二胡 – The Erhu

After nearly 10 years of wanting one, I finally placed an order for my first ehru. To celebrate, I will dedicate this post to this remarkable instrument.  The erhu (二胡 pronounced êɻxǔ) is an ancient Chinese bowed-string instrument.  It has two strings (D and A above), between which the bow is trapped.  Here is perhaps the most famous erhu piece:

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Ft. Worth Japanese Garden – Summer

Ft. Worth, TX is home to an incredible treasure: the Japanese Garden at the Ft. Worth Botanical Gardens. I am saddened that I only discovered this now after living in Texas for four years. As you join me on this visual journey, please remember a few things; I am a terrible photographer, I took these images on a upper-low-end point-and-shoot Canon PowerShot SD1200 iS camera, and that these have not be graphically edited. This place is so beautiful, not even I can take a bad shot.

Please click on any of the photos for a larger image.

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Sakura

If you are the performer, or know who is, please contact me!  This performance is amazing and I want to buy every CD you sell.

No, even the poster doesn’t know where the music came from.  Please help us solve this mystery.  I am not the only one who wants to know.

Chants: Kirtan and Krishna Das

In Hinduism, japa is the spiritual practice of reciting a mantra or the name of a god repeatedly; sometimes hundreds of times.  At some point, some brilliant soul thought it would be more fun if others were involved and if it were put to music.  This was the birth of kirtan.*  In this first article in a series on the great music found in various chant traditions we will explore the music of kirtan.

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