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#1 2009-03-18 13:29:37

axolotl
Member
From: Los Angeles
Registered: 2007-11-16
Posts: 215
Website

What are the Pro's, Non-Pro's, Semi-Pro's, etc Practicing These Days?

As the Pro's have been absorbed into the populace, I thought I'd create a thread for everyone to talk about what they're working on.  It could become a rather long, continually updated thread...

I'll go first!  I am working on "Ame", which is pretty darn difficult for me.  The tonguing, trying to hang on during rapid phrases in the kan register, switching from go no ha to hi, switching from go no ha to chi kan and not going flat on chi, and so forth.  It's a relief to get to the slow section, and by the end there's a whole lotta dribble coming out the end of the blowstick.  Listening to the CD version is very inspiring and daunting.  Also, a Masa Yoshizawa piece called "Santera Mairi", which is very pretty, and, because I need a break from the others, "Mogamigawa Funauta". 

Not to mention long tones.  My eternal assigment is long tones (mainly Ro) and dynamics thereupon.

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#2 2009-03-18 19:58:26

edosan
Edomologist
From: Salt Lake City
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 2185

Re: What are the Pro's, Non-Pro's, Semi-Pro's, etc Practicing These Days?

Ame: is that the 'Ame' by Yamamoto Hozan? What is the recording you have it on?


Zen is not easy.
It takes effort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have?
Bupkes.

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#3 2009-03-18 22:46:11

axolotl
Member
From: Los Angeles
Registered: 2007-11-16
Posts: 215
Website

Re: What are the Pro's, Non-Pro's, Semi-Pro's, etc Practicing These Days?

Yes, the very same.  I have a CD called "Masters of Zen: Koto and Shakuhachi", and the shakuhachist is Matsuda Seizan on that track.  Really nice recording.  The CD is a collection of somewhat contemporary pieces.

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#4 2009-03-18 23:07:02

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

Re: What are the Pro's, Non-Pro's, Semi-Pro's, etc Practicing These Days?

I am working on my graduate recital material. Writting original pieces for shakuhachi.
Some are spacey..they sound like alien music. The rest of the songs, are contemporary jazz with a urban feel to it.

Playing..working on some jazz phrases..I play them in 12 keys. Slowly with a tunner in my Face;-).

I work on my time. I clap/sing/ and play with piano & shakuhachi the rrythem figure. It helps with my execution time & energy..or the groove.
Some ear trainig exercies..besides all the jazz stuff, I had to transcribe a chinese Erdhu piece & do a recomposition that sounds from the some family.
That was very interesting project. I love the Erdhu sound.

Working on Soo Mukaiji also.

Last edited by geni (2009-03-19 00:00:18)

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#5 2009-03-18 23:28:36

edosan
Edomologist
From: Salt Lake City
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 2185

Re: What are the Pro's, Non-Pro's, Semi-Pro's, etc Practicing These Days?

axolotl wrote:

Yes, the very same.  I have a CD called "Masters of Zen: Koto and Shakuhachi", and the shakuhachist is Matsuda Seizan on that track.  Really nice recording.  The CD is a collection of somewhat contemporary pieces.

I have another CD on the same label, with Yamamoto playing along with an organ in a Swiss cathedral. Little ol' shakuhachi and pedal pipes!  smile


Zen is not easy.
It takes effort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have?
Bupkes.

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#6 2009-03-19 09:49:19

geminishadow79
Member
From: Orono Maine
Registered: 2009-01-21
Posts: 43

Re: What are the Pro's, Non-Pro's, Semi-Pro's, etc Practicing These Days?

Well as a beginner I"m just working on sound.  I'm at the point where I can get a good tone on the first try, well a tone anyway almost everytime.  Thats seems pretty good to me.  I have to wait until May for any formal lessons.  So until then I will just keep blowing....

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#7 2009-03-19 12:46:55

Zakarius
Member
From: Taichung, TAIWAN
Registered: 2006-04-12
Posts: 361

Re: What are the Pro's, Non-Pro's, Semi-Pro's, etc Practicing These Days?

I learned Hi Fu Mi Hachigaeshi and Sokkan a few months ago so I'm still working on them. The former is a really great piece to practice one's suriage & matching the pitches of notes like U dai meri = Re, Tsu dai meri = Ro, etc.

I've gotten through Shingetsu recently but don't feel like I really 'own' the piece yet. And as usual, I'm still tuning Shika no Tohne on a 2.8.

Zak


塵も積もれば山となる -- "Chiri mo tsumoreba yama to naru." -- Piled-up specks of dust become a mountain.

