Various Artists

Shomyo Buddhist Ritual: Shingon School

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The Shomyo liturgical chant, introduced to Japan in the ninth century, is characterized by pure vocal monody and free, unmeasured rhythm. In general effect it is like a graver Gregorian chant (which makes it particularly accessible to Western ears). This is a singularly beautiful recording, though the notes aren't quite up to Ocora's Shomyo release.