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#1 2007-10-09 23:28:11

Yungflutes
Flutemaker/Performer
From: New York City
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 1040
Website

More on Jinashi and Jiari shakuhachi

Hi all,
Below is an entry from my blog that was posted a few days ago. I received some great comments so I thought I would post it here as it may bring about an interesting discussion. This entry was not intended to say that one was better than the other as I love playing and making both styles of flute equally. Many people for many reasons can not or choose not to play both styles of flutes. I would love to hear from those who do.

Thanks!

My Blog entry:

I have here in front of me two 2.4 shakuhachi. One is a Jiari modern shakuhachi made by Kono Gyokusui. It has the Tozan Utaguchi and red bore. The other is my Chikusing model.

http://www.yungflutes.com/logphotos/yunggyokusuiuta.jpg

Both flutes play very very differently. They feel different. They are constructed differently. In the shakuhachi world, this would be the difference between an electric guitar and an acoustic guitar. One thing that initially surprised me as I played them both back to back was how similar they both sounded. At least to my ears. When I first notice this, I started to examine the issue. Why did these two very very different feeling flutes sound so similar. I picked each one up and tried the same musical passage while comparing and notating the differences in playability. But time after time, I was stuck with the similar tonality even though the playing felt physically different.  Then it occurred to me that I was playing them the way that I want a shakuhachi to sound. I was manipulating the tone to have the harmonic balance I like in a shakuhachi sound.


http://www.yungflutes.com/logphotos/yunggyokusuirt.jpg

Let's give them a listen.

I am playing the Gyokusui first. I am sure you can hear differences but there seems to be more similarities.

As I thought more about it, I was reminded that my teachers sound the same even when playing on different flutes.

Namaste, Perry


"A hot dog is not an animal." - Jet Yung

My Blog/Website on the art of shakuhachi...and parenting.
How to make an Urban Shakuhachi (PVC)

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#2 2007-10-10 01:46:32

geni
Performer & Teacher
From: Boston MA
Registered: 2005-12-21
Posts: 829
Website

Re: More on Jinashi and Jiari shakuhachi

that`s a tricky one.
I felt that you were more familiar with the second flute..it sound it more easy to play.
I like the sound of the second flute better.
You should raise your prices:-)

Geni
p..s this are my thoughts now 1.46 am..tomorow I may like the first flute:-)

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#3 2007-10-10 04:45:37

Kiku Day
Shakuhachi player, teacher and ethnomusicologist
From: London, UK & Nørre Snede, DK
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 917
Website

Re: More on Jinashi and Jiari shakuhachi

Hi Perry.

I am, of course, not one of the interesting persons to get an answer from, as I only play ji-nashi. Well, I do play ji-nuri now and then, but certainly not well!
However, I will try to write anyway.

I feel there is a softer quality to the sound of your second flute. But I also find that the qualities of the ji-nashi get lost quite a lot from recordings. How is your experience when playing and listening back? I feel quite a lot of the complexities of the ji-nashi gets lost.

More and more ji-nashi shakuhachi makers make them as if they were ji-nuri flutes. The mouthpiece is cut just as deep as modern ji-nuri, which makes a huge difference in the sound quality. I find, the deeper the mouthpiece is cut, the more focused, but harder sound it gets. how do you view this?
Then there is the whole bore business...

Kiku


I am a hole in a flute
that the Christ's breath moves through
listen to this music
Hafiz

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#4 2007-10-11 22:09:32

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3206
Website

Re: More on Jinashi and Jiari shakuhachi

kikuday wrote:

More and more ji-nashi shakuhachi makers make them as if they were ji-nuri flutes. The mouthpiece is cut just as deep as modern ji-nuri, which makes a huge difference in the sound quality. I find, the deeper the mouthpiece is cut, the more focused, but harder sound it gets. how do you view this?
Then there is the whole bore business...

Kiku

I had an interesting experience today. I went to Ronnie Seldin's dojo. He wanted to trade a "Myoan" jinashi by Shugetsu for a "Kinko" Shugetsu jinashi I had. I was a bit skeptical about the whole thing because I thought the only difference would be the shape of the utaguchi inlay.

But on further examination I saw that the two styles of flutes actually had different characteristics. The "Myoan" one had a shallower utaguchi and the face the utaguchi was much larger. The angle is a bit sharper on the "Myoan" one and the overall width of the flute and the bore are bigger.

