Mujitsu and Tairaku's Shakuhachi BBQ

World Shakuhachi Discussion / Go to Live Shakuhachi Chat

You are not logged in.


Tube of delight!

  • Index
  •  » Reviews
  •  » 'The Alder Bough' Celtic Airs for Shakuhachi: a book of scores with CD

#1 2008-09-12 12:56:58

Larry Tyrrell
Moderator
From: Pacific Northwest
Registered: 2005-11-09
Posts: 73
Website

'The Alder Bough' Celtic Airs for Shakuhachi: a book of scores with CD

Hello everyone,

'The Alder Bough', a collection of 32 Celtic airs scored for shakuhachi is now available from www.moonbridge.com.  Each tune is transcribed into both Kinko and Tozan notation and the book comes with a 62 minute companion audio CD with each tune played on a 1.8 flute.  The airs come from Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, Isle of Man and Wales and run the gamut from lovely melodies and folk tunes to pipe tunes that evoke, well, honkyoku.

There is a downloadable pdf information sheet available on the website as well as a sample score and recording. The book and CD sell for $48 including US domestic shipping, international shipping is $5 more. Please contact me if you have any questions or comments at alderbough@moonbridge.com.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Larry Tyrrell

http://www.moonbridge.com/thealderbough.html

Offline

 

#2 2008-09-12 16:07:15

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

Re: 'The Alder Bough' Celtic Airs for Shakuhachi: a book of scores with CD

'The Alder Bough' by Larry Tyrrell


This is a collection of 32 Celtic slow airs with scores in Kinko and Tozan notation and a playalong CD.  The collection is made up of mostly Irish tunes but also some from Scotland, Brittany, Wales and the Isle of Man. The score book presentation is exceptional with clear notation, a useful introduction and high quality paper and binding.  Celtic melodies do sound fantastic on shakuhachi and this collection contains many gems. 

The choice of tunes was interesting for me as there were many I did not know.  This may be because Celtic melodies valued and transmitted in the diaspora are sometimes different to those that are played often in Ireland.  There are tunes that are managable for the beginner and many for those who have more experience.  ‘The Alder Bough’ is a catchy melody composed by Larry which I often find myself humming.  This collection is a labour of love by Larry Tyrrell and highly recommended for anyone who is drawn to the magic and mysticism of celtic music.  The collection is issued in a limited first edition of 108 copies so get onto http://www.moonbridge.com and get your copy before it is too late!


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

Offline

 

#3 2008-09-12 17:38:08

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3222
Website

Re: 'The Alder Bough' Celtic Airs for Shakuhachi: a book of scores with CD

I have had this book and CD for a few weeks now and have been working with it.

Graphically it's very pleasing, with distinctive green binding and ultra-clear notation in both Kinko and Tozan. When I got the book I randomly opened to a page and sight read one of the pieces. Halfway through I realized I knew the song but didn't know the name. After that I listened to the CD and followed notation for the other tunes. No problem. Therefore I conclude that the notation is accurate.

Larry concentrates on the "Celtic Airs" which means slower ballads and songs with free rhythm. This is a shrewd choice for several reasons. Most importantly this is the Irish and Celtic material which sounds good and natural on shakuhachi. Secondly it echoes some of the aesthetic of traditional Japanese honkyoku phrasing and melody. In the preface it is described as "an intersection of musical cultures" but I would beg to differ. It's a case of parallel evolution. Independent evolution of similar musical traits.

The accompanying CD has the benefit of not only being a good guide for following the notation, it is also pleasing as a listening experience. Tyrrell is a very fine player. He has incorporated some of the characteristic ornaments and pick ups of Uilleann pipes, tin whistle and side blown Celtic flutes into his performance and notation. In particular the shakuhachi simulates the keening and yearning sound of the pipes well.

Now let's talk about some philosophical points of this exercise. All Western shakuhachi performers have to grapple with the issue of non-Japanese music on shakuhachi. Either by deciding which to play or by declining to play it. There's no such thing as a non-Japanese (or probably even Japanese) player who is free of Occidental musical theories or who lacks an ear for Western music.

So the question becomes "what is appropriate material". On one extreme you have some Myoan players who say only honkyoku is acceptable and reject gaikyoku, shinkyoku, not to mention jazz or in this case Celtic music. The other extreme is the attitude that shakuhachi is just another instrument and then you have people playing the "Super Mario Theme" on it.

