Yoshizen's Blog

Hand-held Photo for 1 second

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This photo was taken in a church in Schwetzingen, Germany when I visited and listened  

hundred of Pipe Organ in Europe.

As far as I remember, this photo must be the best usable Hand-held photo (which got an

evidence), in my entire life.  —– how can I say this ?  =  The film was Kodachrome  ISO 25.  

The lighting condition like this = if it was ISO 400,  1/30 or 1/15,  F2.8.  —– just count on

your fingers, it became  1/2 ~ 1 second for ISO 25 Film.  But the lens was Pentax  17 mm F4.  

It was in deed 1 second F4.    Please look into the mirror above the organ key-board. =

The image in the mirror was me holding camera = no tripod.

Still you can read (well more or less) the music score.

Not too bad isn’t it for Hand-held for one second ?

—– (Knack to hold the camera is,   1) Close armpit and put elbow solidly on the chest.

2) Don’t push button with pointing finger alone but do it as if you are squeezing all the

finger inward.    3) Relax, never been tensioned.  Just hold breath and release the shutter.)

(Because of an Organist who is facing the key-board, hence couldn’t see the progress of a 

mass service behind of him, it is necessary to have a mirror there to see the timing.)  

—– Well, it was a long time ago,  when I had a muscle.   😀


Home-made Light-box

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Whether you believe or not, this is my Light-box.   It was made out of a Japanese cookie’s

wooden box.   Into the box, I put  a small fluorescent tube and a mirror board under the tube,

then covered with white perspex = So, it became a Light-box.  (So easy and cheap.  😉 )

In ostentatious principle, the light-box should have a Print organisation’s standard light souse,

5000K etc. though in practice non of the so-called Natural Light fluorescent tube got perfect

color balance anyway.   And all the light-box in the market were too big and heavy.  

I wanted to make it small and easy to carry, since non of my client has got one as they are just a

business office, not like an editorial room of a publisher.  When I deliver the photos of the

assignment and to show the transparency to them,  I needed to bring my own Light-box.


Of course, a Light-box “was” an essential tool to a “Film” photographer, but not only that, it

is a very useful tool in general.  When I needed to analyse electronic circuit, I used a reverse

print of circuit track and a photo of component side, two prints together on the Light-box to

see through the connection.  😉 —–  And this time, I used it to copy the old transparencies.

Those photos were taken at the Spring Festival in Seville in Spain.  (1974 ! )

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On the duped 35 mm Kodachrome ISO 25 (my regular film then) apparently lost some tone

and I may need to refine more though, still it is usable for a net-communication.

—– PS :  (Usable but, since I was not happy with its color, I made another copy using

flash-light instead of this fluorescent light.  😀 —– I’ll write about it soon. )

I can not stop imagining, these young  Guapa Chiquita now must be the good granny.   😀

They must have had a joyful life.  (Good dancer has less worry.  😀 )

Home-made Dupe(2)A09A0409

———- (This is the Pipe Organ of the St. Michel Church in Hamburg, Germany.  

———- Taken by Pentax 17 mm Fish-eye lens on Nikon FE ) 

For some high contrast image, even a dupe on Home-made cheap Light-box, using 5D Mk-III

with 100 mm EF Macro is not too bad.

 I’m really happy, after almost 40 years Kodachrome retained its original color.  

(you may say “So, What”  😀 )


Spiritual Sounds

While ago I talked about the sounds which gave us a spiritual feeling.

In there, I wrote ” Something slowly moving continuous rather hi-pitch tone make us feel spiritual.”

And long time ago, when I talked about J.S.Bach and Baroque music —– not melodic but continuously

changing polyphonic sound makes our brain to stop thinking / abandon the thinking process =

attempt to figure out what this sounds mean ——- is good for the Zenist to empty the mind.  😀


Unlike a visual signal, sound signal is a basic stimulus, goes directly into the subconscious.

If you encountered a scene in a huge Buddhist Temple, hundreds of monks chanting a Mantra in unison,

( I’ve listened it at Eihei-ji and Daitoku-ji.  You may find a recordings of Tendai-shormyo of  Enryaku-ji )

you might have felt its low voice is more of a demonic and gave awesome impact to your perception.

The Gregorian Chant in a monastery gives similar feelings but the sound is less demonic.

Then somebody suggested, how about the Gospel Song ? ——- Those musics are surely Religious but

not necessary sound spiritual as its use of normal voices range and the meanings of words’ limit the mind

to be open. One of rare exception might be the back-ground hi-pitch humming of a Gospel group Take6.

(In  purely sound term, not the connotation of the songs).


When we hear roar or beating drone like low sound, it resemble the sound of earth before an eruption

of volcano or a big predator / lion, tiger etc,  we feel a fear ( instinctively ). ( Huge fearsome body

never chirp, as the resonance of big body cavity is pretty low / earth’s magma chamber is huge  😀 )

So that the lower sound is the sign of larger and more powerful body,  hence used to appeal to the female

who is seeking stronger gene —— from flog to golilla.  (and some human as well  😀  )

Since the lower roaring sound gives the feeling of awe and  hi-pitch slow-moving tone gives

spiritual feeling, the religious organ music utilising those effect very effectively in its three-part

polyphonic composition.

So,  why hi-pitch tone (when its sound slowly moves but not too melodic way) gave us spiritual feelings ?

Try this by yourself now. —– Make high-tone on your mouth, pieeeee —– then, booooo —– you must be

noticed, high-tone resonate in your head / nose cavity,  but low sound resonate in your lung cavity.

