Shakuhachi & Taimu-Related Press

Forest Knolls musicians gets gritty on his bamboo flute

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A sinuous melody built of dark, airy phrases and the harsh echo of breath emerges from Cornelius Boots’ taimu shakuhachi, a Japanese flute. It is a warm autumn morning, and he is practicing a song called “Sycamore Trees” on the instrument made of root-end bamboo that slightly curves up at the tail.

“It’s super moody, so I hope it doesn’t bring you down,” he said, before launching into the piece in his Forest Knolls kitchen, where he typically practices.

Mr. Boots, a musician and music teacher, has always gravitated towards the lower registers: he played baritone sax in high school, and the bass clarinet in college, and, later in a longtime quartet he has led in the Bay Area. In 2008 he took up the taimu shakuhachi, which he will play along with a traditional shakuhachi next month at the Dance Palace’s Local Music… [more]

Getting low with Cornelius Boots and Joëlle Léandre

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From his earliest stirrings as a musician, Cornelius Boots has always gravitated to low, rumbling tones. Since moving to the Bay Area about 12 years ago, he’s created a series of darkly dramatic ensembles, such as Edmund Wells, an unprecedented bass clarinet quartet, and the texture-minded duo Sabbaticus Rex.

In recent years, Boots has focused on mastering an array of bass shakuhachis, and he celebrates the release of his quietly enthralling album Mountain Hermit’s Secret Wisdom… [more]


Complete Edmund Welles-Related Press (EW Website)

A great write-up by Meredith at Coilhouse

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“Confession: I’ve been meaning to write a feverish and swooning rave-up of Oakland-based musician Cornelius Boots‘ absurdly beautiful and strange and intelligent and mischievous and sincere and meditative and heavy-as-fuck bass clarinet chamber music group, Edmund Welles*, for years now…” [more]


So-called “weirdest band in the world” article

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“Then we actually heard Edmund Welles–which is a band, not a person (the name is a Monty Python reference…I mean, not that I would know that without having to look it up…okay, maybe I would)–and, well, let’s just put it this way: The bass clarinet is an inherently weird instrument. Put four of them together in one group, and it sounds like a chorus of demon cats in heat fighting over a chicken bone. A demon chorus whose eerie caterwaulings just happen to occasionally assemble themselves into passages from Pixies and Nirvana songs… [here]