Guess which one I liked better? smile


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#5 2007-10-12 22:43:52

Yungflutes
Flutemaker/Performer
From: New York City
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 1040
Website

Re: More on Jinashi and Jiari shakuhachi

Tairaku wrote:

I had an interesting experience today. I went to Ronnie Seldin's dojo. He wanted to trade a "Myoan" jinashi by Shugetsu for a "Kinko" Shugetsu jinashi I had. I was a bit skeptical about the whole thing because I thought the only difference would be the shape of the utaguchi inlay.

But on further examination I saw that the two styles of flutes actually had different characteristics. The "Myoan" one had a shallower utaguchi and the face the utaguchi was much larger. The angle is a bit sharper on the "Myoan" one and the overall width of the flute and the bore are bigger.

Guess which one I liked better? smile

I do a similar thing when I make jinashi flutes. If the flute reveals a tone that is similar to a certain style of music I know, I would do the utaguchi inlay for that ryu. I tend to put Myoan inlays on larger bore flutes. Here's one that was done recently:

http://www.yungflutes.com/logphotos/b105b.jpg

I even like to shave the root.

http://www.yungflutes.com/logphotos/b105d.jpg

I would do a Kinko inlay on a standard sized bore.  On a super wide bore, I would do a Sogawa style inlay or none. I would also fashion the angles accordingly, which leads to Kiku's response:

Kikuday wrote:

Hi Perry.

...More and more ji-nashi shakuhachi makers make them as if they were ji-nuri flutes. The mouthpiece is cut just as deep as modern ji-nuri, which makes a huge difference in the sound quality. I find, the deeper the mouthpiece is cut, the more focused, but harder sound it gets. how do you view this?
Then there is the whole bore business...

Kiku

Thanks for responding Kiku. Your input is quite valuable.

As both you and Brian pointed out, the Myoan utaguchi dip is shallow compared to other schools.  This is also my understanding as you can see in my photo above where I left the dip quite shallow. I would say the utagcuhi dip and angles influence the sound and playability of a flute. But, most of the tone color comes from the shape of the bore and how the other tone holes are fashioned. I often use the automobile as an example, the utaguchi being the steering wheel and the bore being the engine.

I feel there is a softer quality to the sound of your second flute. But I also find that the qualities of the ji-nashi get lost quite a lot from recordings. How is your experience when playing and listening back? I feel quite a lot of the complexities of the ji-nashi gets lost.

I studied with Kinya. We played on Jinashi 2.4s. I took my lessons like every one else in Japan, trying to imitate the sensei. I made a lot of recordings of our lessons and I am always surprised at how powerful his sound is on my MDs. Kinya is also one of the top Tokyo shakuhachi studio musicians whose playing is heard everywhere from commercials and Nintedo games to Japanese and Hollywood films (his latest is Hannibal Rising) Kinya is very specific with his sound. When he chooses to record with Jinashi, you hear everything he wants you to hear. In my own experience with recording, I use headphones, get right up to the mic and adjust my playing accordingly.  I've had the good fortune to have recorded for some film. I'm always amazed at how well the sound was captured. In general,  a good studio technician and good (expensive) mics will most likely do the job.

geni wrote:

that`s a tricky one.
I felt that you were more familiar with the second flute..it sound it more easy to play.
I like the sound of the second flute better.

I am more familiar with my flute. But actually, it required more effort to play. That's what I mean on the entry when I wrote that they felt very different. The Gyokusui was like riding in a Mercedes and my particular flute was like a stick shift 1973 Rally Sport Camaro. But, both got me where I wanted to go!  Don't get me wrong, I like riding in luxury cars, especially if I'm going on a long trip. But often times I like to feel the bumps.

You should raise your prices:-)

Geni, I have a flute here with your name on it smile
Thanks for your input everyone!
Namaste, Perry

Last edited by Yungflutes (2007-10-12 23:31:15)


"A hot dog is not an animal." - Jet Yung

My Blog/Website on the art of shakuhachi...and parenting.
How to make an Urban Shakuhachi (PVC)

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#6 2007-10-13 12:55:19

dstone
Member
From: Vancouver, Canada
Registered: 2006-01-11
Posts: 552
Website

Re: More on Jinashi and Jiari shakuhachi

Yungflutes wrote:

I am more familiar with my flute. But actually, it required more effort to play.

