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#1 2010-03-29 11:13:16

Jim Thompson
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From: Santa Monica, California
Registered: 2007-11-28
Posts: 421

Masakazu Yoshizawa

I would be remiss not to throw Masakazu Yoshizawa 's name in the hat. Besides being a master shakuhachi player, Masa was also an excellent symphonic clarinetist. He played various other flutes, saxophone, and percussion as well. His group, Kokin Gumi, means old and new ( I think), played traditional Japanese music as well as Masa's original compositions.  Because of his deep knowledge of Japanese traditional music his compositions are extensions of tradition rather than departures from tradition. Masa played on a number movies including The Joy Luck Club,  Jurassic Park, Memoirs of a Geisha and many others. Masa was all about blending east and west. His gigs ranged from  featured soloist with the London Symphony to The Toshiko Akioshi Big Band's farewell gig at Carnegie Hall. His discography speaks for itself.
     It is with pride and honor that I submit his name for consideration.


" Who do you trust , me or your own eyes?" - Groucho Marx

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#2 2010-03-29 15:34:25

Moran from Planet X
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From: Here to There
Registered: 2005-10-11
Posts: 1524
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Re: Masakazu Yoshizawa

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/34/73059095_5f36bb7c1d_o.jpg

Masa on stage in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles. Happy day, Jim.


"I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass...and I am all out of bubblegum." —Rowdy Piper, They Live!

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#3 2010-03-29 17:08:07

Jim Thompson
Moderator
From: Santa Monica, California
Registered: 2007-11-28
Posts: 421

Re: Masakazu Yoshizawa

Thanks for the  cool picture, Chris! That sure is the Masa I remember.
I wish I had the computer chops to put up the sound sample of Masa'a "Immortality" C.D. Track # 6 "A Flock of Clouds".  For all you big Jinashi freaks, it is Masa playing his homemade 3.75.  He had to play the bottom hole with his right heel. He recorded this about 5 days before he passed. They propped him up in a chair with pillows because he was too bony to sit in a chair without pillows, messaged his feet every 15 minutes to cool out the edema and still, he played his ass off. Masa's drive to make music was second to none.

Last edited by Jim Thompson (2010-03-29 18:05:11)


" Who do you trust , me or your own eyes?" - Groucho Marx

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#4 2010-03-29 19:31:05

Tairaku 太楽
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From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3222
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Re: Masakazu Yoshizawa

I saw that flute at his house. It was very nice. Why don't you send the mp3 to Ken and he can figure out how to post it? Sure we'd all like to hear that.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#5 2010-03-29 20:08:27

Jim Thompson
Moderator
From: Santa Monica, California
Registered: 2007-11-28
Posts: 421

Re: Masakazu Yoshizawa

Tairaku wrote:

I saw that flute at his house. It was very nice. Why don't you send the mp3 to Ken and he can figure out how to post it? Sure we'd all like to hear that.

O.K. It might take me some time to figure out but it will happen. If worst comes to worst, I'll ask my wife for help.


" Who do you trust , me or your own eyes?" - Groucho Marx

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#6 2010-03-29 21:38:32

airin
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From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Registered: 2008-10-17
Posts: 303
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Re: Masakazu Yoshizawa

What about the flute in the photo that Chris posted....length? jinashi?  and it looks like its non-root end, right?

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#7 2010-03-29 22:08:34

waryr
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From: Leesburg Florida
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 70

Re: Masakazu Yoshizawa

That flute appears to be a shaved root end?


If you understand, things are just as they are, if you don't understand, things are just as they are.

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#8 2010-03-29 22:40:56

airin
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From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Registered: 2008-10-17
Posts: 303
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Re: Masakazu Yoshizawa

waryr wrote:

That flute appears to be a shaved root end?

Yeah, I'm kind of curious about shaved root end flutes.  Is it just a different look or does it result in a different sound as well?

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#9 2010-03-29 23:24:57

Jim Thompson
Moderator
From: Santa Monica, California
Registered: 2007-11-28
Posts: 421

Re: Masakazu Yoshizawa

The flute in the photo is a Jinari 1.8 root end. In can't see that shaving makes any difference in the sound. Someone may disagree.


" Who do you trust , me or your own eyes?" - Groucho Marx

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#10 2010-03-29 23:42:45

Taldaran
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From: Everett, Washington-USA
Registered: 2009-01-13
Posts: 232

Re: Masakazu Yoshizawa

No difference in sound. It just slides in and out of the bag with less resistance... smile

A flute can be made with near rootend stock that has the right bore profile, and performs wonderfully.

Seeing that picture of Masa playing on a warm sunny day and being in the moment, makes me happy to see. Thank you so much for bringing him to the awareness to those of us new to the greater world of the shakuhachi!

This Universal Flute section is wonderful! 

PS: Looking forward to an mp3 although I will break out the movies in question and have a closer listen to the music!


