An album of lyrical, contemplative duets for shakuhachi and sounding bowls. A meeting of East and West in the ethereal tones of the shakuhachi and the delicate resonances of these uniquely beautiful bowl-shaped zithers.
Sounding Bowls are a new instrument developed by Tobias Kaye in Devon, UK. They have metal strings set inside a circular wooden bowl, made from beautifully grained timber from British trees such as Cherry, Ash, Sycamore, Walnut and Holly. They have a lustrous tone, combining the best of many other stringed instruments in a surprisingly small size.
The sound of the Japanese shakuhachi flute is particularly well-matched to the sounding bowls. Both instruments are warm and rich in overtones. And just as the sounding bowls come in different sizes and woods, each one having its own sound properties, so too the shakuhachi is made in different lengths from uniquely patterned pieces of bamboo, each flute having its own individual timbre and sonority.
The recording of this album took place over a period of two years. The result is an album of shimmering string textures and soaring shakuhachi melodies that resonate with a crystalline purity. The music evokes aspects of the natural landscape such as rock pools, clouds, windbeaten rushes, icicles, sunsets and flocks of starlings, but it also has a surprisingly rich emotional warmth and depth.