Tonight! Empty Flute

The Shakuhachi 

The name “shakuhachi” is translated as “1.8 shaku.” “Shaku ” is a  unit of length, and “hachi ” means 8, thus the flute is basically 1.8  shaku long. However, this only refers to the flute that plays in the key of D minor. Many lengths and keys are possible and used today.

The oldest known evidence for bamboo flutes goes back to the ninth  century BCE in China. However, there is much variation among bamboo  flutes with regard to whether it is end-blown or side-blown, the number  of holes, etc. In the sixth century the bamboo flute is known to have  migrated to Japan. The shakuhachi as we know it today originated in the  Fuke sect of Zen Buddhism.

Priests of Nothingness

Suizen, translated as “blowing Zen,” is a method of meditation. The  basket on the head of the Fuke monk or priest, called komuso, is a well  known image of the traditional shakuhachi player. These temple priests  would walk the streets of towns begging for alms and playing their  flutes.


Throughout Boots’ professional training he has pursued  on-the-ground performance and composition experience through a long  series of performing groups, and more recently, a robust solo  repertoire. Since 1994 Boots has released 16 albums and composed and  arranged 74 pieces for solo shakuhachi, 29 pieces for mixed woodwind  chamber groups and 34 works for rock, funk and mixed electric ensembles.  His composition catalog is in excess of 200 works, and growing. Since  2015 he has focused exclusively on the shakuhachi bamboo flute and it’s  baritone brother, Taimu. He is currently creating solo, cross-cultural  new music, merging the threads of Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Watazumi, and Son  House, and many more.

Cornelius is a Vandoren performing artist, a Mujitsu Shakuhachi and  Chikuzen Studios affiliate, and a member of the International  Shakuhachi Society, the World Flute Society, Chamber Music America, New  Music USA and Save the Redwoods.  He is currently (since 2014) enrolled  in the Masters of Divinity program at Buddha Dharma University where he  also teaches a course on the Taoist rascal-sage Chuang Tzu (Zhuangzi),  The Way of Zhuangzi.

We’ll be streaming via Facebook, Youtube and perhaps even Twitch.

Cornelius Boots

Joining me will be Special Guest Peter Shiao of Immortal Studios.  I’ve been a fan of his work since quite a bit before he founded Immortal  Studios; publishers of the comics The Immortal Swordsman and The Adept,  right here on kickstarter. We crossed paths via my work with KUNG FU  TAI CHI magazine and his own endeavors with the original Shaolin Temple  of China. He’s among a handful of luminaries doing the good work of  bringing Wuxia to western audiences.

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