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Friday, Feb. 20, 2009

Japanese flute may give Zen

Staff report

The shakuhachi is a traditional Japanese bamboo flute with a simple construction: It usually has four holes on the front and one on the back. But it can express a wide range of sounds and is used in forms including Zen meditation music, programmatic pieces depicting nature and avant-garde contemporary music.

At a Feb. 24 concert at the International House of Japan in Tokyo's Roppongi district, listeners will be treated to a variety of shakuhachi music, including a classical piece intended to inspire enlightenment, an Edo Period (1603-1868) piece and contemporary compositions by Living National Treasure Hozan Yamamoto and Japan-U.S. Creative Arts fellow Elizabeth Brown.

The performers featured in the concert are Yamamoto, his son Shinzan, Brown, Keisuke Zenyoji (a specialist in Zen shakuhachi pieces) and Christopher Yohmei Blasdel (IHJ's artistic director).

Blasdel will guide and explain the program both in English and Japanese.

"The Shakuhachi and the World of the Single Tone" takes place on Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. at the Iwasaki Koyata Hall at the IHJ (5-11-16 Roppongi, Minato-ku; [03] 3470-4611). The admission is ¥3,500 (¥3,000 for IHJ members, students and non-Japanese).

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