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#8 2009-03-19 17:10:50

marek
Member
From: Czech Republic
Registered: 2007-03-02
Posts: 185
Website

Re: What are the Pro's, Non-Pro's, Semi-Pro's, etc Practicing These Days?

edosan wrote:

axolotl wrote:

Yes, the very same.  I have a CD called "Masters of Zen: Koto and Shakuhachi", and the shakuhachist is Matsuda Seizan on that track.  Really nice recording.  The CD is a collection of somewhat contemporary pieces.

I have another CD on the same label, with Yamamoto playing along with an organ in a Swiss cathedral. Little ol' shakuhachi and pedal pipes!  smile

Hi Ed,

what's the cd called?

Currently I am working on Shika no Tone meian version with my teacher and should also start very soon learning his composition Calligraphies which is a very fine set of five short pieces for voice and bamboo.

Cheers,

Marek


"what are you gawping at!?"
                                          Uchiyama Roshi
 
" www.komuso.cz !"

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#9 2009-03-19 18:05:45

Taldaran
Member
From: Everett, Washington-USA
Registered: 2009-01-13
Posts: 228

Re: What are the Pro's, Non-Pro's, Semi-Pro's, etc Practicing These Days?

As a newbie, I am listening to a lot of Honkyoku for immersion.

I am practicing octaves, and meri keri techniques as well as half holing to try to get close to the same pitches in preparation to begin learning honkyoku. I am building different shakuhachi (different lengths and utaguchi profiles) and doing the same practice regimen on them all (even the dodgy ones) to diversify my muscle memory.


Christopher

“Whoever can see through all fear will always be safe.” Tao Te Ching

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#10 2009-03-19 18:22:48

edosan
Edomologist
From: Salt Lake City
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 2185

Re: What are the Pro's, Non-Pro's, Semi-Pro's, etc Practicing These Days?

marek wrote:

edosan wrote:

axolotl wrote:

Yes, the very same.  I have a CD called "Masters of Zen: Koto and Shakuhachi", and the shakuhachist is Matsuda Seizan on that track.  Really nice recording.  The CD is a collection of somewhat contemporary pieces.

I have another CD on the same label, with Yamamoto playing along with an organ in a Swiss cathedral. Little ol' shakuhachi and pedal pipes!  smile

Hi Ed,

what's the cd called?

Currently I am working on Shika no Tone meian version with my teacher and should also start very soon learning his composition Calligraphies which is a very fine set of five short pieces for voice and bamboo.

Cheers,

Marek

It's on the Playa Sound Collection 'Masters of Zen', Shakuhachi and Organ (PS 65199). Players are Yamamoto Hozan, Wolfgang Mitterer (organ),
Yoshizawa Masakazu (voice-percussion on two tracks) and Chieko Mori (bass koto on one track). Looks like it's available at Monty's site, and (yikes) WalMart online.

The one with 'Ame' on it, from the same series, called 'Masters of Zen Koto Shakuhachi', is available from Amazon in CD or MP3 downloads.


Zen is not easy.
It takes effort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have?
Bupkes.

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#11 2009-03-19 22:57:34

radi0gnome
Member
From: Kingston NY
Registered: 2006-12-29
Posts: 1030
Website

Re: What are the Pro's, Non-Pro's, Semi-Pro's, etc Practicing These Days?

I'm working on trying to get this Tascam Pocketstudio5 portable recorder working. First, recording a track results in a ticking noise, but only while the flute is playing. That's in tracking mode. A workaround I found for it is to record the track in bounce mode even though I don't want or need to bounce. The drawback to that, along with the extra steps involved, is that if I put a backing track on and try to record along with it, instead of giving me just a second track with the flute, I get a track with flute and backing track so I can't adjust the levels separately. If anybody has any ideas, please email me.

Anyway this is what I've got so far, me playing over tablaninja's drone:
Click here to watch Tablaninja-drone-and-radi0gnome-shakuhachi

Last edited by radi0gnome (2009-03-19 22:58:57)


"Now birds record new harmonie, And trees do whistle melodies;
Now everything that nature breeds, Doth clad itself in pleasant weeds."
~ Thomas Watson - England's Helicon ca 1580

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#12 2009-03-20 05:12:35

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

Re: What are the Pro's, Non-Pro's, Semi-Pro's, etc Practicing These Days?

