Hatchidori Wa Hana Ka[ra] Hana [e tobu] (Hummingbird Flies from Flower to Flower) and Kabutomushi (Rhinoceros Beetle) are musical pieces that attempt to capture the energy of the natural object; in this case, a hummingbird and a rhinoceros beetle. I believe staying true to the spiritual origins of Koto is paramount.
Spiritually, Koto jazz seeks to bring out the Japanese Shinto-Buddhist spiritual nourishment derived from connection and reverence to nature as well as ancestral worship. The western influences of jazz music, in part, have their origins in western Judeo-Christian ideals and institutions. It is my opinion we need to bring these two together into an harmonious whole of “yin and yang”, bringing out the best in both traditions which lifts us to broader spiritual growth and learning.
The best written description/ representation of this that I’ve read to date is the a #1 New York Times Bestselling book by James Redfield called The “Celestine Prophecy“, and our evolution toward a global non-religious spiritual awakening.
2 thoughts on “Kotojazz 1: Koto Jazz Defined – Spiritual origins”
“Chris . . . You have what is important— an amazing ear— you can play by ear— out of thousands of students I’ve only seen a couple of people who can do what you do easily. Your composition work is truely masterful. And it is so true to your love and integration of the amazing life you are living. . . . I really feel honored to be allowed to hear your beautiful wonderful creation(s). I believe you are truly blessed.”
It was pure serene magic to sit back & listen to you play some popular songs as well as your rendition of Koto Jazz. Thank you for sharing your piano music with us on a beautiful Sunday afternoon Chris, I wish you the very best in all your musical endeavors!