Monday, August 11, 2008
Tajima Tadashi - Master Of Shakuhachi
The shakuhachi has been much abused in the later half of the 20th century, by non-Japanese artists seeking to capitalize on its sensitive sound and hip Eastern origin to make incoherent mood music for health food stores. The reality of the instrument is one of quiet strength. The traditional version of this bamboo flute is large, over a foot and a half long with a large outside circumference. It achieves its unique sound from the musician's ability to balance the force needed to fill such a tool with air and the control to make it not only melodious, but contemplative. Tajima Tadashi performs a series of solo songs, all from the meditative tradition, created not for performance or ritual, but as a tool for the musician to achieve a state of meditation and to challenge himself in his art. These pieces show an accomplished artist pushing himself to the limit, not with wild virtuoso flights but with considered and complex melodies that are as ephemeral as snow and as strong as wind.