Riley Lee is the first non-Japanese dai shihan (grand master) of the shakuhachi and has garnered a large, international fanbase having performed and taught around the world. On Music For Zen Meditation, Lee expertly reveals the quiet dignity and simple elegance of this ancient instrument with starkly beautiful solos and duets. Practiced for centuries by Buddhist priests in Japan, playing the shakuhachi during meditation is called suizen, or blowing Zen. Its warm, comforting sounds relax the mind, spirit, and body. Music For Zen Meditation is ideal for those who practice yoga and meditation as well as for new listeners eager for contemplative music in the face of today's hectic and troubled world…devaworld.com
This CD of shakuhachi and koto duets by Riley Lee and Satsuki Odamura paints sound-pictures or introspective dreams in an intriguing and rather beautiful way. Sometimes the phrases are simple and slow then suddenly there are bursts of energy as the instruments dance in ecstasy and passion.
There are some similaries here with the music of German musician Stephan Micus, so if you are a fan of this artist you should not be disappointed with Picture Dreams. Riley Lee, a dai shihan (grand master) of the shakuhachi, brings out all the magic of this instrument to our ears. And perfectly complementing Lee's performance, Odamura portrays a phenomenal mastery with the koto.amazon.com
This collection of exquisite French, Japanese and Australian compositions played on shakuhachi and harp takes us into the realm of a mystical imagination. Works featured are by Faure, Satie, Ravel, Debussy, Tournier, Fukuda, Kozu and Australian composer Anny Boyd. This is a very special album ideal for relaxation, meditation or simply for pure enjoyment.amazon.com
The CD's liner notes define satori as "the indescribable experience of sudden, intuitive spiritual realization." That may be, yet unless you are a serious student of yoga or a fan of its ancient musical traditions, you may struggle to reach such a state while listening to these improvisations for shakuhachi flute (Riley Lee) and koto (Gabriel Lee, no relation). Satori, originally recorded in 1983, seems best suited to serious - minded yoga practitioners and those who prefer to adorn their meditative states with only the most minimal of audio embellishments. For such people, this disc could be the answer to prayers…amazon.com
After Terry Riley's revolutionary In C, it certainly never seemed that the compositionally brash cofounder of the minimalist movement would take on a lyrical bent. But that's what he's done on this collection of pieces for violin, guitar, and percussion. Violinist Tracy Silverman and guitarist David Tanenbaum play warmly and sublimely on Cantos Desiertos, finding pristine melodies and high, arching curves around which to spread their finesse. Tanenbaum gets unbelievably rich tones from his guitar, and his range is the one consistent ingredient throughout these pieces. He duets with Riley's son Gyan, himself an accomplished guitarist, on "Zamorra" and with percussionist William Winant on Dias de los Muertos. Winant's marimba and gongs are especially appropriate for Tanenbaum's resonant string work, fluctuating from an absolute crispness to a milky froth. Where Riley's chamber works, such as Salome Dances for Peace, are intensely rhythmic, these works veer much more stealthily toward a kind of glorious flowering, even if the blooms are in dusky colors and muted, curvy patterns.
This may be the single most powerful piece of music that the Kronos Quartet has ever recorded, and perhaps that Terry Riley has ever written. This is because Requiem for Adam is so personal, so direct, and experiential. Requiem for Adam was written after the death of Kronos violinist David Harrignton's son. He died, in 1995, at the age of 16, from an aneurysm in his coronary artery. Riley, who is very close to the Harringtons and has a son the same age, has delved deep into the experience of death and resurrection, or, at the very least, transmutation. Requiem for Adam is written in three parts, or movements. The first, "Ascending the Heaven Ladder," is based on a four-note pattern that re-harmonizes itself as it moves up the scale. There are many variations and series based on each of these notes and their changing harmonics, and finally a 5/4 dance as it moves to the highest point on the strings. The drone-like effect is stunning when the listener realizes that the drone is changing shape too, ascending the scale, moving ever upward and taking part in the transmutation of harmony.
A downtown mainstay for twenty years, composer/multi-woodwind performer Ned Rothenberg makes his Tzadik debut with a stunning CD of chamber music. Acclaimed for work in a wide variety of contexts from the multi-metric funk of his Double Band to the large chamber jazz of Power Lines, Rothenberg here shows both range and focus in works for unprecedented instrumentations that have epic scope. Asian and western instruments combine in scores mixing improvised solo features with through-composed ensembles. Ghost Stories is one of Rothenberg's most accomplished works.