Album: Zen Hoyo, Japan: Liturgy etc (Ocora)

A little bell is struck slowly, then a lower one, then the surrounding silence takes over.

Gradually, as though blown by the wind, delicate chimes and gongs are heard: thus does the Rinzai sect begin its ritual, which hasn't changed since the 12th century. Emptiness is the goal; a woodblock and lithophones – percussion instruments made from volcanic rock – are added to the shakuhachi flute which sets the mood of meditation. And when the monks begin to chant – celebrating the Bodhisattva – we take off into the empyrean.