Right now I'm working on Sawaii Tadao's "Kaze no Uta" with a 2.1 jinashi and reviewing Shoganken Reibo. I think Shoganken allows for so much different interpretation because of the similar phrasing here and there. Not an easy piece. I'm also working on a few songs for an upcoming CD with a Myoan/Chikuho-ryu shakuhachi player (Izukawa Hidefumi) and some electro acoustic features.

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#13 2009-03-20 12:41:09

Zakarius
Member
From: Taichung, TAIWAN
Registered: 2006-04-12
Posts: 361

Re: What are the Pro's, Non-Pro's, Semi-Pro's, etc Practicing These Days?

Kaze no Uta is a great piece... I gave it a whirl a while back but it's still a little over my head with the super fast riffs. (Having a 2.8 as my smallest flute doesn't make it any easier though.) Josh, if you ever run into a koto-only recording of the piece which a shakuhachi-ist can play along to, please let me know wink

Zak


塵も積もれば山となる -- "Chiri mo tsumoreba yama to naru." -- Piled-up specks of dust become a mountain.

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#14 2009-03-20 16:27:46

edosan
Edomologist
From: Salt Lake City
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 2185

Re: What are the Pro's, Non-Pro's, Semi-Pro's, etc Practicing These Days?

Zakarius wrote:

Kaze no Uta is a great piece... I gave it a whirl a while back but it's still a little over my head with the super fast riffs. (Having a 2.8 as my smallest flute doesn't make it any easier though.) Josh, if you ever run into a koto-only recording of the piece which a shakuhachi-ist can play along to, please let me know wink

Zak

Best of luck playing along with it on a 2.8  smile


Zen is not easy.
It takes effort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have?
Bupkes.

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#15 2009-03-21 02:09:02

Zakarius
Member
From: Taichung, TAIWAN
Registered: 2006-04-12
Posts: 361

Re: What are the Pro's, Non-Pro's, Semi-Pro's, etc Practicing These Days?

edosan wrote:

Zakarius wrote:

Kaze no Uta is a great piece... I gave it a whirl a while back but it's still a little over my head with the super fast riffs. (Having a 2.8 as my smallest flute doesn't make it any easier though.) Josh, if you ever run into a koto-only recording of the piece which a shakuhachi-ist can play along to, please let me know wink

Zak

Best of luck playing along with it on a 2.8  smile

If you're referring to the difficulty regarding the pace of the song, then thanks for the good wishes. On the other hand, if you're insinuating that getting a recording of the koto portion will require a 1.8 to play along in tune, there are various software programs which allow you to pitch-shift songs to match your flute. The one I usually use is freeware and was introduced in the following post (and evidently still downloadable):

http://www.shakuhachiforum.com/viewtopic.php?id=606

Zak


塵も積もれば山となる -- "Chiri mo tsumoreba yama to naru." -- Piled-up specks of dust become a mountain.

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#16 2009-03-21 08:21:46

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3204
Website

Re: What are the Pro's, Non-Pro's, Semi-Pro's, etc Practicing These Days?

My shakuhachi practice has become quite specific in recent times. I don't have the time to practice, so I just perform. 

My wife, Dr. Varuni Kulasekera, and I own an Asian style teahouse in Hobart called "Chado-The Way of Tea." We have an incredible selection of rare teas from Japan, China, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, South America, India and Wisconsin. Over 80 teas and tisanes.

I play there 4 or 5 times a week for 1 to 4 hours depending upon my availability.

It's an interesting situation. There are 4 different rooms. I play in the entry room. Tea drinking occurs in the other 3 rooms. So when people come into the place they may see me playing, but they move into the adjacent room or the two upstairs rooms to drink tea and eat Japanese food.

This is ideal. Because I play in a small room with no direct observers and the sound resonates around the rest of the teahouse. It's a heritage listed building constructed from "convict brick" thus acoustics are lively and good for shakuhachi. I am "playing for myself" but the customers all hear the sound without watching me. The music is clearly heard everywhere but  it's not a concert ambiance. This suits the purpose of playing honkyoku yet gives listeners pleasure as well.

We have a shrine featuring a Meiji scroll of Fuke which was directed to me by Gishin. And a bunch of komuso oriented ukiyoe prints.