Evidently for Larry there is a middle path between these two extremes which is to find material from outside the Japanese tradition but which incorporates some of the philosophy and musical subtlety of honkyoku. Tyrrell describes it as "a similar fusing of breath and spirit".

There are numerous songs from many different musical traditions which can be played with honkyoku attitude. Larry has assembled 32 examples from the Celtic tradition and presents them in clear and concise fashion. Anybody of intermediate shakuhachi skill should be able to learn the songs easily using this material. I applaud Larry's ambitious endeavor and the clarity of his presentation and recommend "The Alder Bough" unreservedly to anyone wishing to expand their shakuhachi horizons.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

Offline

 

#4 2008-09-13 05:00:06

Bruce Hunter
Member
From: Apple Valley CA
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 258

Re: 'The Alder Bough' Celtic Airs for Shakuhachi: a book of scores with CD

Great review Tairaku!


Develop infallible technique and then lay yourself at the mercy of inspiration. - Anon.

Offline

 

#5 2008-09-13 06:13:06

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3222
Website

Re: 'The Alder Bough' Celtic Airs for Shakuhachi: a book of scores with CD

Bruce Hunter wrote:

Great review Tairaku!

Thanks, have you seen it?

I know you have also transcribed similar material in your heroic efforts to broaden the shakuhachi repertoire.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

Offline

 

#6 2008-09-13 12:43:16

Larry Tyrrell
Moderator
From: Pacific Northwest
Registered: 2005-11-09
Posts: 73
Website

Re: 'The Alder Bough' Celtic Airs for Shakuhachi: a book of scores with CD

Hello,

I just want to chime in here to thank Phil and Brian for their positive and informative reviews. It's especially interesting to get feedback from a fresh perspective after working in relative isolation for so many months. I am very grateful.  I would be remiss to not mention Phil's great collection of Irish tunes, Celtic Honkyoku, also.  It was both stimulating and inspiring to have such a kindred spirit out there working along parallel lines. Thanks again to both of you.

Larry

Offline

 

#7 2008-09-13 13:42:13

Bruce Hunter
Member
From: Apple Valley CA
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 258

Re: 'The Alder Bough' Celtic Airs for Shakuhachi: a book of scores with CD

Tairaku wrote:

Bruce Hunter wrote:

Great review Tairaku!

Thanks, have you seen it?

I know you have also transcribed similar material in your heroic efforts to broaden the shakuhachi repertoire.

No, but I ordered a copy (***very*** quickly acknowledged, by the way) immediately on reading your review.

There are more Gaelic titles in the pipeline (which will be followed by pieces with English titles), which were a bit slow in generating download numbers, but that's changing.

Thanks for the kind words re my transcriptions.

later...


Develop infallible technique and then lay yourself at the mercy of inspiration. - Anon.

Offline

 

#8 2008-09-13 17:09:30

Rick
Member
From: Carlton, Oregon
Registered: 2008-01-19
Posts: 12

Re: 'The Alder Bough' Celtic Airs for Shakuhachi: a book of scores with CD

I was a student of Larry's when he was developing this project.  I know that he spent a lot of time and attention to details on all aspects of "The Alder Bough".  I bought it and have really enjoyed it.  The book, notation and CD are all 1st class, worth the money.

Rick

Offline

 

#9 2008-09-25 11:27:34

indigo
Member
From: Brooklyn, New York
Registered: 2005-10-19
Posts: 52

Re: 'The Alder Bough' Celtic Airs for Shakuhachi: a book of scores with CD

Dear Larry

Thank you for all your beautiful work transcribing and recording the Alder bough.
My playing is at an intermediate level and therefore I need to work with your texts and recordings to integrate this music into my capacity.
So far , not enough time.
My initial response is that I do not have enough innate understanding of the rhythmic structure of Celtic music.  Therefore a metronome is necessary.etc.

The melodic structure of Celtic music is much simpler than Japanese music, less complicated merri notes etc.    My training in western notation dates back to my early teen years playing recorder.  I quit playing music from notation from then until the past 5 years when the shakuhachi entered my life.  Of course only in kinko notation. With this text I am somewhere between the echo of my experience playing recorder and the experience of playing Gaikyoku and Honkyoku.  I feel that learning and playing this music will help my chromatic understanding of the shakuhachi.

