John Kaizan Neptune

Bamboo Magic


Bamboo Magic

This is the third album I have recorded in Chennai, India, with some additional recording in Japan. A truly multi-cultural project: shakuhachi and koto and guitar from Japan, bass and drums from Malaysia, string quartet and hand percussion from India. I really like working with the string quartet with a hot rhythm section…add tabla, ghatam (clay pot), khanjira (tambourine), and the colors begin to flow! Also included are two vocal songs. Manju Nigar is a lilting pilgrim song from South India sung by the beautiful husky voice of classical Indian singer Visalakshi Nityanand.

The other song is a piece I wrote called Moments of Magic: while performing a solo meditation piece for shakuhachi at a concert I did for a retirement/nursing home in Japan, an old woman began to sing very loud and totally “out”. I didn’t know whether to stop or continue, but figured “Oh well, a duet for Zen shakuhachi and crazy old woman.” It was actually quite interesting. After I finished playing the woman stopped singing, and when I looked into the audience I could see tears in the eyes of the nurses who were in attendance. Later I asked the nurses what was going on they informed me that the woman who was singing had advanced Alzheimer’s disease, and had not spoken or reacted to anything for more than three years! I am constantly amazed by the power of music and feel fortunate to be participating in that energy, and decided to write a song about that.

My daughter Kai makes her recording debut here, and she also did the cover art for the album.


Mountain Festival
Riding Clouds
Khanda Caper
Touch of Blue
Bamboo Shadow Dance
Manju Nigar
Two Tails
Moments of Magic
Spring Voice
Light the Way

All music composed and arranged by John Kaizan Neptune except Manju Nigar by Annamalai Reddiar.
Recorded at Media Artists, Chennai, India, September 4-11, 2004

Additional recordings at the Neptune Dome, Kamogawa, Japan, January 25, 2007


John Kaizan Neptune-Shakuhachi
Takao Naoi-Guitar
Andy Peterson-Bass
Lewis Pragasam-Drums
Sawako Fukuhara-koto
Visalakshi Nityanand -Voice (Manju Nigar)
Kai Neptune-Voice (Moments of Magic)
Madras String Quartet
• V.S. Narasimhan-Violin
• Hemanrhraj-Violin
• B. Jayachandran-Viola
• V.R. Sekar-Cello

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