Jake Shimabukuro has released a new two-song EP entitled Annon. I think the title track is one of Jake’s most beautiful pieces yet. Composed for the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawai’i, the song features a very Japanese sound with plenty of Jake’s “koto” dissonance. The second song “Ichigoichie” goes for the full band effect – piano, guitar, strings, etc.
From the press release:
Shinran Shonin?s 750th Memorial Service will take place at Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha Nishi Hongwanji from April 2011 to January 2012. Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii will observe Shinran Shonin’s 750th Memorial Service in September 2009 in conjunction with its 120th Anniversary of the Mission with 35 Hongwanji temples. To mark the occasion, Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii asked Jake Shimabukuro to compose the song Annon, which means May Peace and Tranquility prevail throughout the world. This phrase found in the letter written by Shinran Shonin, who lived during social turmoil of medieval Japan, reveals the path which Nembutsu followers should follow. It was Shinran Shonin’s wish to let the Buddha’s teaching spread and peace and tranquility prevail throughout the world. Hence, to echo his wish, the song, Annon was produced, which will heal people all over the world with sounds of the ukulele.
The other tune on this mini-EP is “Ichigoichie” (Itchy-go Itchy-ei) which means “once in a lifetime” and is Jake’s favorite Japanese word.