Beta Cloud – The Book of Five Rings (Go Rin No Sho) [rM_0007]

October 2010

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Release Info

I’m very proud of Carl’s decision to make this album for charity – 100% of all sales go directly to Cancer Research. I’ve copied his description to me for the album – he says it so wonderfully that I really don’t want to condense anything.

I’m also proud of Carl and believe in this album… partially because 18 years ago, my mom passed away from cancer. No family is immune to this disease.

So if you’d like to listen to some great ambient / post-rock / field recording / guitar music – and donate a bit to research… Carl’s album is a nice way to do it.

Soon I’ll have the special artwork Chase made up and available for download – along with longer previews on soundcloud, etc…

(Notes by John Koch-Northrup)

Artist Notes

About my newest release: The Book Of Five Rings


“The Book of Five Rings” (in Japanese: “Go Rin No Sho”), is a swordsmanship/fighting manual written by famed samurai and retainer to the Japanese emperor, Miyamoto Musashi. The book’s chapters are divided conceptually by “elements”: water, earth, fire, wind. It also addresses the esoteric frame of mind that Musashi refers as “the book of Void” or “non-thought”. As a tactical combat manual, it intends to condition one to approach life-threatening situations with perseverance, grace and focus, and yet have an understanding and respect for the fact that death is always a possible outcome; but to NEVER succumb to death, and to fight with dignity. To realize that fear is the greatest enemy.


… and that’s how CANCER patients all over the world live EVERY day of their lives after being initially diagnosed. EVERY day is a fight to the death. After each treatment, another battle has been won… until the next battle… and the war is NEVER over. Has your life been affected by cancer? I guarantee it has. My life has. When I initially pondered the prospect of releasing a piece of work for the purpose of generating cancer research funds/awareness, I spoke with friends and realized we all have a family member/close friend that has passed from cancer. It was truly SAD to find out HOW MANY there were.


I’ve designed this release to be completely non-profit on my end, (in conjunction with Relaxed Machinery), and ALL proceeds go directly to cancer research here:


And it’s highly affordable, only $5 US, and only available from CD Baby, in digital download format only, so no third parties are involved in any way.


All tracks recorded reflect “aural essays” of the concepts Musashi defined in his text of Go Rin No Sho. Listen and tell me what you hear. The opening piece is my own version of the traditional Japanese folk song, Sakura Sakura (Cherry Blossoms), which signifies the ideas of spring, new life and rebirth. A lot of work went in but a lot of fun came from it.


It was mastered by James Plotkin, a gentleman whom approaches attention to sound with great detail and care. There’s additional artwork from the release provided by Chase Middaugh, a talented and in demand graphic artist whom lent himself dutifully toward the cause.


Relaxed Machinery is cataloging it, something I feel really good about.

Hope you enjoy it and thanks for supporting!


Track List

1. The Book of Water (Sakura Sakura) [8:29]
2. The Book of Earth (Flowing Water Cut) [10:10]
3. The Book of Fire (Crimson Leaves Strike) [12:25]
4. The Book of Wind (Like a Spark From a Stone) [14:34]
5. The Book of No-thing (Strike of Nonthought) [27:04]