The album As I Breathe brings together collaborations between Adrian Freedman and musicians from Japan, Belgium and Cornwall. The album contains 11 tracks, of which 7 are solo shakuhachi pieces and the other four are collaborative projects.

Here is some more information about the collaborative tracks:

Esoh and Ema from the groupi Yurai. Image Supplied by the Musicians.
Esoh and Ema from the groupi Yurai

Hana Ori – with Esoh and Ema

This track is a trio for shakuhachi with yangqin (Chinese hammered dulcimer) and erhu (Chinese two-string fiddle).  It was recorded in Nara, Japan with the Japanese musicians Esoh and Ema, founder members of the group Yurai.

Ema is also a singer, known in Japan as the ‘Rainbow Voice’. She is a pioneer of the use of the erhu outside of its usual context of Chinese folk music. Esoh is well known in Japan as a multi-instrumentalist, composer, music producer and inventor of original instruments made from wood and stone. Adrian first performed with Esoh and Ema in Kyoto, 1991 and in March 2018 the next chapter of their collaboration will continue with a concert and recording on Awaji Island in Japan.
Neil Davey, bouzouki. Image Supplied by the musician
Neil Davey, bouzouki
Rebecca Jackson playing cello with Souterrain.

Sweet Avre – with Neil Davey and Rebecca Jackson

This piece was recorded in Amiens, France, as part of the original soundtrack for Souterrain, a theatre production with Wildworks Theatre. Adrian is playing shakuhachi and accordion on the track, together with Neil Davey, bouzouki, and Rebecca Jackson, cello. Neil and Rebecca both live in Cornwall. Neil Davey is a highly respected as a pioneer for modern interpretations of Cornish folk music. He is a founder member of the groups Dalla, Bucca and Anam, with whom he has recorded many albums and toured all over the world.
Iwan Kushka. Image Supplied by the musician

Hafra – with Iwan Kushka

This track is a duet for shakuhachi and frame drum.

Iwan is a Belgian storyteller and multi-instrumentalist who plays the Zimbabwean mbira, the Armenian duduk, the Arabic oud and the Moroccan Guimbri of the Gnawa tradition. He is a member of the African fusion band Ombiviolum. Iwan and Adrian have collaborated on many projects over the years. This piece, Hafra allows Adrian to explore Persian scales on the shakuhachi against a backdrop of the rolling rhythms of Iwan’s frame drum.
Singing lady in ambient healing event

Peace Mother – with Heather Golding

Singer Heather Golding has an extraordinary gift. She sings totally improvised music with a unique style, in which she improvises the words in a spontaneously new language, as well as the melodies. She sings with pure inspiration, in a voice that blends perfectly with the shakuhachi. Peace Mother is an intuitive dialogue between Heather and Adrian in which the voice and flute blend seamlessly in a lyrical flow.


As I Breathe

A new album of meditative music for solo shakuhachi and other instruments. Featuring Japanese musicians Esoh and Ema (yangqin and erhu) as well as Neil Davey (bouzouki), Heather Golding (voice) and Rebecca Jackson (cello).

  • Clarity - Adrian Freedman
  • Lake - Adrian Freeedman
  • Stillnes - Adrian Freedman
  • Sweet Avre - Adrian Freedman
  • Call to Prayer - Adrian Freedman
  • Hafra - Adrian Freedman and Iwan Kushka
  • Hana Ori - Adrian Freedman
  • Depth - Adrian Freedman
  • Moonrise - Adrian Freedman and Heather Golding
  • Peace Mother - Adrian Freedman
  • Grasslands - Adrian Freedman
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Listening to the deceptively simple, chiaroscuro melodic lines of the album As I Breathe, felt like being transported to an archaic and timeless world, hitherto unknown to me and yet intimately familiar and personal.  Something like an answer to my own questioning was echoing back from this encounter.  It felt like bitter-sweet, half-forgotten memories of past human drama – hopes and despairs, triumphs and defeats, sorrows and ecstasies had been purified and tempered, alchemically enriched until they acquired the warm notes of light-hearted playfulness and tender serenity. An enchanting and soul-healing auditory elixir.

Radhu Valc / Software designer and shakuhachi player

Adrian Freedman knows the music of silence. His transparent compositions on the new album As I Breathe draw the listener home to the source, sound before sound, opening the heart into the beauty of being and love’s eternal presence.

Chloe Goodchild / singer and founder of The Naked Voice

Adrian has one of the sweetest, most soulful, mournful, and true sounds on the shakuhachi. Few have accomplished such amazing tonal control on this most uniquely challenging instrument. Adrian Freedman keeps alive the heart of the shakuhachi of Japan, whilst gracefully taking it wondering through other worlds and sounds and feelings.  This album is mellow, soothing, healing; a journey to unexpected corners of the heart.

Brian Shultz / shakuhachi player

Click on the link below to read the long reviews

As I Breathe – long reviews