During the feudal period in Japan (1185-1868), a Ronin was a samurai (knight) with no lord or master. A samurai could become masterless from the death or political fall of his master, or simply by the loss of his master's favor. Ronin amassed during periods of long peace when their warrior training was not needed. Some Lords released samurai for strictly financial reasons during these periods. By law a Samurai was forbidden to have a job, so many fell into poverty and lives of crime to feed themselves and their families. Others, simply disgraced committed suicide.
The plight of the Ronin draws many similarities to what I have observed with those of us who adopt the way, or follow a life of the study of the art and craft of instrumental improvised music. Live performance and revenue streams have become increasingly scarce as society and technology have changed. However, like the Ronin, we artists persist as warriors and keepers of the flame, devoting our lives to the propagation of the Music. We have become drifters, outsiders, masterless and seeking the truth of who we are as artists and people.
It was with this inspiration and perspective that I have reflected on my own trials, tribulations and triumphs along the path I have chosen. From reflections and life events I was inspired to write this collection of original compositions. I sincerely hope that you will join me on my journey along the path. ~ ARIGATO ~ B.J. Jansen 2013