Not Held at Japan Society – Ancient Melodies

October 18, 2003
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A special musical evening that explores the ancient sounds of the Orient. Special guest Ralph Samuelson plays the shakuhachi, the ancient Japanese flute.

The rich solo repertoire of the shakuhachi, a music of great spiritual depth and beauty, is primarily a product of the 17th and 18th centuries, when the instrument was played by mendicant monks known as komuso (priests of nothingness). The theoretical foundation of their spiritual practice was the blowing of the shakuhachi, and the pieces which derive from this tradition are generally known as honkyoku.  Shakuhachi honkyoku are characterized by a focus on breath as the element central to meditation; Honkyoku explore the deep world within each individual sound and can bring the practitioner (and listeners) to a state of stillness, harmony, and insight.

Yuan Jung-Ping and his students play the qin, a 7-stringed zither, one of the oldest and most important Chinese instruments. In its iconography, ideology and construction, the qin embodies essential Chinese thoughts in art and philosophy. Confucius (around 600 BC) was a master of the qin. It became one of the “four arts”, and was widely collected as an art object and praised for its beautiful music. This performance encompasses qin music from the Wei-Jin dynasties (220-420 A.D.) to the Qing dynasty (1644-1911).

Ralph Samuelson, shakuhachi
Yuan Jung Ping, qin

Tickets: $15, $10 students / seniors

For more information and tickets call (212) 627-1076

  • Saturday, October 18, 2003
  • 8:00 pm