My repertoire is of course Jin Nyodo honkyoku. I also play a lot of other Myoan honkyoku. I use the many of Takashi Tokuyama's notations and arrangements for that.  Kinko honkyoku such as "Hi Fu Mi Hachigaeshi", "Yugure no Kyoku", "Akita Sugagaki".  Nezasaha pieces such as "Shirabe", Sagahiha" and "Matsukaze". Some Shinpo ryu stuff David Sawyer has transcribed. Kinko gaikyoku such as "Rokudan no shirabe", "Midare" and "Shin Sugomori". Minyo such as "Sakura", "Soran Bushi" and "Kojo no Tsuki". These are particularly popular with the Japanese customers and the Japanese girls who work for us. And I play jazz songs by John Coltrane, Albert Ayler, Thelonious Monk and others. Plus pure improvisations I create on the spot. Sometimes I do technical exercises such as long tones, intervals (designed by Bruce Hunter) and Nyoraku's stuff.

The teahouse ambiance is instructive. People are there to drink tea and relax and that makes me play very simply and directly. Excessive technical stuff sounds forced, so it has made me simplify things. I like it that way. Long simple tones are ideal.

I always start out with "Choshi" and follow with an improvisation coming out of that theme. After that I present a series of contrasts. I go from long flute to short to medium length. This provides sonic contrast and also keeps me on my toes technically. I sit in a western chair when I'm reading music, and stand when playing from memory or improvising, in order to avoid stiffness.

In terms of the flutes I use it's been very useful for identifying which flutes have a pure tone and speak well without being harsh. The main flutes I'm using there are jinashi Myoan flutes such as my 1.8 Okubo Kodo, unsigned Myoan 1.8, unsigned Myoan 2.0, several Gudo Ishibashi flutes. Incredible jinashi 1.6 from Araki Chikuo. Taimu flutes work very well due to their deep voices and strong projection. The best one is called "Frankenschwantz", a 2.35 which I got from X. Moran. I am also playing several exceptional jiari flutes, in particular a 1.8 Miura Kindo, a Yamaguchi Shiro 2.0 and an unsigned 1.4 Kinko with Chinese inscriptions which has been described elsewhere on this forum.

For "Kyorei", "Hi Fu Mi Cho" and "Garyoken Takeshirabe" which are totally in otsu I'm using a huge ancient 1.85 Myoan refurbished by Perry I got from Jeff Jones which has also been discussed elsewhere on the forum. That's my "otsu flute".

It's a good scene for shakuhachi blowing in Tasmania. I get to play, drink massive quantities of cha, hang out with my wife and the girls in the teahouse, and the customers get a dose of Zen with their tea.

Ciao,

BR


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#17 2009-03-21 09:06:46

Musgo da Pedra
Member
From: South of Brazil
Registered: 2007-12-02
Posts: 332
Website

Re: What are the Pro's, Non-Pro's, Semi-Pro's, etc Practicing These Days?

Hi Tairaku!


I would love to hear you play jazz on shakuhachi...


Omnia mea mecum porto

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#18 2009-03-21 09:15:01

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3204
Website

Re: What are the Pro's, Non-Pro's, Semi-Pro's, etc Practicing These Days?

Musgo da Pedra wrote:

Hi Tairaku!


I would love to hear you play jazz on shakuhachi...

Easily done on my myspace, Ken's myspace and on youtube. smile

Or you could get Taimu, Ryoanji or Shakuhachi Club NYC. wink


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#19 2009-03-21 09:39:23

ABRAXAS
Member
Registered: 2009-01-17
Posts: 353

Re: What are the Pro's, Non-Pro's, Semi-Pro's, etc Practicing These Days?


"Shakuhachi music stirs up both gods and demons." -- Ikkyu.

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#20 2009-03-21 09:48:20

Seth
Member
From: Scarsdale, NY
Registered: 2005-10-24
Posts: 270

Re: What are the Pro's, Non-Pro's, Semi-Pro's, etc Practicing These Days?

Tairaku wrote:

My shakuhachi practice has become quite specific in recent times. I don't have the time to practice, so I just perform. 

My wife, Dr. Varuni Kulasekera, and I own an Asian style teahouse in Hobart called "Chado-The Way of Tea." We have an incredible selection of rare teas from Japan, China, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, India, South Africa, South America, India and Wisconsin. Over 80 teas and tisanes.

I play there 4 or 5 times a week for 1 to 4 hours depending upon my availability.


It's a good scene for shakuhachi blowing in Tasmania. I get to play, hang out with my wife and the girls in the teahouse, and the customers get a dose of Zen with their tea.

Ciao,

BR

I just had a very interesting experience reading the above.

I was taking it all in and enjoying the description of your tea house, your daily routine, your shakuhachi practice and your collection - when all of a sudden I felt big fat tears rolling down my cheeks.  And after a few moments I realized they were tears of envy.

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#21 2009-03-21 09:57:49

ABRAXAS
Member
Registered: 2009-01-17
Posts: 353

Re: What are the Pro's, Non-Pro's, Semi-Pro's, etc Practicing These Days?

