September 27, 2009
“Don’t listen with your ears, listen with your mind. Don’t listen with your mind, but listen with your spirit. Listening stops with the ears, the mind stops with recognition, but spirit is empty and waits on all things”—Confucius, qtd. in Zhuangzi: Basic Writings (trans Burton Watson).
Long ago, it seems the flute-playing monk Chokaku had been fascinated by the sound of a wooden bell and attempted, in this piece, to put the sound of the bell to music. “Kyorei,” meaning the “empty bell,” is one of three classic honkyoku pieces in the shakuhachi repertoire, played here on a 2.4 flute. Bell recorded at Kurama Temple, Kyoto.