Monday, August 20, 2018

Carpe Diem #1500 Where the rivers flow, Irish folkmusic

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you have had a wonderful weekend and that our new weekend-meditation has awakened your muses. I had a good weekend, for the biggest part by the way in my bed, because I am on the nightshift.
I have tried to catch up with commenting, but didn't catch up with the Summer Retreat, maybe that I will do this night or this week.

Before the weekend started we visited Afghanistan and now we are traveling back to Europe, to be precise ... we are traveling to Ireland. In my salutation I use "travelers" every day and it happens to be that travelers, a kind of gypsies, are original from Ireland, so maybe they influenced the traditional folkmusic of Ireland too. This is by the way our 1500th regular episode here at CDHK. Another nice milestone I would say.

Irish Music Group
Let me tell you a little bit more about traditional Irish folkmusic. Of course I have used the online source of knowledge at Wikipedia, partially re-written or shortend.

Irish traditional music (also known as Irish trad, Irish folk music) is a genre of folk music that developed in Ireland.
In A History of Irish Music (1905), W. H. Grattan Flood wrote that, in Gaelic Ireland, there were at least ten instruments in general use. These were the cruit (a small harp) and clairseach (a bigger harp with typically 30 strings), the timpan (a small string instrument played with a bow or plectrum), the feadan (a fife), the buinne (an oboe or flute), the guthbuinne (a bassoon-type horn), the bennbuabhal and corn (hornpipes), the cuislenna (bagpipes), the stoc and sturgan (clarions or trumpets), and the cnamha (castanets). There is also evidence of the fiddle being used in the 8th century.
There are several collections of Irish folk music from the 18th century, but it was not until the 19th century that ballad printers became established in Dublin. Though solo performance is preferred in the folk tradition, bands or at least small ensembles have probably been a part of Irish music since at least the mid-19th century, although this is a point of much contention among ethnomusicologists.
Irish traditional music has endured more strongly against the forces of cinema, radio and the mass media than the indigenous folk music of most European countries. This was possibly because the country was not a geographical battleground in either of the two world wars. Another potential factor was that the economy was largely agricultural, where oral tradition usually thrives. From the end of the second world war until the late fifties folk music was held in low regard. Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (an Irish traditional music association) and the popularity of the Fleadh Cheoil (music festival) helped lead the revival of the music. The English Folk music scene also encouraged and gave self-confidence to many Irish musicians. Following the success of The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem in the USA in 1959, Irish folk music became fashionable again. The lush sentimental style of singers such as Delia Murphy was replaced by guitar-driven male groups such as The Dubliners. Irish showbands presented a mixture of pop music and folk dance tunes, though these died out during the seventies. The international success of The Chieftains and subsequent musicians and groups has made Irish folk music a global brand.
Historically much old-time music of the USA grew out of the music of Ireland, England and Scotland, as a result of cultural diffusion.

I love this kind of music it makes me happy.

pot of gold
not at the end of the Rainbow
lucky music

(C) Chèvrefeuille

Well ... I am late with publishing, but I hadn't enough time to create an episode. So this episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until August 26th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #46 Renga With Basho Hineri "autumn coolness"

!! Open for your submissions next Sunday August 19th at 7:00 PM (CEST) !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's almost weekend and that means time again for our special feature Carpe Diem's Weekend Meditation and this weekend I love to challenge you with a new version of our "Renga With Basho". As you al know (maybe) Basho was a famous renga-master and he attended several renga parties as a guest, a participant or as judge.
Today I was re-readin Jane Reihhold's "Basho, The Complete Haiku" and ran into a beautiful "hokku" he wrote for one of the renga parties he attended. That gave me a nice idea. I love to challenge you this weekend to create (again) a Renga With Basho, but this weekend I have "re-named" this special feature to "Renga With Basho Hineri". "Hineri" means "with a twist" and than you all can know that this is a little bit different than our regular special feature "Renga With Basho".

I will give you six haiku written by Basho in a translation by Jane Reichhold, but one of those haiku is a real "hokku" used by Basho at a renga-party he attended. You have to start your Renga With Basho with that real "hokku".

Here are the six haiku (including the real "hokku") to work with. The goal is to write the 2-lined stanza between the haiku and to close the "chain" with a "ageku" that connects the last verse with the first one. Except the hokku you can choose your own line-up for this Renga With Basho Hineri.

blossoms at their peak
the mountain the same as always
at daybreak

with young leaves
I would like to wipe away
the tears in your eyes

swinging bridge
lives are intertwined
in Ivy vines

Melons and Eggplant (Japanese woodblock print)

autumn coolness
each peeling with our hands
melons and eggplant

a clear night
cooling myself under cherry trees
waves of flowers

to get wet passing by
a man is interesting
bush clover in rain

© Matsuo Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold; taken from "Basho, The Complete Haiku")

The original "hokku", the first verse of this renga is the one in fat-green print. That "hokku" you have to use as the starting verse of your Renga With Basho Hineri. You can choose your line-up from the five other haiku (in dark blue).

Create your Renga With Basho Hineri by writing the two-lined stanza with approximately 14 syllables. It's up to you now ...

This weekend meditation is open for submissions next Sunday August 19th at 7:00 PM (CEST) and will remain open until August 26th at noon (CEST). I hope to publish our new regular episode around the same time. For now ... have fun and enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Carpe Diem #1499 Food For The Soul, music from Afghanistan

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

We are staying in Asia for a while, because of the richness of the music of Asia. Recently I took care of a very ill patient from Afghanistan. He listened almost every evening to music from is motherland and I can say without a doubt that Afghan music is really beautiful. So today I love to challenge you to listen to an Afghan piece of music for your inspiration, but first I will give you a little bit background on this music from Afghanistan.

