打禅コーナー
(Dahzen Corner)

It all begins and ends with music

Whenever I ask of myself the purpose of living, what is the ultimate quest in life, what is the meaning of existence, and how best to make use of my time here in accordance with such purpose and meaning, it’s hard not to circle back to music again and again, time after time. Many other things are of equally great importance, and absolutely deserving of pursuit, but music happens to transcend every imaginable barrier, and bridge every conceivable gap like nothing else can. It affects the brain in ways that no other kind of stimulation can match. It brings people together and synchronizes their brain waves and the tone of their emotions. As a language, it is readily understood without learning or studying of any kind. It is almost as central to life as language itself. And it has been an important fixture in my life for most of my days.

As a lover of music, it has long been my passion to create songs of my own, despite my poor recording equipment and engineering skills, also my lack of talent and limited dedication to the craft. Nevertheless, “Dahzen Corner” is a place that I have set aside for interested sonic explorers, fellow creators and musicians, and supporters of the arts, who care to discover what lies within my mind, by hearing and listening to the songs from within my heart.

“Dahzen” is a made-up Japanese word, a combination of existing words that, to my knowledge, have not been paired together before. “Zen” is certainly the more familiar half, referring to Zen Buddhism and Zen meditation. “Zazen” is the Japanese word for seated meditation (“Za” means “sit,” or “seated.”) As a musician who excels most at hand percussion and drums, I was drawn to the concept of drumming as a form of concentrated meditation. This inspiration paved the way for the articulation of a new form of meditation, which I now call “Dahzen,” because “dah” (打) means to hit or strike something. Therefore Dahzen might be well translated as beat-zen; finding zen in the beat, or beating the drum until a trance-state is reached.

To encapsulate the sound of Dahzen within a narrowly-defined genre is a tricky task, because like my musical tastes, my output is equally diverse and eclectic, and thoroughly experimental. This is the case even with my recording and mixing process. I’ve dubbed it “wabi-sabi” music, because the creation of this music is, for me, a dialogue between self and other, between intention and accident, and a collaboration between myself, the forces of coincidence and synchronicity, and the muse who whispers in my ear and shapes the final form of my music as much as I do. This approach comes complete with hot mics that unintentionally captured sounds which then were meant to stay in the mix, rough mixes and takes that were left unsmoothed to reflect the transient and “perfectly imperfect” nature of the phenomenal world, and attempts at xenochrony and other novel methods of musical experimentation. For that reason, the musical offerings of Dahzen are less like polished pop products for mass consumption, and more like a bricolage collection of parched scrolls and collages found by happenstance in a dusty, forgotten bin within an unassuming forest hermitage, by the path less traveled.

“Brane Waves”

“Brane Waves” by Dahzen

“Sirius Porpoise [Dogon Divination Disco]” by Dahzen

“Sirius Porpoise [Dogon Divination Disco]” by Dahzen

“The Campfire” by Dahzen

“The Campfire” by Dahzen