“The Shape Of Eggs” album is a mellow suite of melodies from different South American Countries, Ireland and Northumbria, arranged for Japanese and Western acoustic instruments.
It was recorded 30 years ago in 1991 in Kyoto, Japan.
The remastered reissue is exclusive to Bandcamp and you can listen and download here:
In the early 1990s I was living in Kyoto and having the time of my life getting deeply immersed in the Kyoto music scene. I was beginning my shakuhachi studies with Yokoyama sensei, composing music for Japanese Butoh dancers, meeting loads of Japanese and international musicians.
The musicians on this album are:
Melissa Holding; another English musician living in Kyoto. She shared my love of folk tunes from around the world, and also was immersed in the study of Japanese instruments.
Dana Sasaki; a Canadian guitar player and singer we became friends with
Bob Barraza; an American percussionist that we knew through his work with Japanese dancers.
There was something exciting about coming together as an international quartet and we started to develop a small following around town that encouraged us to invest the time and money in going into a professional studio where these tunes came together as an album
Dana Sasaki became a very good friend and soulmate in the 20 years after we made this album. He was a very serious student of Zen meditation, and in the months leading up to his passing in 2014 we had many deep discussions on this subject that still affect and influence me today. In some ways the re-release of The Shape of Eggs is made in Dana’s memory.
It’s interesting to hear the sound of the ‘flauto dolce’ on this recording, merging beautiful colours and phrases with Japanese instruments and South American/Irish melodies. I don’t play these kinds of tunes any more, but there is something timeless about the sounds and it’s a great pleasure to re-release the album here.
The original album was released on cassette format, and as you can see from the reproduction of the cassette insert here, it featured all the titles in Japanese as well as English. The title for the album was taken from the shape of some mossy rocks in the wall of a Zen temple garden close to where I lived.
“The Shape of Eggs
(Words by Dana Sasaki)
Take that man standing there
What he’s thinking the clothes he wears
Take the lovers along the street
The broken hearts, the kisses deep
Take the children at their play
Laughter rings throughout the day
The Flow of milk, the shape of eggs
The curve of light upon your legs
A double bed, a heart that beats
The way a plum is not a peach
A school of fish, the clouds so high
The smell of rain
The smell of rain”