The shakuhachi is an end-blown Japanese bamboo flute, played for centuries as a religious or meditative practice. With its unique sound and expressive voice, the shakuhachi can create both great simplicity and great beauty. Bamboo and breath combine in an ancient tradition – timeless music resonating in today’s world….
Azuma no Kyoku
Azuma no Kyoku was not a religious or meditative work, but was often played by wandering komuso monks for the enjoyment of large audiences. Its original meaning is uncertain, but one theory is that it may represent the longing of a wanderer for his home in the east.
This version of Sanya (meaning “three valleys, a place of enlightenment”) was played by the wandering monk Jinbo Masanosuke, who was said to have devoted his entire life to performing this one piece. It is traditionally played as a prayer for safe childbirth.
Sokaku Reibo traces the life history of cranes, regarded as birds of good fortune. The music follows the arc of a lifetime, from the birth of baby birds and their first tentative efforts at flight, through the exuberance of their airborne freedom, the blend of sadness and satisfaction in the parent birds, and the eventual death of the parents, quietly content in the fulfillment of their life’s work.
Tabibito no Uta (Traveller’s Song)
Miyami Higurashi (Crickets in the Mountains)
Gekko Roteki (Flute in the Moonlight)
Fukuda Rando (1906-1976) was a shakuhachi player and composer, well-known for his melodic, melancholy compositions, often evocative of folk music.
NORA NOHRAKU SUGGS is a graduate of Houston’s Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine, with extensive private education in music and degrees in biology, English literature, medicine, and surgery. She has played in England, Canada, Japan, and throughout the United States; and is now active as a teacher, recitalist and chamber musician in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley. Dr. Suggs is the flutist and Artistic Director of the chamber music ensemble SATORI, and is on the music faculty at Bethlehem’s Moravian College Music Institute. She coaches flute ensembles and chamber music at the Community Music School of the Lehigh Valley; and performs and records with Two Part Invention, a classical guitar and flute duo. Dr. Suggs studies shakuhachi with Dai-Shihan James Nyoraku Schlefer, and received her jun shihan shakuhachi accreditation from his New York City Kyo-Shin-An dojo.