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From the man
who translated ZG into Finnish ("Zen Kitara"), Helsinki-based
reader Kimmo Kivelä <firstname.lastname@example.org> offers
what he calls "The Totally Uncomplete Zen Songbook." Check
out his photo essay in ZG'zine, entitled "Shooting
"These are songs that I've somehow
linked with ideas that can also be found in Zen:"
The Totally Uncomplete Zen Songbook:
1. "It's no game" - David Bowie.
This song keeps you from thinking you are the ruler for world.
Only things you can rule are games you design.
2. "Accidents will happen" -
by same artist: "You better watch your step." That's
the path. Under your feet.
3. "Should I stay or should I go" -
Sometimes you just get stuck very trivial way: If you go,
you'll get trouble, and if you don't, you'll get double.
4. "Grown-ups are just like little children" -
They just demolish bigger things when they are driven by hatred.
5. "I just can't get it" -
you're gonna crash your car, it don't really matter if it's
a Rolls Royce or VW. You'll get nowhere with
that anyway. (breakthrough by Tom Petty "You can get it")
6. "Death and glory (just another story)" -
Fighting may seem necessary sometimes. Usually it's necessary
for somebody else, not the fighters themselves.
7. "Shape of things to come" -
Ramones (original version by Yardbirds)
Sometimes the future draws a certain shape you can see. Better
to run if you're under the shadow.
8. "Dream's Dream" -
Is it you dreaming of butterflies or a butterfly dreaming
of being you?
9. "Nobody hurts you harder than yourself" - Graham
Parker & Rumours
You just can't be too strong, too right, too wrong.
10. "Axis: bold as love" -
Here's something I call Music.
11. "Mysterious traveller" -
The Weather Report.
Here's something I call Music Without Words.
Recent spins on the ZG turntable
The shakuhachi, or bamboo flute, is a traditional Japanese
instrument closely associated with zen practice. Wandering
monks play the flute for meditation; its sound has been likened
to that of deer calling one another. This disc is an presents
Miyata, a modern shakuhachi master, in solo performance. If
you want to hear what zen sounds like, this is it.
Music of, for, and by the working people of Japan. Like the
field hollers of the slaves in cotton fields in the American
South, these are songs that emanate from hard labor--the songs
Japanese farmers sing when pulling rice in the paddy field,
that fishermen use to synchronize their boat oars and net pulling,
that lumberjacks use to saw the logs, some dating back 1000
years. True Japanese folk music.
Encore, Art Pepper
The alto saxophonist Art Pepper enjoyed immense success with
Japanese audiences, and this '77 set captures him at his best.
I first heard this disc on a rainy night in Kyoto, sitting
at a jazz bar after a day spent visiting zen temples around
the city. Perhaps my awareness was heightened, but I'll never
forget the sound of Pepper's horn against the falling rain
outside. A ZG moment.
An old master of the Hawaiian "slack key" guitar
style. You can feel the sunshine and hear the tropical breezes.
Guitar players will particularly like the fact that his liner
notes spell out the different tunings he uses.