Here’s this week’s exclusive sneak preview from the up-coming Kyoto Journal #74 – “The Silk Roads” – due out this June!
The Hollow Staff ― Western Music and the Silk Road, by Paul Rodriguez
“The secret of the Silk Road came to the West in a hollow staff,” says the historian, thinking of silkworms. The musician nods, thinking of a different staff and a different secret. He observes that the black marks of Western music lie between lines called staff. In a hollow staff, he proposes, the music of the Silk Road lives for us as silkworms lived for the monks who smuggled them from China to Constantinople….
Silk Road Synchronicity ― Preston Houser reviews Dun Huang: Music of the Tang Dynasty
The time is now. The place is here. The present electronic moment has expanded to include practically the whole world in a kind of divine eternity which, as poet Kenneth Patchen proclaimed, is “everything happening at the same time.” If the cardinal lesson of the twentieth century is that East and West no longer serve any geographical purpose then the Silk Road was instrumental in the demolition of the Oriental and Occidental limitations. The Silk Road today serves as a metaphoric antecedent for the twentieth century, transcontinental transcendance of Euro-asian distances….
Collaboration in Harmony ―An Interview with Miki Minoru by C.B. Liddell and Leanne Ogasawara
“In 1993, I became one of the founding members of the musical ensemble, Orchestra Asia. The first three years of the group we worked solely on putting together arrangements of traditional Chinese, Korean and Japanese folk songs, using the traditional instruments of those three countries. From the fourth year, we started the second phase of our activities by moving away from arrangements and taking up new compositions of music. The first theme we chose to explore was that of the Silk Road…”
Reflections on the Hagoromo Legend ― A famous folktale and Noh play with roots in China, by Yasunori Umewaka
One spring morning, a fisherman named Hakuryo is returning from fishing off the beautiful pine-wooded coast of Miho. Stepping ashore, he hears strange and beautiful music, and an exquisite fragrance fills the air. On the branches of a nearby pine, he comes upon a beautiful robe. Marveling at this other-worldly treasure, Hakuryo takes it down from the tree, whereupon a beautiful woman appears…
Journeys to the Western Realm ― the historic wanderings of two monks and a modern-day Japanese painter, by Jean Miyake Downey
Welcoming travelers to Nara, Gyoki stands on top of a stupa-shaped fountain at the Kintetsu rail station plaza. Shaved head, robe, and prayer beads signal his role as a Buddhist monk. It’s a rainy day in the ancient capital. Everyday travelers ― heads bowed under dripping umbrellas ― don’t give the old priest even a first glance. Many escape the rain by hurrying into the Higashimuki Shopping Arcade next to the station. Here, tourist shops, fragrant with the musty scent of fermentation still sell the same souvenirs identified with Nara for centuries: naruzuke, vegetables pickled in sake, and Yamato-cha, green tea grown in the highlands around Nara from seeds originally brought by monks traveling from China during the Tang Dynasty ― a period that overlapped the founding of Nara as Japan’s second capital in 710…
Kuchean Dancers, and the Sogdian Whirl by Leanne Ogasawara
There is a rumor that circulates in India that Jesus ― rather than finishing out his days on the cross ― spent his later years journeying through Kashmir; or even that he made it all the way to Japan, where he spent his last years as a rice farmer in a small village in Aomori. Well, there is a similar rumor about the Persian Prince Pirooz, that he actually traveled even further East ― to Japan, where he is said to have spent many years influencing the elegant Iranification of that land…
And more! Still more! Deep Kyoto will publish yet more extracts and images from KJ #74 later next week.
Kyoto Journal #74 is due out in June 2010. PRE-ORDER your copy now at email@example.com (send name, address, card info) or by SUBSCRIBING to KJ via http://www.kyotojournal.org/subscriptions.html “SILK ROADS”.
PRICES: Japan ¥1,500 • US $15 • Canada $15 • EU €10 • Australia $20 • Hong Kong $85 • Korea 20,000KRW.
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