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#1 2010-05-04 12:08:22

sciotofloods
Member
From: Brooklyn
Registered: 2010-05-03
Posts: 5

Greetings from Brooklyn

Very happy to have found this board.

I am an absolute beginner on the shakuhachi.  I play a 1.8 that I made myself at a Shakuhachi making workshop by Perry Yung hosted at the Fire Lotus Zen Temple in Brooklyn a couple of months ago.  By some combination of beginner's luck, good instruction and Perry picking nice pieces of bamboo for us to work with, I ended up with a lovely flute that is surprisingly in tune and makes me very happy.  I like the simplicity of it, and it also fits with my general philosophy of doing things cheap and dirty.

For the moment I'm content to practice learning some basic Honkyoku from books and the internet. 

If you happen to be walking around Prospect Park and hear someone trying to squeak out Kyorei it might be me. 
Feel free to say hello.

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#2 2010-05-04 12:40:06

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

Re: Greetings from Brooklyn

sciotofloods wrote:

I like the simplicity of it,...

That'll change... I mean eventually you'll realize those simple instruments are complex on many levels. And each one of those many characteristics that you hear within the tone of a simple jinashi has been exploited by makers to come up with many types of flutes suited to different styles of music that gravitate toward those characteristics... Maybe... it's different for everybody. Do you have any other musical experience? Including as little being able to sing along with songs on the radio, anything can change your experience. 

Welcome to the forum!


"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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#3 2010-05-04 12:45:52

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

Re: Greetings from Brooklyn

Welcome to the board!

I'd love to be able to take a walk to prospect park to hear you play, but I live on the other side of the continent!

Congratulations on your successful first flute. I have heard that many master builders call their best works, "happy accidents". I love building my own jinashi and it is very satisfying to play something you have crafted yourself!


Christopher

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

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#4 2010-05-04 13:02:22

purehappiness
Member
From: Connecticut USA
Registered: 2009-01-13
Posts: 528

Re: Greetings from Brooklyn

Welcome to the forum. Try and explore every different sound your flute can make. It can take years or a lifetime. Either way enjoy and relax. wink


I was not conscious whether I was riding on the wind or the wind was riding on me.

Lieh-tzu

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#5 2010-05-04 15:34:35

Kohl
Member
Registered: 2009-05-21
Posts: 91
Website

Re: Greetings from Brooklyn

Hey! Welcome to the Forum. It's Seiho from the Fire Lotus workshop writing (Kohl on this forum). That was a great workshop, wasn't it? I've only been studying with a teacher (James 'Nyoraku' Schlefer) here in Brooklyn for a couple years, but if you think my experience will help, just grab me sometime if you head over to the Temple to sit.  You can also email me off of this website if that works better for you. Incidentally, is the 'scioto' in your name from the Scioto River in Ohio? It flowed through my hometown (and flooded often). Anyway, welcome.


"I begin to feel the depths of a bamboo path..."
                              Meng Hao-Jan (689-740)

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#6 2010-05-04 19:55:19

sciotofloods
Member
From: Brooklyn
Registered: 2010-05-03
Posts: 5

Re: Greetings from Brooklyn

Kohl wrote:

Incidentally, is the 'scioto' in your name from the Scioto River in Ohio? It flowed through my hometown (and flooded often).

Yes, I grew up along the Scioto and could count on it's floods at least twice a year.
What part of the river did you live near?

As for Perry's workshop, yes, it was a wonderful day.  Something about the atmosphere of the temple mixed with the smell of bamboo sawdust was very peaceful but energizing.

Just wondering, is the Shakuhachi your main "Art Practice" in the 8 gates of training at MRO?

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#7 2010-05-05 09:34:45

Yungflutes
Flutemaker/Performer
From: New York City
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 1061
Website

Re: Greetings from Brooklyn

Hi Sciotofloods,

sciotoflood wrote:

As for Perry's workshop, yes, it was a wonderful day.  Something about the atmosphere of the temple mixed with the smell of bamboo sawdust was very peaceful but energizing.

Thanks for sharing your experience! You've just embarked on a path similar to the early itinerant monks who used the flute when it was first introduced to Japan. If you ever reach a plateau and need guidance, there are people here who can direct to you an appropriate teacher for your needs.

