the Sho

It’s a very peculiar instrument, because it only has 15 notes. It’s very tricky to play, and for purely aesthetic reasons, it’s shaped a bit like your hands if you put them like this [makes praying gesture] . It fits in with the ’restraint’ theme of the album title very nicely, actually. After I met Mayumi, I had about two months to write for her. So it was a lot of research, a lot of Google.

Did she have a go on the sho herself ?

Well, I asked Mayumi, but she looked at me like, are you kidding ? There is no fucking way you are gonna be able to play this. Full respect, though : it’s very personal and part of a unique tradition.

The independant, July 15 2005