Christopher

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

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#11 2010-03-30 00:59:00

airin
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From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Registered: 2008-10-17
Posts: 303
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Re: Masakazu Yoshizawa

Taldaran wrote:

No difference in sound. It just slides in and out of the bag with less resistance... smile

A flute can be made with near rootend stock that has the right bore profile, and performs wonderfully.

@ Jim and Taldaran: thanks for explaining that.

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#12 2010-03-30 01:10:21

Moran from Planet X
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From: Here to There
Registered: 2005-10-11
Posts: 1524
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Re: Masakazu Yoshizawa

I just emailed a Mp3 of the Flock of Clouds to Brian and Ken. (I'm locked out of my server.)

Jim, who made Masa's 1.8? Some very famous guy who I never heard of, or can't remember, I know. -- I had the opportunity to attempt to play it a year or so ago. It is the flattest oval I've ever seen on the mouthpiece end. I really had to ride it high on my lower lip in order to get it to sound for me.

As for shaved roots? The major thing, I think, is the root choke point inside the bore, where the bore tapers the most ... and then, maybe, the reverse taper in the rest of the root bell area. The thickness of the bamboo has some effect, I just do not know how noticeable it is to the sound in the hands of an experienced player. The end of my shakuhachi is shaved root and it has a very resonant Ro.

The 3.75 that Masa made was this incredibly wide piece of timber bamboo. His entire chin sank into the utaguchi end when he played it for me. It did not have a root end, per se, so Masa doubled up the thickness in the root area by gluing an even wider cuff of bamboo over the main shaft of the flute. I'm not sure what that did except maybe provide a small shelf for his foot to rest upon when his heel wasn't covering the Tsu hole!


"I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass...and I am all out of bubblegum." —Rowdy Piper, They Live!

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#13 2010-03-30 02:08:15

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

Re: Masakazu Yoshizawa

Chris Moran wrote:

The thickness of the bamboo has some effect, I just do not know how noticeable it is to the sound in the hands of an experienced player. The end of my shakuhachi is shaved root and it has a very resonant Ro.

Chris, Toby seems to have quite competently laid this sort of nonsense to rest months ago. There is absolutely no scientific way that you
can test this sort of conjecture. My Ichijo 1.8 has a very resonant Ro, and it ain't shaved at all. Whatever does that have to do with the price of tea in China?


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

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#14 2010-03-30 03:48:13

Jim Thompson
Moderator
From: Santa Monica, California
Registered: 2007-11-28
Posts: 421

Re: Masakazu Yoshizawa

Chris Moran wrote:

I just emailed a Mp3 of the Flock of Clouds to Brian and Ken. (I'm locked out of my server.)

Jim, who made Masa's 1.8? Some very famous guy who I never heard of, or can't remember, I know. -- I had the opportunity to attempt to play it a year or so ago. It is the flattest oval I've ever seen on the mouthpiece end. I really had to ride it high on my lower lip in order to get it to sound for me.

As for shaved roots? The major thing, I think, is the root choke point inside the bore, where the bore tapers the most ... and then, maybe, the reverse taper in the rest of the root bell area. The thickness of the bamboo has some effect, I just do not know how noticeable it is to the sound in the hands of an experienced player. The end of my shakuhachi is shaved root and it has a very resonant Ro.

The 3.75 that Masa made was this incredibly wide piece of timber bamboo. His entire chin sank into the utaguchi end when he played it for me. It did not have a root end, per se, so Masa doubled up the thickness in the root area by gluing an even wider cuff of bamboo over the main shaft of the flute. I'm not sure what that did except maybe provide a small shelf for his foot to rest upon when his heel wasn't covering the Tsu hole!

Thanks Chris. You sped things up quite a bit. We just switched from a pc to a mac and now know even less about how to do that. I was thinking you might be of assistance.
      Bruce J. would have all the poop on Masa's 1.8. (Bruce- are you eavesdropping?). I couldn't play it either except one time I picked up and it sang like a bird. 
      As far as the attachment on the end of his 3.75 goes, I think that was added for length rather than thickness. I don't buy that the thickness of the bell has any affect on the sound at all. How the flute came into being is a story that reveals a lot about Masa's work ethic. John Williams had written a part for him in  Jurassic Park that was way too low. An easy fix. It happens all the time. You tell the composer - he says take it up an octave. Case closed. Not Masa. He went home, stayed up all night and made  a shakuhachi from a piece of bamboo he had been saving to make a rain stick and showed up the next day with a shakuhachi that could play the part as written. I can't think of another human being that would do that. There was no reverse in Masa's transmission. He was all straight ahead Ned.

Last edited by Jim Thompson (2010-03-30 04:20:25)


" Who do you trust , me or your own eyes?" - Groucho Marx

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#15 2010-03-30 04:21:18

Moran from Planet X
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From: Here to There
Registered: 2005-10-11
Posts: 1524
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Re: Masakazu Yoshizawa

edosan wrote:

Chris Moran wrote:

The thickness of the bamboo has some effect, I just do not know how noticeable it is to the sound in the hands of an experienced player. The end of my shakuhachi is shaved root and it has a very resonant Ro.