Lower base sound shake your body,  but hi-tone hit your head / brain though, if the sound is not

comprehensible —– not a whistle of train or alarm sound, nor soprano song —— something unknown

but as it keep hitting the brain,  we just open the perception and we were nailed down just to listen.

As we couldn’t figure it out, our confidence in our ego melt away, and the mind evaporate into air.

With completely open mind and the naked perception, we started to feel, something is there.

You are standing on the edge of spiritual world.

Just open the perception / mind, and become totally passive without attempting to give

any own thought / thinking,  is nothing but the state of Mushin in the Buddhism.

Of cause, Hi-pitched tone itself has no spirituality, it was just happened to be a typical sample

to make us feel the uncertainty which forced to open our mind / key to see the function of our mind.

And this key is showing us, No-thinking/No-mind/Mushin is the pathway toward the spirituality.

Buddha, in his ultimate wisdom, decipher this phenomenon and gave the explanation. 

What beyond there is, the Dharma. —— As everybody can be hit by this spiritual sound,

its indicates the fact, everybody has its perception, and the Dharma is not beyond the sky, but

in front of us.  In fact we ourself is a part of it, that’s why everybody got this perception.

Unlike the Gregorian Chant of Gospel Song which needs to know beforehand and learn what it is,

the perception toward the spirituality is inherent to all the human,  Buddhism is teaching how to open

the perception/mind, and see the Dharma through its practice. ( without listening a hi-pitch tone  😀  )

—— still, one of the Zen sect Fuke-shu use the sound of Shakuhach / Bamboo pipe  to reach  Mushin.

—— ( though, to master this instrument is as hard as to get enlightenment ). ( Still, sound is good  😀 )

In fact, to some people, it is not necessary a hi-pitch tone, but it can be a sound of the running water,

wave sound of the sea, wind through the tree  though, those sound sources are surrounded by too many

visual signals too.  We may not able to just listen the sound of wave —— mind might be destructed

by a passing nice Bikini Bottom.    ( Ha ha ha  😀  —– In fact, Bottom is a part of the Dharma, so, nothing

wrong with it though, if the mind was stuck with it, it break off the  Mushin and stray away.

You can deal with it in Mushin,  but on a bed,  not on the beach.   Ha ha ha   😀 )

—— Still, once got know how, it can be done in any way.

Just open the mind and perceive the Dharma.  ( People describes this as Meditation )



J. S. Bach — Helmut Walcha

One morning,  when I was drifting, I heard a pipe organ music of  J.S. Bach, in the back of a TV drama.

Then,  I decided to go west to listen the sound of original instrument in the original acoustic environment.

Before, I was an enthusiast of  Baroque music, especially Bach’s organ Music.  So, I made a long list of the church and the name of the town where the recording was made for the German Gramophone Archive Record.

Then I took a ship to Siberia, Russia.  When the ship left Yokohama Port, I saw off  Japan  with my eyes getting fuzzier as it may be the last time to see her ever again.


After long journey through frozen land scape of Russia, I reached to  Helsinki, Finland.  The Helsinki Cathedral was my starting point of 100 of the church organ pilgrimage, covering many famous Alp Schnitger, Silbermann organs etc.    (The beauty of this plan was, if we go to the Church on  Sunday, there is the organ music played on, could be 300 years old original instrument, in the unique acoustic of the church. Free of charge.—- On top of this, many organ concerts, festivals held there)


Then I came across a charity concert of  Bach’s organ music to help restoration of old organ in Frankfurt.  The Organist was the most famous organist Prof; Helmut Walcha,  whose recording captured me into Bach’s organ music. (Prof; Walcha is a blind man, thus he played hundreds of organ music just from his memory)

Before concert start I was talking with a man sat next of me, about the different sound of each organ all over the Europe, since it was nearly the end of my journey,  I had covered most of the famous organs already.

The man was rather surprised of my journey, and he took me up  to organ booth and introduced me to the organist, Prof; Walcha  himself. ——- the man was the Manager of  Prof; Walcha.  ( Can you believe such a lucky coincidence.  ! )

Prof; Walcha talked about a tour of Japan and his friend, Musicologist Keisei Sakka.   And I had happened to attend a special  lecture by Prof; Sakka about the evolution of  Music Tonal System as a part of my Sociological study.  ( Tonal System evolved under the Christian monastic life and their Protestant Ethos of the devotion of the own life to perfect it — unlike a superficial glorification in the Catholic church, where how much gold was used to decorate the organ was the matter, but in the Protestant church, how three sounds of Trinity harmonize perfect was the matter. ) —– (I wrote about how Natural Tonal System was created.)

———-It was the incredibly lucky coincidence to fulfill my pilgrimage.

And it made one of the best moment of my whole life. What I could ask more.


Some ignorant criticize Bach’s music, saying that they are too abstract, even mechanical.   In fact it was the self confession of how he is ignorant and having no ear to appreciate the music.  Under the most strict rules of such as the Fugue, still able to create such soul-shaking striking music is the work of nothing but the genius. ——– Achieve  total freedom under the strict rules, is the Zen.

Unlike Romantic School’s sticky emotional melody,  Polyphonic Baroque Music, especially Bach’s music can eliminate the thought.  (Rather constant rhythm / no syncopation, and three-part polyphonic keeps waving complex tonal pictures,  which  refuses our own imagination —– makes us just listen the sound, not a story or any notion—– yet it gave us very comfortable relaxed feeling)

It’s suite to the Zenist.


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