By some combination of beginner's luck, good instruction and Perry picking nice pieces of bamboo for us to work with, I ended up with a lovely flute that is surprisingly in tune and makes me very happy.

Just doin my job smile

a deep bow, Perry

Last edited by Yungflutes (2010-05-05 09:37:01)


"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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#8 2010-05-05 09:53:13

Kohl
Member
Registered: 2009-05-21
Posts: 91
Website

Re: Greetings from Brooklyn

sciotofloods wrote:

Yes, I grew up along the Scioto and could count on it's floods at least twice a year. What part of the river did you live near?

Circleville. Funny memory just came. I'm remembering that I first learned how to shoot a shotgun down on the banks of the Scioto when I was 8. That's how we do it back in them sticks.

sciotofloods wrote:

Just wondering, is the Shakuhachi your main "Art Practice" in the 8 gates of training at MRO?

This Ango I'm doing brush painting combined with poetry because it felt most appropriate to express the art koan. Though I train daily with the shakuhachi, frankly, I think it'll be some years before I'm ready to offer it to an audience (outside of student recitals, etc.). That's me, though. I once saw an Ango presentation in which someone tried to express the koan by sitting in front of us all and trying to make a sound on his flute. It was honest, vulnerable and quite moving. My own ego stuff notwithstanding, tapping into those qualities is a lot more important than sounding good in my opinion. Bit by bit however, I trust a teacher will help me to learn to do both. Sounds like shakuhachi resonates with you as an art practice; I hope you keep listening.


"I begin to feel the depths of a bamboo path..."
                              Meng Hao-Jan (689-740)

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#9 2010-05-05 17:52:06

James Nyoraku Schlefer
Dai Shihan
From: New York City
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 104
Website

Re: Greetings from Brooklyn

sciotofloods wrote:

If you happen to be walking around Prospect Park and hear someone trying to squeak out Kyorei it might be me. 
Feel free to say hello.

Likewise. My shakuhachi dojo is across the street from Prospect Park and when the weather is nice, I hold lessons there. Today I taught from 9am-1pm. Do say hello. -James

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#10 2010-05-05 19:04:41

janemukei
Member
From: New York
Registered: 2006-06-08
Posts: 23

Re: Greetings from Brooklyn

Hi Sciotofloods, Welcome to the forum. Like Kohl, I'm also a ZMM student and have been studying shakuhachi for about 15 years. It's my on-going art practice, but haven't been able to share it yet as an Ango practice! You are fortunate to have taken Perry's workshop and made your own instrument. I take making lessons with him also. Do experience your instrument outdoors and listen to it. My advice is to take some lessons with a teacher (James Nyoraku Schlefer and Dan Nyohaku Soergel are both excellent teachers and convenient to you in Brooklyn) -  before you develop bad habits that are difficult to break. The tradition of having a teacher is a long standing part of learning - the sheet music will not reveal all of itself without guidance.  Best wishes, Jane Mukei

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#11 2010-05-05 23:22:57

sciotofloods
Member
From: Brooklyn
Registered: 2010-05-03
Posts: 5

Re: Greetings from Brooklyn

Wow, I just realized that someone has chosen an avatar for me.
That's a little weird, but I like it.  And they even found something related to my username.  That must have taken a little bit of work.
Ah, to be free of the burden of creating your own online persona.

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#12 2010-05-05 23:31:24

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

Re: Greetings from Brooklyn

sciotofloods wrote:

Wow, I just realized that someone has chosen an avatar for me.
That's a little weird, but I like it.  And they even found something related to my username.  That must have taken a little bit of work.
.

No, we have software installed in the forum which generates avatars for new members if they don't put one up within 24 hours of posting. But you are free of course to put any avatar of your choice up.

I second the recommendations to take a few lessons from Monsieur Schlefer. He did a great job of teaching me how to play. I thought I would teach myself (similarly to many sentiments expressed on this forum) and thought I'd just take a few lessons from Jim but then stuck with it. I'm glad I did.

I have spent many happy hours blowing shakuhachi in Prospect Park in my formative years.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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