Ethnomusicologist Karl Signel. After years of study (Sitar in India, Percussion in Africa and Canada, Guitar in Europe, etc.) and much traveling, Pepe Danza finally landed in Japan, where he lived for three years dedicated intensively to the study of Shakuhachi, with Tanaka Komei sensei (Kinko-ryū) and John Kaizan Neptune, where he also deepened my study and practice of Buddhism, he started in North America and continued in India, with extended stays in Zen Temples. Pepe Danza is a recording artist and has received several awards, while living in Canada, for his compositions in film and theatre. He presently resides in Slovakia and tours intensively around Europe.

Alfredo García & Jesús Saiz Huedo (An Indiifferent Eagle Contemplates) A Battle of Ants Improvisation for shakuhachi & guitar

The piece we have recorded poetically depicts a confrontation among ants over territory: a dreadful and dramatic ordeal for them, yet insignificant for the eagle soaring above the scene.

Jesús Saiz Huedo and Alfredo Garciá Martín-Córdova formed a flute and classical guitar duo in 1986 in Madrid. They’ve performed original works spanning the 19th century to the present, along with unique transcriptions of particularly significant music. Their distinctive approach involves continuous exploration of expressive instrumental resources within chamber music repertoire. They complement this with improvisation, showcased in various concerts, poetic-musical productions, and music for audiovisuals. Their project also integrates the distinctive sound of the shakuhachi flute.

Bob Price Meidō no Hatsuyume (鳴童の初夢/Meido’s First Dream) Improvisation/bird song/ambient

This dream-like improvisation organically grows from a dialogue between bird sounds and the 1.8 shakuhachi as they move through a surreal sea of electronic effects. The piece reflects the unconscious of the player (a dream in the first month of the year), thus making it my “Hatsuyume”; an omen of what to expect in the coming year.

Bob Price (鳴童 – Meidō) is a clarinetist and music teacher who received some notoriety while performing with the New Music Improvisation Quartet, BL Lacerta. His first music teacher was a mockingbird and his skill in performing birdsongs earned him the privilege of bird-singing on the Pines of Rome by Respighi with various orchestras. He has been studying shakuhachi with Hanzaraki Kodo VI.