Your work is rendered with love and deep respect.  I look forward to the work ahead.   Thank you,
sincerely

Indigo

Offline

 

#10 2008-09-25 13:09:47

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

Re: 'The Alder Bough' Celtic Airs for Shakuhachi: a book of scores with CD

In response to your inquiry about the 'rhythmic structure of Irish music.' I had some discussions with Larry when preparing my own collection of Celtic tunes.

In most collections of Celtic airs, the rhythm is specified. However, the performance practice is quite different. Rhythm often varies from one interpretation to the next. The basic rhythmic pattern is the same but there are slight differences from performer to performer and verse to verse. Indeed, it would be unusual to hear a performance by a traditional musician in which the notes followed the note values on the score exactly. However, arrangements for classical instruments are often played as written.

Many of the tunes in Larry's collection are played with a steady pulse but with a moderate amount of rubato. There are some tunes that need more freedom and are more like honkyoku. When I play a tune like Carrigfergus with another musician we will usually ask each other 'do you normally play it in 3/4 or 4/4?'

Most of the tunes in my collection were chosen because of their free rhythm. I decided not to add rhythmic notation but let the space between the notes be a guide like in honkyoku.


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

Offline

 

#11 2008-09-25 18:29:37

Larry Tyrrell
Moderator
From: Pacific Northwest
Registered: 2005-11-09
Posts: 73
Website

Re: 'The Alder Bough' Celtic Airs for Shakuhachi: a book of scores with CD

This is an interesting topic. I'm glad Phil chimed in.

The challenge of transcribing folk tunes as they exist within a culture is to find some way of first making them your own. For most of us, and this includes the process of assimilating Japanese music, that means steeping yourself in the musical culture in audio form.  So listening comes first, then playing, then transcribing (or score reading). Whether the transcription is metrical or non-metrical is really only a difference of style of secondary transmission–the primary avenue is the ear not the eye.

A few have kindly pointed out a number of differences between the scores in Alder Bough and the renditions on the CD.  Although I regret where this is confusing I look at it as only natural.  The map is always different from the terrain.  In a similar way to honkyoku the challenge is to inhabit each phrase so it becomes an expression of your unique voice. In folk music the goal is to play it as if you've always known it.  In that way the traditional musician is one with the music and not only does not but needs not perform the same tune the same way twice.

In this context the transcription is a visual aid to help you find the music.  Happy hunting!

Offline

 

#12 2008-09-26 03:59:27

Bruce Hunter
Member
From: Apple Valley CA
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 258

Re: 'The Alder Bough' Celtic Airs for Shakuhachi: a book of scores with CD

The Alder Bough by Larry Tyrell
Celtic Airs for Shakuhachi invokes visions of the Emerald Isle from the onset. Characters for Shaku-hachi woven into a Celtic knot on the cover of the book and in border designs throughout the book, set the tone before the first notes come from the CD. And come they do. Cuts, double cuts, slides, and I think I heard a roll or two somewhere in there. Not a hint of an Irish flute in there anywhere, it's all shakuhachi, all the time, and, to recall a previous comment, if it sounds good it *is* good, and believe me, it's both, in spades. (Or maybe that's shamrocks).
The CD is captivating, there is no sound on there that doesn't belong there. (Don't listen to this while driving.) The book is very well laid out, easily readable, and the very few necessary explanatory notes provided do not interfere with the reading. Notes on technique, fingerings, time and tempo signatures, and section markings are provided apart from the scores.
One small note, if you're following the score with the CD playing, use the track list from the next-to-back page.
So, for those with any interest at all in non-traditional music, this is a must have addition to your collection. For the rest, try it anyway, who knows, maybe...


Develop infallible technique and then lay yourself at the mercy of inspiration. - Anon.

Offline

 

#13 2008-09-26 15:49:25

baian
Member
Registered: 2006-03-28
Posts: 83

Re: 'The Alder Bough' Celtic Airs for Shakuhachi: a book of scores with CD

Just read the previous reviews of  The Alder Bough by Larry Tyrell . My copy arrived a few weeks back and I've since had the chance to look though it.

The layout and notation are great as is the accompanying CD.

At the risk of repeating, this is a job well done and easy to use for those who wish to play this music on Shakuhachi .