The Afghan concept of music is closely associated with instruments, and thus unaccompanied religious singing is not considered music. Koran recitation is an important kind of unaccompanied religious performance, as is the ecstatic Zikr ritual of the Sufis which uses songs called na't, and the Shi'a solo and group singing styles like mursia, manqasat, nowheh and rowzeh. The Chishti Sufi sect of Kabul is an exception in that they use instruments like the rubab, tabla and harmonium in their worship; this music is called tatti ("food for the soul").

Afghan rubab
I have chosen an example of Afghan folkmusic to inspire you.

A wonderful song I think. I loved listening to it and I hope you can appreciate it too. Of course I hope you will be inspired too by this song. This song inspired me to the following tanka:

along the river
I walk barefoot and listen
the voice of water
telling me stories from faraway
cherishing my tearful soul 

© Chèvrefeuille

As you all know tanka isn't really my "cup of tea", but I think this one has become beautiful (how immodest).

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until August 23rd at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new weekend-meditation later on. For now ... have fun!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Carpe Diem Extra August 15th 2018 2nd edition of the CDHK Troiku Kukai

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It has been a while that I organized a kukai, but that will change today. I invite you to participate in our 2nd edition of the CDHK Troiku Kukai. What is the goal of the Troiku Kukai? I will give you an haiku from a modern or a classical haiku poet and you have to create a Troiku with it. More on Troiku you can find above in the menu. Troiku is a creative way of haiku-ing invented by myself back in 2012. I know that several of you are caught by this new creative way of haiku-ing and that you enjoy creating Troiku.

This 2nd edition of the CDHK Troiku Kukai starts today and will run to September 15th 2018. You can email your Troiku to our emailadress: Please write Troiku Kukai 2 in the subject line.

For this 2nd edition of the Troiku Kukai I have chosen a nice haiku by the classical master Yosa Buson (1716-1784). Separate the three lines and create a new haiku with every separated line. No need to follow the classical haiku rules, just enjoy creating Troiku.

Shell On The Beach (photographer unknown)

Here is the haiku to work with by Buson:

Springtime rain -- 
a little shell on a small beach, 
enough to moisten it

© Yosa Buson (Tr. unknown)

This 2nd edition of the CDHK Troiku Kukai is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until September 15th 2018 at noon (CEST).
Send your Troiku to: Please write Troiku Kukai 2 in the subject line.

Have fun!

Your host,


Carpe Diem #1498 Music from the steppes

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

We are on a journey around the world on a quest for folkmusic. Yesterday we visited Tibet and listened to the throat singing monks of Tibet. Today we are going further and we will arrive in Mongolia.
Back in our history we have visited Mongolia a few times and today we are doing that again, because in Mongolia we also find what is called "throat singing". (More about throat-singing in Mongolia you can find HERE.)

Because of lack of time this will be a short episode with only a video of Throat singing from Mongolia.

Isn't it wonderful how this throat singing sounds great? It's really a joy to listen to it. Enjoy the music.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CEST) and will remain open until August 22nd at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Carpe Diem's Tan Renga Challenge #110 swinging gate

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Maybe you are familiar with the early history of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai then maybe you know that we had a weekly feature on Fridays titled "Tan Renga Challenge". As the title already says the goal was to create a Tan Renga from a given haiku by an ancient or modern haiku poet. I remember that a lot of you enjoyed that feature very much, so I have decided to bring the Tan Renga Challenge back at CDHK. The above number (110) is just a chosen number, because I couldn't find the number of our last Tan Renga Challenge, somewhere back in 2016.

For this "first" newly born Tan Renga Challenge I have chosen a haiku written by our wonderful and beautiful Jane Reichhold. She is still missed and her spirit is dwelling here at CDHK. I have taken this haiku from her online "dictionary of haiku" from the division Summer and sub-division Plants:

a swinging gate
on both sides the flowers
open - close

(C) Jane Reichhold

What was the goal of this special feature? To create the second stanza of the Tan Renga through association on the images. scenes in the given haiku. The second stanza is a two-lined verse with approximately 14 syllables (7-7).
Tan Renga looks very similar to Tanka, but Tan Renga is written by two poets instead of one poet as is done with Tanka.

This Tan Renga Challenge is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until August 22nd at noon (CEST. I will (try to) publish a new Tan Renga Challenge every Wednesday. For now ... have fun!


Renga With Basho #6 bush clover and the moon

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I am a little bit to early with this new episode of our special feature "Renga With Basho" in which the goal is to create a renga together with the master, Matsuo Basho, by writing the inbetween two-lined stanza.
You may chose from six given haiku, you may chose your own line-up. Remember that the first haiku (hokku) and the last stanza (ageku) have to be connected through association and to "close the chain".

Here are the six haiku I have chosen, this time I have chosen haiku by Basho all translated by Robert Hass.

cedar umbrellas, off
to Mount Yoshimo for
the cherry blossoms

attached to nothing,
the skylark singing

staying at an inn
where prostitutes are also sleeping --
bush clover and the moon


when the winter chrysanthemums go,
there's nothing to write about
but radishes

with every gust of wind,
the butterfly changes its place
on the willow

the dragonfly
can't quite land
on that blade of grass

(C) Matsuo Basho (Tr. Robert Hass)

Well I hope you don't mind that I have already a new episode of "Renga With Basho" for you to work with.

This episode of "Renga With Basho" is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until August 28th at noon (CEST). Have fun!