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The 3 guys in the video are coveringa song by Hanya Teikoku. Hanya all graduated from Tokyo Geidai together, but that's not really them in the video. Those three guys covered a few others as well. Pretty good in their own right though.
And to throw the thread even farther off topic here is a younger guy doing a shakuhachi street performance.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLfq2aFA … re=related
But Hanya Teikoku are probably the kind of Japanese players that Yokoyama is suggesting don't focus on honkyoku enough. Of course it is just mere speculation as to whom he was atually referring to, but similar pop shakuhachi groups and songs are really popping up more and more lately.
One of the members of Hanya Teikoku, named Iwata, performed in Kochi this past weekend in a trio with a pianist (named Maki, who had composed a number of their pieces) and a 25 string koto player (a guy); all three were graduates of Geidai. They played three sets in an upscale cafe/restaurant named Les Palmiers, mostly modern pieces; they were all quite talented. Most everything was pretty fast and furious on shakuhachi; there was one piece with a traditional folk melody at the beginning; everything else was modern; there were a couple of standards like 'Summertime.' We talked briefly after the show; Iwata had studied under Yamamoto Hozan; he said he also had learned gaikyoku pieces such Chidori and Rokudan. No mention of honkyoku though I didn't ask him. I heard from a saxophonist the next evening that he did an excellent version of Chick Corea's 'Spain' the following night when they were joined by sax and percussion players, also Geidai graduates. Hanya Teikoku came through Kochi last year and gave quite a rollicking performance; one of the members, Kominata, had trained under Yamamoto Hozan and the other (can't recall his name...) said he had done some study under Yokoyama Katsuya. They had a local jazz drummer backing them up and basically gave a rock style performance on shakuhachi.
I saw them when they had their first concert in Osaka. Very cool contemporary stuff! Jeff Cairns caught their Kyushu concert as well I believe (this was mentioned in a prior post). Iwata has learned Tozan ryu honkyoku, as dictated under their system, but I don't recall him ever performing it. He did win the Kumamoto contest with a Yamamoto Hozan solo. Kominato was born into a Minyo folk family and also studied Kinko ryu, even briefly under Yamaguchi Goro. I wasn't aware he also studied under Hozan.
Motonaga told me he sometimes studies with Yokoyama. In Sydney he played Yokoyama's piece "Makiri", usually considered a modern honkyoku. Very powerful performance.
Personally I like Kominato's style the best. He seems to really pay attention to tone and details. Good technique but not flashy, which Iwata tends to be in my opinion. But maybe the shakuhachi world needs a bit of flash sometimes:)
You're right, Kominato studied under Yamaguchi Goro, not Yamamoto Hozan. Motonaga...now I remember; he was the one playing the longer flutes in the trio. Kominato was in Kochi a couple of years before Hana Teikoku, playing with an acoustic guitarist in a duo named Aeka; I was lucky to have a little jam with him on a Beatles tune in a cafe called Kazari.
Please excuse the mild case of ancestral possession; I'm back to normal today. Returning to the topic of Yokoyama Katsuya, I found some notes in an old diary from an interview with Yokoyama sensei in Hogaku Journal in 2002 (Volume 184?) where he says things similar to what he said in the more recent interview. He says that shakuhachi professionals have gone into fusion and have lost contact with their roots. He likens koten and gendai kyoku to car wheels. Koten is the base. He thinks that young players techniques are high but that they can't make a good sound. In thinking of how to make a sound, research is not enough, one must put one's body and soul into it ("shinu hodo yatteiru inochi o kakketeiru" - the necessity of putting your life into it to the point of death, or something like that, and that such people don't exist nowadays...)
Daniel Ryudo wrote:
(...such people don't exist nowadays...)
Well, there's always Tairaku
Here's a PDF of that article (direct download link): http://img190.imageshack.us/img190/4549/yokoyama.pdf
such people don't exist nowadays
Again, I find it less than shocking that someone would express opinions like this, expecially at a certain age. I wouldn't deny its validity, nor would I say that it is bereft of a certain nostalgia that can actually become quite oppressive, if not consumed with the requisite amount of salt. Of course that is all quite presumptuous on my part.
It reminds me of two stories; I'll try to keep it short.
First, Miles Davis wanted to learn to make that cool vibrato sound that all the old trumpet players that he idolized as a young man made. He asked someone what the proper way to develop the technique was. They told him to play to notes as clear, steady, and roundly as possible while he can. "When you get old and shaky, you won't be able to help making shaky music."
Second, Charles "Buck" Bukowski was drinking with a young kid in his room looking out the window. They saw an old man get mugged, beaten, and kicked to the ground by a young punk. The kid: "We gotta go help that old guy. We gotta beat up that punk and get the money back for the sake of justice (I paraphrase). Buck: "You know what I see when I look out this window? I see the young kickin' the sh*t outta the old. My friend that IS justice." Of course the other reason Buck doesn't want to leave the apartment is that he is so drunk, he knows he'll get arrested as soon as his foot hits the street. So, there is a healthy respect for that tradition along with a healthy respect for the importance of stirring the pot.