Offline

 

#14 2008-10-02 02:19:45

Josh
PhD
From: Grand Island, NY/Nara, Japan
Registered: 2005-11-14
Posts: 305
Website

Re: 'The Alder Bough' Celtic Airs for Shakuhachi: a book of scores with CD

Voices from another pleased customer! Very nicely played and recorded, as well as a beautiful layout with the notation. I've listened all the way through a few times now and have played along with some of the pieces. Some are easier to follow than others, but that's what makes it interesting. Just listening all the way through I sometimes get lost as to which song is which, but maybe that's because it is all on a 1.8,  but that being said, each song has a character of its own that will need some in depth listening and learning.
Thanks for the new experience.

Offline

 

#15 2008-10-02 11:50:29

nyokai
shihan
From: Portland, ME
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 613
Website

Re: 'The Alder Bough' Celtic Airs for Shakuhachi: a book of scores with CD

Yes, excellent collection. Great tunes, beautifully printed book, very clearly played CD. I went through it all as soon as I got it -- totally fun!

Offline

 

#16 2008-10-03 18:44:45

Larry Tyrrell
Moderator
From: Pacific Northwest
Registered: 2005-11-09
Posts: 73
Website

Re: 'The Alder Bough' Celtic Airs for Shakuhachi: a book of scores with CD

Hello,

I'd just like to thank everyone for the very positive response to this project so far and for the extremely generous and appreciative comments it has received.
Thank you everyone very much.

Larry

Last edited by Larry Tyrrell (2008-11-01 18:00:51)

Offline

 

#17 2008-10-16 00:44:14

espiritu
Member
Registered: 2008-01-09
Posts: 1

Re: 'The Alder Bough' Celtic Airs for Shakuhachi: a book of scores with CD

Hi there,

I think this is my first posting. 

I'd just like to thank Larry for his continued support in and encouragement in learning the ways of all things shakuhachi.
I've been lucky enough to be a student of Larry's while he's created the masterpiece, "The Alder Bough"  We've spent many lessons working out many of the pieces and I'd have to say that the craftsmanship of the manual is superb.  The companion CD as well is with out regard integral and can be used for study as well as meditation and calm.

This project has greatly influenced my playing and will continue to as I work through more and more of the scores.

Thank you Larry,


DCEspiritu

Offline

 

#18 2008-11-01 18:04:07

Larry Tyrrell
Moderator
From: Pacific Northwest
Registered: 2005-11-09
Posts: 73
Website

Re: 'The Alder Bough' Celtic Airs for Shakuhachi: a book of scores with CD

Hello

P.S.  I've listed the companion CD as a separate offering, the Celtic Shakuhachi Sampler, on the Moonbridge website.  This is for anyone who would just like
to *hear* the 32 tunes from The Alder Bough.   I'll also post an announcement on the CD releases listings here.  Thanks again for the positive responses.

Offline

 

#19 2008-11-11 11:16:46

chikuzen
Dai Shihan/Dokyoku
From: Cleveland Heights,OH 44118
Registered: 2005-10-24
Posts: 402
Website

Re: 'The Alder Bough' Celtic Airs for Shakuhachi: a book of scores with CD

Congratulations to Larry on this project. What a unique, useful and quite aesthetically pleasing result of what must have been a lot of work.

I too applaud Larry's choice of  including the slower moving style of Celtic songs as they do bring out the similarities with honkyoku and also Minyo music. The inherent simplicity of this kind of "folk" music, like Minyo, demands the performer's utmost attention to tone color and feeling. I also find the similar use and effectiveness of trills in the two styles an interesting study and practice.  In many honkyoku, one often has the option of of choosing to pop a hole for ornamentation (or not) without causing disruption. However, the trills and hole popping techniques used in both these Celtic songs and the Japanese Minyo are a very important part of the music as they are imitating the singers voice. Larry also devotes two pages to illustrating the ornamentation techniques and explains this similarity well. 

I hardly ever recommend to my students that they play western music on shakuhachi. But I'm recommending this book and the cds to my students who are learning to read and also to those learning to play Minyo. These can be helpful, especially for beginner's and intermediate level students. The scores are well written, clean and easy to read. The pace of the music is quite manageable even for beginner's if they pick out the slowest songs to learn first and then learn the faster ones later. There really are no "fast" ones, relatively speaking.

And like Phil said, for advanced players too, it's a lot of fun.


