Christopher Blasdel began his studies of the Shakuhachi and of Japanese music in 1972 with the late Goro Yamaguchi, one of the great Japanese Shakuhachi masters. In 1982, he received a M.F.A. in ethnomusicology from Tokyo University of Fine Arts and in 1984 his professional name, "Yohmei," from Goro Yamaguchi. Performing in Japan and around the world, Blasdel maintains a balance between traditional Shakuhachi music, modern compositions, and cross-genre work with other musicians, dancers, poets, and painters. His discography includes several CDs of traditional and contemporary music. He has composed and performed music for NHK documentaries and various films. He is the author of The Shakuhachi, A Manual for Learning (Ongaku no Tomo-sha, 1988), the foremost English-language book on the Shakuhachi. He was also one of the co-organizers for the World Shakuhachi Festival '98 held in Boulder, CO. His latest book, Shakuhachi Odyssey (Kawade Publishers, 2000), written in Japanese and detailing his experiences learning and playing the Shakuhachi, was awarded the prestigious Japanese Rennyo Award for fiction.
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