Christopher Yohmei Blasdel

Zen Reveries

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I can't say how much of the shakuhachi flute music on Zen Reveries is traditional Japanese. Christopher Yohmei Blasdel's hair-raising flute solo "Cendai Choshi" might be, as might some of the other melodies on other tracks. Zen Reveries teams the ancient shakuhachi wooden flute with modern synthesizers, played by Kazao Uehara. Something about the flute makes the silences just as important than the sounds. The breath sounds gushing over the notes are also part of the ambience, reminding one of the ki, or breath of life. These compositions are true mindbenders. Uehara's heady synth backgrounds do not overpower the flute, but offer a trilogy relationship between breath, setting, and silence. This music will take you to some sharp edges, then cast you afloat in a state of nothingness. I've disappeared into this album countless times over several playings, and as a result have spent the day in a state of cosmic bliss. There are six pieces in all, but I doubt you'll remember one from the other. If you want to be transported to a place of Zen emptiness, you can't go wrong with this album. Excellent. Happy trails!