Monks are known for taking a vow of silence as part of their training, however, a monk named Yogetsu Akasaka is causing a harmonic uproar. The 37-year-old Tokyo-based monk makes music for meditation, but his music is unlike anything you've ever heard of instrumental music. Akasaka modernises the genre using loop machines and his own beatboxing skills.
Akasaka started making music in his teens and started beatboxing in his early twenties. He succeeded his father, the chief priest of a temple in rural Iwate Prefecture, and became a monk five years ago. In his spare time, he makes experimental music. The talented musician recently went viral by posting a Heart Sutra live-loop remix video.
Using a machine called Loopstation RC-505, he expertly layered beatbox sounds and chants. This mesmerizing song sounds like it's made with multiple instruments, but it's really just his one instrument: his voice. In addition to recording Hannya Shingyo hits, Akasaka has also released live-streaming performances every day. For two months, he has captivated 25,000 YouTube subscribers with his laid-back beats on a variety of topics. He often integrates different instruments, allowing him to further experiment with looped sounds. “My fans tell me that my beatbox videos help them sleep and relax, which is really cool,” he says. “I am honored to have been able to combine my passion with my religious beliefs, and the impact it has had on people around the world.”