Adrian Freedman is a musician of extraordinary breadth. A composer and multi-instrumentalist specialising in the Shakuhachi, Zen flute of Japan. This instrument creates a unique and powerful sound that draws the listener into a place of intense stillness and of pure musical beauty.
Adrian lived for 8 years in Kyoto immersed in Zen music and meditation, studying the shakuhachi and collaborating with Japanese musicians. He later lived in the Brazilian Amazon immersed in in the medicine music rituals and ceremonies of the rainforest, and within this context he has received over 150 original medicine songs and chants.
Adrian has produced 15 albums of beautiful music. He has performed for H.H. The Dalai Lama, and collaborated in concerts with musicians on six continents around the world, always with the focus on music for meditation and healing.
Adrian’s music evokes a mood of heartfelt stillness, full of peace, spaciousness and delicate beauty. Transcendental acoustic music for the modern era. The scope of his music is diverse but an ineffable sense of the sacred is felt throughout.
Adrian has at different points in his life been immersed in a huge variety of classical, contemporary, folk and world music. He has played in many groups and ensembles, and lived in many different countries immersed in their different musical cultures. Ultimately all these different musical paths have led him to cultivate and deepen his interest in music for spiritual practice, healing and meditation.
Nowadays, his great mission is helping people to find their own path and reach the inner light through the sound and silence of transcendental acoustic music. Adrian is dedicated to sharing his music within the spirit of healing and the search for inner stillness.
“My life in music with all its contrasting musical forms, with all the people, places, performances and projects, has been an ongoing, unfolding journey of discovery and healing in which music is the guiding light, music is the flow, and music is the beating heart and soul.
At the same time, alongside this musical journey, there has always been a spiritual quest. Alongside the many concerts and recordings I have always had an interest in the world of music for meditation, music for sacred ritual and ceremony, music for devotional practice, and music for healing.
I believe that music can help bring us to a place where we can realign and reconnect with the deeper rhythms of nature and the cosmos, and with deeper understandings about the interdependent nature of all things in the visible and invisible universe.
When I first came across the sounds of traditional Japanese music I felt an instant attraction. Even though the sounds came from such a distant culture they felt somehow familiar. Later I would come to spend eight years living in Japan, in Kyoto, the ancient capital, where I became absorbed in studies of the shakuhachi – the Zen bamboo flute. I was fortunate to have a great teacher – shakuhachi master Yokoyama Katsuya.
Playing the shakuhachi is very much a solitary activity. Long hours of sitting quietly cross-legged on a cushion, playing the same long notes over and again, going deeper with each breath … into the sound, and through the sound to what lies beyond the sound … into the Ma – the great silence from which all sounds rise and fall.
When I was living in Japan immersed in this contemplative shakuhachi practice, I met one day some Brazilian singers that came from a spiritual community deep within the Amazon Rainforest. They invited me to take part in sacred music ceremonies they had come to host in Japan, and this encounter opened up a new musical dimension for me – the simple and sacred music of healing forest rituals.
I decided to leave Japan and go live in Brazil, where I entered onto a personal path of healing and spiritual practice, taking part in forest rituals where music and song plays a central role.
The music of the ancient shakuhachi and the music of Brazilian forest rituals are both rooted in tradition, while being open to new possibilities. Traditions like these flow freely like a river, allowing innovation and renewal to arise, as new music flows naturally from the source.
The message of my music has evolved as my own learning and my own healing journey has evolved. In a general sense you could say it’s a message for our times. What seems to be needed is an opening of the heart, an awareness of the subtle vibrations of the heart, and of the simple wisdom that lies deep within. From this place comes a sound that heals, that brings peace and tranquility, that purifies and uplifts… a transcendental acoustic music of the heart – Zen Heart Medicine Music”
Comments about Adrian’s music:
“A pure journey into the stillness of the heart, following the notes right to the limits of perception, and then realising you had taken us, with such perfect control, beyond our minds entirely.”
“These pieces let me dream again and again. Detached from the moment in which one dwells in everyday life, one enters a world of its own with your music. You bring it back to us like a precious gift, so that we do not forget it.”
“Your songs have opened my heart and made me connect with my soul directly. They bring me so much peace & calmness. Thank you for being a channel of light in these dark times.”
“The element that makes your music so significant for me is the feel, beyond the musicality – I know you still believe in Love and Peace – I can hear it in your music. ‘Following one’s bliss’ shines out in the sound. Keep sending out the soulful vibrations.”
“Thank you Adrian for your beautiful songs that transmit calm, tranquility and peace. And thank you for all your wonderful soul-connecting, inspiring music – it is a lighthouse in a dark age.”
“I have repeatedly listened to your music – it allows me stillness in the of enormity of what you achieve, leaving a fragrance of peace. Please know that your commitment heals the heart. Something arrived that forever calmed my soul.”