Ronnie Nyogetsu Seldin

Samourai Spirit

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Ronnie Nyogetsu Seldin is well known among shakuhachi fans, being one of the first Westerners to become great master of the tradition. In this very odd CD, he offers the listener a series of pieces from a shakuhachi school from Northern Japan that is little known in the West, the Nezasa-Ha school, which has developed a very strange technique of playing. Seldin is one of the rare players still playing this style. This panting technique is called "komibuki." It sounds as if we hear a heart constantly beating or that the musician is trying to catch his breath after a hard exercise and some hard work. At first listen it is perplexing. We may have a feeling that the musician is somewhat off beat or out of direction. On the contrary, if one closes one's eyes to meditate on this music, the mind will slowly synchronize with the music. It takes getting use to. Disconcerting, intriguing, yet mesmerizing! Seldin ends this CD with one of his own compositions.