“The mind must always be in the state of ‘flowing,’ for when it stops anywhere that means the flow is interrupted and it is this interruption that is injurious to the well-being of the mind. In the case of the swordsman, it means death. When the swordsman stands against his opponent, he is not to think of the opponent, nor of himself, nor of his enemy’s sword movements. He just stands there with his sword which, forgetful of all technique, is ready only to follow the dictates of the subconscious. The man has effaced himself as the wielder of the sword. When he strikes, it is not the man but the sword in the hand of the man’s subconscious that strikes.” – Takuan Sōhō, Zen Master

Mushin, a new short film collaboration between designer/film-maker Graham Wood and Brendan Perry of Dead Can Dance, revolves around the concept of Japanese archery (Kyudo) and Noh theatre.

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Noh theatre, often based on traditional literature, usually tells a tale of a heroic narrator; a supernatural being transformed into a human. Masks, costumes, and various props come together in dance-based performance; the actors emote through stylized conventional gestures, while the masks represent the roles such as ghosts, women, deities, and demons.

The term “Mushin” is a Zen expression, meaning “the mind without mind” and is also referred to as the state of “no-mindedness”. Mushin is achieved when a person’s mind is free from thoughts of anger, fear, or ego during combat or everyday life. That is, a mind not fixed or occupied by thought or emotion and thus open to everything. To give oneself completely to the shooting is the spiritual goal, achieved by the perfection of both the spirit and shooting technique leading to munen musō, “no thoughts, no illusions”.

 

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The Archer in Mushin is portrayed by Yuya Akahoshi.  The nine-minute film is a stunning, visually compelling masterpiece in meditation.

Listen to Dead Can Dance’s music for the film here or your preferred streaming service.
  • 10/1/2021 San Diego, CA San Diego Civic Theatre Tickets
  • 10/2/2021 Los Angeles, CA Greek Theatre Tickets
  • 10/3/2021 San Francisco, CA The Masonic Tickets
  • 10/5/2021 Denver, CO Mission Ballroom Tickets
  • 10/7/2021 Chicago, IL The Chicago Theatre Tickets
  • 10/8/2021 Detroit, MI Masonic Temple Theatre Tickets
  • 10/11/2021 Washington, DC The Anthem Tickets
  • 10/12/2021 Philadelphia, PA The Met Philadelphia Tickets
  • 10/13/2021 New York City, NY Radio City Music Hall Tickets
  • 10/15/2021 Boston, MA Boch Center Tickets
  • 10/17/2021 Toronto, ON Meridian Hall Tickets
  • 10/23/2021 Vancouver, BC Queen Elizabeth Theatre** Tickets
  • 10/25/2021 Seattle, WA Paramount Theatre Tickets

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