Christopher Yohmei Blasdel & Sasha Bogdanowitsch | Striking Light, Striking Dark

Go To Artist Page

Recommended if You Like
Goro Yamaguchi Meredith Monk Stephan Micus

More Artists From

Other Genres You Will Love
World: Japanese contemporary Avant Garde: Modern Composition Moods: Type: Acoustic
Sell your music everywhere
There are no items in your wishlist.

Striking Light, Striking Dark

by Christopher Yohmei Blasdel & Sasha Bogdanowitsch

Poetry set to music with original compositions using Japanese shakuhachi, voice & world Instruments and the texts of Rainer Marie Rilke, Pablo Neruda, John Logan & Sam Hamill.
Genre: World: Japanese contemporary
Release Date: 

We'll ship when it's back in stock

Order now and we'll ship when it's back in stock, or enter your email below to be notified when it's back in stock.
Continue Shopping
cd in stock order now
Buy 2 or more of this title's physical copies and get 10% off
Share to Google +1

To listen to tracks you will need to update your browser to a recent version.

  Song Share Time Download
1. Ish Province Work Song
Christopher Yohmei Blasdel & Sasha Bogdanowitsch
3:08 $0.99
2. How Could We Forget?
Christopher Yohmei Blasdel & Sasha Bogdanowitsch
4:19 $0.99
3. Unity
Christopher Yohmei Blasdel & Sasha Bogdanowitsch
3:52 $0.99
4. Solstice
Christopher Yohmei Blasdel & Sasha Bogdanowitsch
6:29 $0.99
5. Peacock Feather
Christopher Yohmei Blasdel & Sasha Bogdanowitsch
3:10 $0.99
6. Elegy
Christopher Yohmei Blasdel & Sasha Bogdanowitsch
3:38 $0.99
7. All of It
Christopher Yohmei Blasdel & Sasha Bogdanowitsch
4:27 $0.99
8. Oracular
Christopher Yohmei Blasdel & Sasha Bogdanowitsch
5:09 $0.99
9. The Art of Literary Translation
Christopher Yohmei Blasdel & Sasha Bogdanowitsch
3:04 $0.99
10. The Search
Christopher Yohmei Blasdel & Sasha Bogdanowitsch
6:56 $0.99
11. Kyorei
Christopher Yohmei Blasdel & Sasha Bogdanowitsch
8:20 $0.99
12. Saltarello
Christopher Yohmei Blasdel & Sasha Bogdanowitsch
4:20 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Striking Light, Striking Dark: Poetry Set to Music
Christopher Yohmei Blasdel: Japanese Shakuhachi flute, Hungarian Tslinko & Furuya
Sasha Bogdanowitsch: Voice, Surdo, Metallophone, African Dosongoni, Halo, African Karimba, Mbira Array, Bendir & Percussion

The seeds for 'Striking Light, Striking Dark' were planted in 1990, when shakuhachi player Christopher visited California Institute of the Arts to give a lecture demonstration. After his presentation, Christopher asked if anyone wanted to try to improvise with the shakuhachi. Out of forty or so music students, only Sasha, a young man sitting near the back, raised his hand. He made his way up to the front, closed his eyes and slowly began to sing along with the shakuhachi. Their beginning tones were tenuous as they listened to each other and searched for a way to harmonize, but it didn’t take long for them to find their métier. Soon Sasha’s mellifluous voice blended perfectly with the rich, plaintive tones of the bamboo, and both created their own melodies while supporting one another. After this surprising little experiment, the classroom burst into a huge round of applause. Little did Sasha and Christopher know that this moment was the beginning of a wonderful friendship and musical collaboration that would last several decades.
'Striking Light, Striking Dark' is the first CD Sasha and Christopher have made together. Each selected a few poems to set to music. As accompaniment, Sasha added some of the exotic instruments from his collection of world instruments, and Christopher brought in several flutes to provide a range of timbres. They holed up in Sasha’s attic studio for ten days in the fall of 2014, and the result is this album.
The title refers to a passage from the Kyotaku Denki, an 18th Century Japanese document that purportedly outlines the history of the shakuhachi’s transmission to Japan. The document’s central phrase, "Myōtō rai, myōtō da. Antō rai, Antō da," is a Zen-like message that literally translates as “If light comes I will strike it. If dark comes I will strike it.” It is an admonition not to be deceived by duality or differences. Like the Neruda poem, all is unity, and all is part of the other.

Christopher Yohmei Blasdel (born in Texas and lived mostly in Tokyo) began the shakuhachi and studies of Japanese music in 1972 with Living National Treasure Goro Yamaguchi. In 1982 he received an MFA from Tokyo University of Fine Arts. Performing in Japan and throughout the world, Blasdel maintains a balance between traditional shakuhachi music, modern compositions and cross-genre work with musicians, dancers, poets and visual artists. He is the senior advisor to the annual Prague Shakuhachi Festival. Writings include The Single Tone—A Personal Journey through Shakuhachi Music and The Shakuhachi, A Manual for Learning. Blasdel also has been practicing Aikido for over forty years.

Sasha Bogdanowitsch is a composer, vocalist & multi-instrumentalist whose work ranges from writing live and recorded music for theater, dance and film to cross-disciplinary performance and songs. Sasha has a MA from UCSC and a BFA from CalArts, both where he studied composition and world music. Sasha has performed throughout the world in such varied countries as Australia, Japan, India and Indonesia and throughout the USA and to local venues like New York’s Carnegie Hall, Whitney Museum, Symphony Space, BAM, Galapagos, Issue Project Room and the Stone. He is co-founder of the arts non-profit, World In One and the Vital Vox Vocal Festival.



to write a review