I hear the "more effort but great flute" combination a lot.  And I think I understand the sentiment, in my own amateur way and how I feel about playing some of my "challenging" flutes.  (I feel very good about them, within reason.)

Is this a phenomenon found in other instruments, do you think?  Wind?  Brass?  String?  Percussion?

Does this come from a belief (or fact) that the tone quality that comes out of high-effort wrestling between player and instrument is "richer" or "more interesting"?

Or that the player simply enjoys fighting with some instruments a bit more, regardless if it actually "sounds" better?

Or that because a player is enjoying the challenge and the challenge requires more of his presence, that this frame of mind comes through in the sound?

I know, it's probably very complicated and a combination of all of the above.  Just wanted to hear some experiences.

Yungflutes wrote:

my particular flute was like a stick shift 1973 Rally Sport Camaro ... often times I like to feel the bumps.

Nice.  Perry, clearly your impeccable aesthetic isn't limited to flutes.  Good choice of rides.  We had a 1969 Super Sport Chevelle for many years.  Not as tight as the Camaro, I think.  But it had a growling ro otsu at idle and a throaty muraiki when you opened it up.  Oh, the golden era of jinashi automobiles.

-Darren.


When it is rainy, I am in the rain. When it is windy, I am in the wind.  - Mitsuo Aida

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#7 2007-10-13 14:35:24

philthefluter
Member
From: Dublin, Ireland
Registered: 2006-06-02
Posts: 190
Website

Re: More on Jinashi and Jiari shakuhachi

As a western flute and recorder teacher, I always recommend beginners to start with a beginner level flute and plastic recorder. I have had mature pupils who are ready to spend a fortune on top of the range instruments but I still recommend a good basic model. These instruments are easier to control and respond less to slight variations of wind pressure.

The professional flute I use for performing took me months, maybe years to 'tame.' To continue with the car analogy, it was like driving a farrari after many years in a mini. I have always preferred instruments (flutes, wooden recorders and shakuhachi) that always have more secrets under the bonnet for me to explore.

Several pro shakuhachi players have turned up their nose after trying the main hassun I play. It is a Gyokusui and extremely bland on first playing. However, I felt an instant rapport with it on first blowing and am still discovering new aspects of its' character.


"The bamboo and Zen are One!" Kurosawa Kinko
http://www.shakuhachizen.com/
http://www.myspace.com/shakuhachizen

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#8 2007-10-16 09:51:16

Yungflutes
Flutemaker/Performer
From: New York City
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 1040
Website

Re: More on Jinashi and Jiari shakuhachi

Hi Darren,

dstone wrote:

Yungflutes wrote:

I am more familiar with my flute. But actually, it required more effort to play.

I hear the "more effort but great flute" combination a lot.  And I think I understand the sentiment, in my own amateur way and how I feel about playing some of my "challenging" flutes.  (I feel very good about them, within reason.)

Is this a phenomenon found in other instruments, do you think?  Wind?  Brass?  String?  Percussion?

Does this come from a belief (or fact) that the tone quality that comes out of high-effort wrestling between player and instrument is "richer" or "more interesting"?

Most of this is based on personal choice based of specific experience. I think some people know what they like right away and stick with it while others have to try everything before they decide (and that will change).

Or that the player simply enjoys fighting with some instruments a bit more, regardless if it actually "sounds" better?

Or that because a player is enjoying the challenge and the challenge requires more of his presence, that this frame of mind comes through in the sound?

I know, it's probably very complicated and a combination of all of the above.  Just wanted to hear some experiences.

I like difficult flutes because they help me develop both my lips and ears. Then, when I play a standard feeling flute, they seem soooo easy.


Yungflutes wrote:

my particular flute was like a stick shift 1973 Rally Sport Camaro ... often times I like to feel the bumps.

Nice.  Perry, clearly your impeccable aesthetic isn't limited to flutes.  Good choice of rides.  We had a 1969 Super Sport Chevelle for many years.  Not as tight as the Camaro, I think.  But it had a growling ro otsu at idle and a throaty muraiki when you opened it up.  Oh, the golden era of jinashi automobiles.

-Darren.

Meet you on the drag.  I'll be cruising a minivan smile

Peace, Perry


"A hot dog is not an animal." - Jet Yung

My Blog/Website on the art of shakuhachi...and parenting.
How to make an Urban Shakuhachi (PVC)

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