Chris, Toby seems to have quite competently laid this sort of nonsense to rest months ago. There is absolutely no scientific way that you
can test this sort of conjecture. My Ichijo 1.8 has a very resonant Ro, and it ain't shaved at all. Whatever does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

Axshully my point was that the shaving of the root didn't seem to have any _negative_ effect on the resonance of the Ro. It was worded ambiguously, at best. So, I agree with Toby on this one.

It may be The End of the World.


"I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass...and I am all out of bubblegum." —Rowdy Piper, They Live!

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#16 2010-03-30 04:28:03

Jim Thompson
Moderator
From: Santa Monica, California
Registered: 2007-11-28
Posts: 421

Re: Masakazu Yoshizawa

Chris Moran wrote:

So, I agree with Toby on this one.

It may be The End of the World.

Don't get discouraged Chris. There'll be plenty to fight about later.


" Who do you trust , me or your own eyes?" - Groucho Marx

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#17 2010-03-30 04:32:28

Moran from Planet X
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From: Here to There
Registered: 2005-10-11
Posts: 1524
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Re: Masakazu Yoshizawa

Jim Thompson wrote:

As far as the attachment on the end of his 3.75 goes, I think that was added for length rather than thickness.

Okay. It's just that Masa used to make fun of any non-root flute or 6-node flute that I would show up with. Mercilessly. Mercilessly. Mercilessly.

I must be projecting. smile

Jim Thompson wrote:

He went home, stayed up all night and made  a shakuhachi from a piece of bamboo he had been saving to make a rain stick and showed up the next day with a shakuhachi that could play the part as written.

The story he told me about making the utaguchi was that instead of cutting it, he dragged the huge end of that bamboo on the asphalt and concrete of his driveway until he got the angle and depth he was looking for. He said it made a "terrible noise"  and that his neighbors complained. Now I see that if he was doing this in the middle of the night why his neighbors would have complained.

Such stories.


"I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass...and I am all out of bubblegum." —Rowdy Piper, They Live!

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#18 2010-03-30 07:16:06

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

Re: Masakazu Yoshizawa

edosan wrote:

Chris Moran wrote:

The thickness of the bamboo has some effect, I just do not know how noticeable it is to the sound in the hands of an experienced player. The end of my shakuhachi is shaved root and it has a very resonant Ro.

Chris, Toby seems to have quite competently laid this sort of nonsense to rest months ago. There is absolutely no scientific way that you
can test this sort of conjecture. My Ichijo 1.8 has a very resonant Ro, and it ain't shaved at all. Whatever does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

This is getting to be like being on a forum with the Odd Couple! wink


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#19 2010-03-30 09:58:56

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

Re: Masakazu Yoshizawa

Tairaku wrote:

edosan wrote:

Chris Moran wrote:

The thickness of the bamboo has some effect, I just do not know how noticeable it is to the sound in the hands of an experienced player. The end of my shakuhachi is shaved root and it has a very resonant Ro.

Chris, Toby seems to have quite competently laid this sort of nonsense to rest months ago. There is absolutely no scientific way that you
can test this sort of conjecture. My Ichijo 1.8 has a very resonant Ro, and it ain't shaved at all. Whatever does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

This is getting to be like being on a forum with the Odd Couple! wink

No, just with the Odd Fella.


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

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#20 2010-03-30 10:41:12

Mujitsu
Administrator/Flutemaker
From: San Francisco
Registered: 2005-10-05
Posts: 883
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#21 2010-03-30 11:31:45

Jim Thompson
Moderator
From: Santa Monica, California
Registered: 2007-11-28
Posts: 421

Re: Masakazu Yoshizawa

Thank you Chris and Ken for your kind assistance.


" Who do you trust , me or your own eyes?" - Groucho Marx

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#22 2010-03-30 12:33:03

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

Re: Masakazu Yoshizawa

Jim Thompson wrote:

Thank you Chris and Ken for your kind assistance.

Yes, thanks. Damn, I love that album. Such a wonderful collaboration and gathering around this dieing musician.


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

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#23 2010-03-30 12:34:07

airin
Member
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Registered: 2008-10-17
Posts: 303
Website

Re: Masakazu Yoshizawa

"A Flock of Clouds" 

What a gorgeous piece!

thanks for posting it up Ken.

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#24 2010-03-30 18:33:53

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

Re: Masakazu Yoshizawa

Very nice! Is he playing all the instruments?


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#25 2010-03-30 18:54:19

Jim Thompson
Moderator
From: Santa Monica, California
Registered: 2007-11-28
Posts: 421

Re: Masakazu Yoshizawa

Sid Page is playing the fiddle and I would suspect the synth or recorded space/wind sounds were supplied by producer Dr. Osamu Kitajima. Kitajima also produced Masa's very first C.D. (tape actually)- Kyori.


" Who do you trust , me or your own eyes?" - Groucho Marx

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