New Atsuya Okuda CD: Bamboo Zen

In August, 2006, my pal Henry Kaiser and I, with the invaluable help and support of Kiku Day, produced a recording of our favorite living Japanese flute player, Atsuya Okuda, at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA. Okuda plays bamboo flutes, made mostly by himself, called “jinashi shakuhachi”,” jinashikan” or “hocchiku.” These flutes, while similar to modern shakuhachi, are made without the use of lacquer inside of the bore. As a result, in the hands of a master, (who uses a different type of blowing technique to compensate for the natural imperfections of the inside bore), these flutes are capable of producing a wide array of beautiful, evocative sounds and tones associated with both Zen and the natural world. This type of playing could be called “Suizen” — Blowing Zen.

The recording sessions went amazingly well and the resulting CD is quite possibly the finest of its kind in modern times; filled with spontaneity, depth and the soulfulness of Okuda’s unique playing style, while reflecting the spirit of the greatest of all hocchiku players, the legendary Watazumido.

Now, nearly 4 years later, Okuda’s CD, Bamboo Zen, has finally been released!

Copies of Bamboo Zen can be purchased directly from


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Matt Gramly
    Mar 17, 2010 @ 16:05:07

    Was this the project that Chris photographed?


  2. mahaprana
    Mar 17, 2010 @ 16:20:04

    Indeed it was. The photographs are really excellent.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: