(Countée Cullen, “Heritage”, 1925)

“African Memories” is a series of 3 compositions for solo shakuhachi, exploring my African Roots and answering this question:

What is Africa to me?


Hélène Seiyu “African Memories” CD 2020

Buy or listen to my CD on the following platforms (and much more):



Amazon Music


Some Reviews (December 2020)

Congratulation new CD! Nice performance. Special technique performance is wonderful! (Fukuda Teruhisa, Japan)

Indien ik jouw composities zou moeten omschrijven met 3 woorden kies ik voor: Speciaal, Geniaal, Fenomenaal. (Amourie Vanden Eyden, Belgium)

Your individual inner research work has a great meaning for all those who sincerely search through a seemingly abstract musical expression their origins and their authentic being now in life. Gorée – your most painful but for me most touching track – is not only a historical fact, it is the consciousness of who we can be. (Stefano Bufalini., Italy)

It’s great music! (Obama Akihito, Japan)

 Het raakt mij hoe je jouw Afrikaanse roots en history met de mooie diepte van de Shakuhachi sound verbindt. (Anke Schäfer, The Netherlands)

Tambin. The most refreshing new work for shakuhachi that I have heard. Love the surprising brilliance of the top octave work and the overall compositional balance and the late entrance of voice. Congrats. (Anne Norman, Australia)

I love Baobab! Your singing is fantastic, your timing is wonderful, and every sound you use feels integral to the piece… the air, the popping, and the delicate high notes. the ending is perfect. (Elizabeth Brown, USA)

A l’écoute du CD, chacun peut y trouver ce qu’il est… Passé, présent, futur, j’y trouve un équilibre, une unité, une conscience… (Lilipat, France)

Some of my favourite shakuhachi pieces that I’ve heard in a long time (Sean Riley, Canada)

C’est un bien bel objet musical qui me fait voyager à travers ton univers via le shakuhachi. Un croisement de musique qui vérifie que le son n’a pas de frontière et transporte avec lui tous les messages émotionnels que l’on ressent à l’écoute des trois créations que tu m’offres. (Jean-Sébastien Roux, France)

Mooie nummers, inspirerend en heel afwisselend. (Magteld Zeitler, The Netherlands)


  1. Tambin
  2. Gorée – La Porte du Non-Retour
  3. Baobab – L’Âme du Griot

“Tambin” is the name of an African (Peul) transverse flute. Each time I hear it, its sounds takes me back to my country of birth, Senegal. It is the flute sound I was born with. In this shakuhachi solo composition, I explore and mix some specific techniques of both flutes (Tambin and Shakuhachi), to express their deep connection in me.

Premiered at the International Shakuhachi Festival of Prague in 2019.

Image & Editing: Alexandra Maiuga

#2 GORÉE – La Porte du Non-Retour

En mémoire des esclaves déportés depuis l’Ile de Gorée (Sénégal)

This piece is a prayer in memory of the victims of African slavery who were deported from the island of “Gorée”, located a couple of kilometres from Dakar (Senegal), where I was born. On this island was built the House of Slaves and its “Door of No Return”, which is now a memorial to the Atlantic Slave Trade. When I visited this island 30 years ago, I heard a flutist playing in the deserted streets and it inspired me this composition.

Premiered at the International Shakuhachi Festival of Prague in 2019.

Image & Editing: Alexandra Maiuga

#3 BAOBAB – L’Âme du Griot

“Quand un griot meurt, c’est une bibliothèque qui brûle.”
Amadou Hampâté Bâ
(Discours à l’Unesco 1960, librement adapté).

There is another legend saying that “griots” were buried in the hollow trunk of a baobab. While listening to the wind in the branches, you could hear him talk.
This piece for shakuhachi 2.4 explores wind and wood sounds, to capture the spirit of the death of a griot.

Baobab is dedicated to my master FUKUDA Teruhisa.


This is my other current composition project in Honkyoku style. I have completed the 7 pieces of the cycle. The next step is to make a professional recording of them and to release them on a CD.
Stay tuned!

  1. Fukurō (Owl)
  2. Simplicity
  3. Reflection
  4. Solidarity
  5. Acceptance
  6. Hope
  7. Joy

1. Fukurō (Owl)

This is my first composition (2017) and it was commissioned by the puppeteer Lejo, for his show “Hands on!”.
Played as a honkyoku, it refers to the quietness of a deep night.

2. Simplicity

Inspired by the traditional honkyoku “Kyorei“, this piece requires a deep stillness of the mind.

3. Reflection

“Sit by a quiet pond and look at the reflection of the trees in the water. Become aware of watching yourself and your thoughts“. This is my way to meditate on pure consciousness.
The piece is based on octaves and tritons (musical intervals) as expression of symmetry and balance.

4. Solidarity

This piece was composed during the Covid-19 pandemic and is inspired by the “Robuki wave across the planet”: blowing RO together for unity and solidarity.

5. Acceptance

This piece was inspired by a 2.8 Jinashi shakuhachi, a flute with a fragile and intimate sound. When I play it, this flute teaches me how to accept its limits, and my own limits. 
Acceptance is a key to Happiness.

6. Hope

Also composed during the Covid-19 pandemic, this piece reminds me to keep hope in any circumstance. “This shall pass too.” “Tant qu’il y a de la vie, il y a de l’espoir.” Dedicated to my Mom.

7. Joy

Joy is a key feeling for happiness. Inner Joy is not affected by struggles, suffering and disappointment.
As we say in French “Après la pluie, le beau temps.”


You can order the scores of my compositions through this website. As soon as I receive your payment, I will send you a PDF of the score.

10 Easy Pentatonic Melodies for Beginners

10 Easy Pentatonic Melodies

Shakuhachi Music for beginners. 6 melodies in the first register (Otsu) + 4 melodies in Otsu and Kan.



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