Michael Chikuzen Gould

Offline

 

#20 2008-11-11 13:35:43

Michael A. Firman
Member
From: Naperville, IL USA
Registered: 2006-08-28
Posts: 57
Website

Re: 'The Alder Bough' Celtic Airs for Shakuhachi: a book of scores with CD

I would agree with Chikuzen-sensi that these are a lot of fun. I've always liked Celtic music (although I don't know much about it) and these scores give me the opportunity to play some of my favorites (there are many in the book that I'm not familiar with as well. I'm looking forward to learning them).
The whole presentation is beautiful. The layout of the book is easy to read and use. They will be good pieces to mix in with traditional honkyoku pieces in performance (peoples eyes tend to glaze over when they are subjected with too much honkyoku :-) ). They are a nice alternative to Minyo pieces and fit right in with a similar feeling (I think this is what Michael was getting at with his comment about trills and hole popping in the two styles). The CD works well as a model for learning the pieces and is nice to listen to on its own.

All in all this is a very nice package. Good job Larry!


Michael A. Firman
Naperville IL USA

Offline

 

#21 2008-11-11 13:51:56

dust
Member
From: Albion
Registered: 2007-09-08
Posts: 91

Re: 'The Alder Bough' Celtic Airs for Shakuhachi: a book of scores with CD

Just a small point... [it might be me] I can't find a list of the Celtic airs.   sad


imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.

Offline

 

#22 2008-11-11 19:28:42

Larry Tyrrell
Moderator
From: Pacific Northwest
Registered: 2005-11-09
Posts: 73
Website

Re: 'The Alder Bough' Celtic Airs for Shakuhachi: a book of scores with CD

Hello,

Again, I am extremely grateful for the kind words and enthusiastic reception of this collection. Thank you, Michael (actually both Michaels) for your posts!

By the way, for dust,  I am sending you a .pdf file listing all the titles which is available from me to anyone on request. Just email me.

Thanks again everyone,

Larry

Offline

 

#23 2008-11-12 04:19:50

Daniel Ryudo
Shihan/Kinko Ryu
From: Kochi, Japan
Registered: 2006-02-12
Posts: 355

Re: 'The Alder Bough' Celtic Airs for Shakuhachi: a book of scores with CD

I'd also like to say congratulations, Larry, for the great book.  I've just started playing from it in the last few days and am really enjoying it.  The subtitle of The Alder Bough is Celtic Airs for Shakuhachi, and as I understand it, airs were originally sung but are now often played as instrumentals on uillean pipes, tin whistles, and other traditional instruments.  The songs in the book are beautifully presented in both Kinko and Tozan tablature on the same page so it's also a good way to compare the two different shakuhachi scripts.  There are notes in the beginning on Irish ornamentation and on some of the unusual fingerings, as well as on the time signatures.  I love the design and layout of the book; yes, very easy to read, with notes in black and notes to be ornamented in red.  The accompanying cd is also very helpful in getting down the rhythms in the pieces.  There are songs with  both English and Irish Gaelic titles.  I'm looking forward to working through all the pieces.  As Michael Firman noted, it is a good selection of pieces to mix with honkyoku and also would be great to work with for students of all levels, from beginner to advanced, as Michael Gould mentions.  Thanks, Larry!

Offline

 

#24 2008-11-12 05:50:16

dust
Member
From: Albion
Registered: 2007-09-08
Posts: 91

Re: 'The Alder Bough' Celtic Airs for Shakuhachi: a book of scores with CD

Hi Larry, thanks for the list.. it looks real good   smile



john


imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.

Offline

 

#25 2008-12-10 07:26:45

chuck091956
Member
From: Arizona, USA
Registered: 2006-07-02
Posts: 32
Website

Re: 'The Alder Bough' Celtic Airs for Shakuhachi: a book of scores with CD

Hello All,

I got Larry's 'The Alder Bough', book and CD about a month ago. I loved the quality of the printing in the book and the tunes on the CD, Many years ago I played Irish simple transverse flute so I was familiar with the double cut ornament. His explanation and incorporation of it into the shakuhachi notation was great. I loaded the tunes from the CD onto my IPOD and when listened to them on and off for a few days before picking my top three to start playing. The playing of at least the ones I initially picked feel comfortable and at home on the shakuhachi.

Thanks Larry for your work in transcribing these and producing a quality professional product.

Chuck Peck


Chuck Peck

Offline

 
  • Index
  •  » Reviews
  •  » 'The Alder Bough' Celtic Airs for Shakuhachi: a book of scores with CD

Board footer

Powered by PunBB
© Copyright 2002–2005 Rickard Andersson

Google