Seth wrote:

Tairaku wrote:

My shakuhachi practice has become quite specific in recent times. I don't have the time to practice, so I just perform. 

My wife, Dr. Varuni Kulasekera, and I own an Asian style teahouse in Hobart called "Chado-The Way of Tea." We have an incredible selection of rare teas from Japan, China, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, India, South Africa, South America, India and Wisconsin. Over 80 teas and tisanes.

I play there 4 or 5 times a week for 1 to 4 hours depending upon my availability.


It's a good scene for shakuhachi blowing in Tasmania. I get to play, hang out with my wife and the girls in the teahouse, and the customers get a dose of Zen with their tea.

Ciao,

BR

I just had a very interesting experience reading the above.

I was taking it all in and enjoying the description of your tea house, your daily routine, your shakuhachi practice and your collection - when all of a sudden I felt big fat tears rolling down my cheeks.  And after a few moments I realized they were tears of envy.

That really was a fantastic post and description.

I have a similar scene for myself here, only its an old bookstore in a 100+ year old building instead of a tea house. The only people I work with are my girlfriend and my cat. I play shakuhachi whenever there are no customers (I'm not into playing for people, especially if thats not why they are there in the first place). Sometimes I catch myself wishing the customers would leave so I could play shakuhachi, then I remember they pay the bills (including the shakuhachi bills!)


"Shakuhachi music stirs up both gods and demons." -- Ikkyu.

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#22 2009-03-22 10:20:40

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

Re: What are the Pro's, Non-Pro's, Semi-Pro's, etc Practicing These Days?

The Asian tea house scene in Hobart sounds pretty cool...; we need a place like that here in Kochi; we have plenty of coffee shops but not many teahouses, and none with a resident shakuhachi player.  I've heard there's a place somewhere in central Kyoto that has a variety of dento ongaku performances but  I'm not sure if it's a teahouse or not.  I'm currently practicing Miyako Odori and Nemureru Haru with Kochi's Sankyoku Kyokai for our annual spring concert; we had a practice today with about 12 shakuhachi players and 30 koto and shamisen players.  I'm also doing a once a week practice working on a version of the minyo tune Yosakoi Bushi with a reggae influenced band in preparation for the summer's Yosakoi festival, where we'll be playing in a sound truck for one of the dance teams.  I'm currently practicing the gaikyoku piece Ouchiyama as I'm teaching that to one of my students; we also play along with Nyoraku Schlefer sensei's book of scales and other exercises.  On my own I've been playing koten honkyoku such as Yamagoe and Shoganken Reibo (hoping to memorize Yamagoe again...) as well as standard Kinko pieces like Hifumi Hachigaeshi.  Last weekend I had a half day improvizational session along with Tuvan throat singing and two string lutes, conga, didgeridoo, and Irish flute, with several of us trying to come up with ideas for a scheduled international music night next month...  Last night I played Honshirabe for a British/Japanese wedding party and did a little improvization with a wedding guest who had flown over from Newcastle and who played a wicked acoustic guitar for some Nick Cave, Buddy Holly, and Johnny Cash tunes in addition to his own material.

Last edited by Daniel Ryudo (2009-03-25 10:21:01)

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#23 2009-03-22 12:52:52

axolotl
Member
From: Los Angeles
Registered: 2007-11-16
Posts: 215
Website

Re: What are the Pro's, Non-Pro's, Semi-Pro's, etc Practicing These Days?

Daniel, maybe you can be the change you want to see in the world!  wink  I am half-kidding; starting something like that takes tremendous effort.  Who are the amazing musicians that surround you?  Throat singers and Irish flautists?  Neat. 

Tairaku, I got a wonderful visual (and audio) image of your teahouse.  That sounds like a wonderful life.

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#24 2009-03-22 18:35:29

Yooper
Member
From: Michigan, on the WI border
Registered: 2007-11-26
Posts: 57

Re: What are the Pro's, Non-Pro's, Semi-Pro's, etc Practicing These Days?

Tea from Wisconsin?


"Simple and artless."

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#25 2009-03-22 19:26:59

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3204
Website

Re: What are the Pro's, Non-Pro's, Semi-Pro's, etc Practicing These Days?

Yooper wrote:

Tea from Wisconsin?

Most of our stuff is proper tea (camellia sinensis) but we also have some herbals such as chamomile, peppermint, etc. The Wisconsin product is white ginseng. wink So no it's not tea. I just wanted to tout Wisconsin.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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