LEVEKUNST art of life is happy to present Hagakure by musician and poet Yeshen Dorje. We share the story in his own words:
The Yeshen Experience consists of two musicians; Gareth Williams from Cheshire & Yeshen from Manchester, England. Gareth and I meet around three years ago at a James Low retreat in Macclesfield U.K. and we gradually got closer over time. It turned out we were both into world music, hip hop, poetry and then an interesting idea for a Dzogchen inspired poetry, hip hop, mantra and instrumental project emerged. Hagakure, our first demo was born.
The track was inspired by the life-changing book by Yamamoto Tsunetomo about The Way Of The Samurai that I read when I was eighteen after watching Jim Jarmusch’s film Ghost Dog, which introduced me to passages from the text. The track is a reflective piece trying to evoke the place, mentality and spirit of myself during that impressionable age and how the book radically changed me. The track is dedicated to Yeshe, my partner.
Gareth has been playing guitar for thirty odd years and been into music production for about twenty-five. Since he damaged his hearing about fifteen years ago he’s been particularly interested in the wider relevance of creativity and improvisation, especially in the field of mental health and wellbeing. Improv has become his core metaphor for counselling and facilitation. Gareth was self-taught originally, but he has studied with an African master drummer, a couple of Indian classical teachers, and a jazz guitarist. He’s also learned from everyone that he’s played with over the years.
Meanwhile I have been a poet for twenty-seven years and a producer for almost twenty, who was taught the basics of music production by a friend called Ninja Peculia from Sheffield where I grew up. Having started out as an MC in 1988 from the golden era of conscious hip hop music culture and grew to produce also in the mid 90’s evolving into dharma poetry and my own unique style of beat making called Ati~Boom Bap. Using strictly hardware samplers, synths, keyboards and percussion instruments for example Akai MPC 2000, MPC 2000xl, MPC 2500, MPC 5000, Roland MV 8800, Korg/Roland synths/pianos, djembe’s, glockenspiels, xylophones, etc to create the beat upon which to recite on or for other artists to work with.
Influence-wise for the group, it’s vastly wide. DNB, Rock, Funk, Electro, Boom Bap, Techno, Dub, Soul, Indian Classical Music, House, Ambient, Jazz, Reggae, Folk, Afrobeat, Hip Hop, RNB and styles from all round the Planet. Stay tuned for more from The Yeshen Experience. An E.P is in progress.
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