Tag Archives: Komyozan

I Move Air

I move air for a living – I’m a theatrical sound designer. At really fun moments I make air dance in harmony with itself. What I do leaves no trace – – – you have to catch it in the room, with a bunch of other people listening and some actors onstage. After that it is gone.

So it is fascinating  to find myself the substance of an artform that consists entirely of reflexes in a human body:  mine, my fellow students’, Sensei’s,  – – – and the bodies of a lineage of masters and students going back four hundred years  – all the way back to Ito Ittosai.

This knowledge is completely different from the knowledge I acquired at Oxford. It encompasses ways and ways of dealing with and understanding the non-conscious mind. It is knowledge from the performer’s and creator’s point of view. It  resonates profoundly in  my own work, and it helps me figure out how to pass that work along.

Truth be told,  on a  personal level it is profoundly transformative.

And – on a less personal level – I think all of us, we will need a little bit of the samurai to help us through the coming century.

–   Peter John Still

Boise Contemporary Theater – Idaho Shakespeare Festival – Tahoe,  Cleveland,  New York


Peter at the sound board

Sword Choreography

It has been my privilege to know Kimbal Anderson for the last eight years.  He has been a teacher, mentor, healer and friend.

In the summer of 2008, Kimbal co-choreographed the sword fight for the Idaho Shakespeare Festival’s production of “Macbeth”.  I was playing Macduff, and Doug Miller was Macbeth, and Kimbal worked extensively on creating a visually stunning yet amazingly real Japanese sword fight.  He wanted the fight to look real, and yet be dramatically exciting.  We worked on everything: how to hold the sword, parries, thrusts, maneuvers.  As we had both swords and small daggers, this fight was extremely complicated.  I have also taken Kimbal’s sword class in his Dojo here in Boise around ten times.  It is a wonderful class, where you learn all about the rituals of Samurai sword fighting.  We also learn “katas” using “jos” which are long wooden sticks usually made from hard ash wood.  He is a marvelous instructor: patient, understanding, calm and yet exacting.  Kimbal is also a wonderful healer, and has giving me many sessions of acupressure and massage which have helped my health and well-being.  He has also been a wonderful friend, always willing to help and share his knowledge of “the gentle warrior’s path in life”.

David Anthony Smith, actor with the Idaho Shakespeare Festival.David Anthony Smith

Photo by DKM Photography, courtesy of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival.