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#1 2010-06-06 07:58:51

Tono
Member
Registered: 2007-09-28
Posts: 43

WSF 2008 DVD Review

I am ordering the set this week, but would just like to say what a beautiful packaging and photography job the designers did.
Also, please keep in mind the following when offering criticism, and please bring forth the fragrant flower of your inner beauty:
http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a200/Bambootup/HarmonyOrchid.jpg

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#2 2010-06-06 15:57:09

Dun Romin
Member
From: Holland
Registered: 2008-04-19
Posts: 136

Re: WSF 2008 DVD Review

I just recieved the package and had only time till now to see just one DVD, the Soulful Shakuhachi. The variety of modern compositions from Michio Miyagi till avant-garde was a nice surprice. The Bamboo Metamorphosis of Ichiro Seki I found especially pleasing to listen to. But the 3 shaku's playing the arrangement by Tomiko Kojima of Fukuda Rando's piece Wadazumi no Iroko no Miya for me is the nicest experience on this DVD. The way the three players, Kaoru Kakizaki, Teruo Furuya and Kazushi Matama, made their sounds blend with each other is most magnificent.

Last edited by Dun Romin (2010-06-06 16:01:26)


Tomorrow's wind only blows tomorrow. (Koji)

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#3 2010-06-07 10:23:25

Dun Romin
Member
From: Holland
Registered: 2008-04-19
Posts: 136

Re: WSF 2008 DVD Review

Another DVD watched and listened to, this time the 'World Masters Concert', which had a nice traditional Australian welcome, that seamlessly ended in Japan. I choose this one for second mainly out of curiousity of my favourite composition. And what an incredible joy to see Kibitaki no Mori performed by it's composer which such an ease on such speed! Another big surprise was the composition of Anne Boyd, modern and at the same moment breathing an atmosfere of ancient times. In their performance the musicians also did really justice to this piece. For me, listening to those DVD's without having been to the WSF in person, the biggest surprice of all however was the way in which Aoki Reibo made his sonorous calligraphy on the letter 'A'. What a treasure!
I think I will not tire very soon listening to this DVD over and over.


Tomorrow's wind only blows tomorrow. (Koji)

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#4 2010-06-08 12:48:10

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

Re: WSF 2008 DVD Review

Because of a limited budget I only got the "Three Workshops by Three Masters" DVD. The DVD is wonderful. The first workshop is Reibo Aoki demonstrating and talking about the piece Ajikan. Just the initial performance of the piece is worth the price of the DVD. Then, Reibo Aoki breaks down and talks about each section. Most of the talk was too advanced for me, but even at my level there were plenty of technical and philosophical tips I found useful. For example, since I'm currently trying to sort out how to get a good vibrato for the Western songs in my repertoire, I found the comments on the vibratoless section of the song most interesting. I'm sure there will be even more for me to glean from the workshop when I eventually learn the song.

The second workshop on the DVD is Kodo Araki V speaking about "Timbral Travels with Meri/Kari". This one did not start with a performance of the piece, there seemed to be some technical problems where the camera angles changed at unusual times, and for some reason Kodo and the translator kept switching parts, with Kodo Araki speaking English and the translator translating the English to Japanese. I'm not sure of the reason, but it seemed like there was more discussion on vibrato than meri-kari. I liked that and got some good information because of that, but I spent most of the time confused. I think this particular workshop is best suited to more advanced players.   

The third workshop is Junsuke Kawasi and titled "Qigong and shakuhachi". With all the technical stuff that was over my head in the other workshops I at first welcomed Junsuke's time spent talking about how he discovered qigong, but I've got to admit that for a while I thought that this workshop wasn't going to have enough real content for me. Then Junsuke started talking about how each hole on the shakuhachi maps to a part of the body, how meri pushes the energy down and kari pushes the energy up, and then demonstrated a visualization of a golf ball size ball of energy going up and down his torso as he varied the intensity of his playing. I was floored, this stuff is amazing! If there are any players turned off by the technical stuff in the first two workshops, this is the workshop you've been waiting for. Anybody, regardless of level, can take away a lot from this workshop.

YMMV but, having had to choose just one DVD from the set, I have no regrets from having chosen this one.


"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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#5 2010-06-08 18:13:05

rpowers
Member
From: San Francisco
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 285

Re: WSF 2008 DVD Review

radi0gnome wrote:

. . . for some reason Kodo and the translator kept switching parts, with Kodo Araki speaking English and the translator translating the English to Japanese.

Araki Kodo is fluent in both languages; addressing a mixed audience he freely switches back and forth. I was impressed by how well Gunnar managed to keep track of which direction he had to translate.  He told me later that he was glad that he hadn't started translating either language into Swedish.


"Shut up 'n' play . . . " -- Frank Zappa
"Gonna blow some . . ." -- Junior Walker
"It's not the flute." -- Riley Lee

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#6 2010-07-01 00:34:36

rpowers
Member
From: San Francisco
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 285

Re: WSF 2008 DVD Review

Back from the Colorado camp and feeling a bit of withdrawal, I decided to start in on the WSF 2008 DVDs.

Tonight I chose the S-1 Grand Prix. The early rounds of this competition for young (under 40) players had been judged by recorded entries. This DVD presents the finalists performing in Verbrugghen Hall at the Sydney Conservatorium.

This program left me with two strong impressions:
  * There is a lot of good playing here; some that I remembered, and some that I had forgotten.
  * The range of styles is so broad that it is a little silly to rank them competitively.

The production values--camerawork, editing, etc.--are top notch (a mark of all of the discs I have seen so far).


"Shut up 'n' play . . . " -- Frank Zappa
"Gonna blow some . . ." -- Junior Walker
"It's not the flute." -- Riley Lee

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#7 2010-07-01 02:37:22

Moran from Planet X
Member
From: Here to There
Registered: 2005-10-11
Posts: 1524
Website

Re: WSF 2008 DVD Review

rpowers wrote:

Tonight I chose the S-1 Grand Prix ...

This program left me with two strong impressions:
  * There is a lot of good playing here; some that I remembered, and some that I had forgotten.
  * The range of styles is so broad that it is a little silly to rank them competitively.

The production values--camerawork, editing, etc.--are top notch (a mark of all of the discs I have seen so far).

Yes, the Grand Prix disc was very interesting. Seeing our precocious Justin Senryu in the mix was pretty great, because there was no way the judges could have given him a position _higher_ than second runner up: He was the ringer, the "kid" who shows up on the sandlot with a 104 mph fast ball. (Justin, were you as relaxed as you appeared?)

... And Josh tackling Yamagoe? Every one of the performances was special. Special thanks from me to Bronwyn for choosing Asuka Reibo. I love that piece. Having it on video is great.

... How do we get so many shakuhachi masters in the under-40 range? No fair! smile

The disc I am going back to again and again is the Shakuhachi Champloo, in particular Takiochi no kyoku played by Shimura.


"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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#8 2010-07-01 08:45:09

Justin
Shihan/Maker
From: Japan
Registered: 2006-08-12
Posts: 540
Website

Re: WSF 2008 DVD Review

Chris Moran wrote:

Yes, the Grand Prix disc was very interesting. Seeing our precocious Justin Senryu in the mix was pretty great, because there was no way the judges could have given him a position _higher_ than second runner up: He was the ringer, the "kid" who shows up on the sandlot with a 104 mph fast ball. (Justin, were you as relaxed as you appeared?)
.

Hi Chris
Yes I was pretty relaxed. I took the competition as a bit of fun. I never usually enter such a thing but I wanted to exhibit my instruments there and the competition was a good way to get there since they paid qualifiers some travel expenses and the festival ticket. As it happened I spent all my time preparing my instruments and nearly forgot about the competition until the night before when I realized I had better do some practice if I don't want to look like an idiot and forget my piece!

I was glad for it as I met a lot of nice people there including some of you guys here on the forum.

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