Mujitsu and Tairaku's Shakuhachi BBQ

World Shakuhachi Discussion / Go to Live Shakuhachi Chat

You are not logged in.


Tube of delight!

#26 2010-10-03 09:25:39

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

Re: The passing of Satō Reidō

Kiku Day wrote:

Justin wrote:

For example, I believe it was Shimura Zenpo who recently played a Taizan Ryu piece in Prague and told us that he had changed the pitches to suit the modern taste. This is also a concern with Shimpo Ryu. This is one of the factors which I am researching.

As far as I remember he said it can be changed to suit modern taste - not that he did change them.

Perhaps I misheard it then. I'll try to ask him when I see him next. The reason why this did not seem out of place though was that he used the low meri pitches as used in Kinko Ryu for example, whereas in Taizan Ryu the pitches are generally higher. Do you perhaps have any of his Taizan Ryu's teacher's recordings so we can compare them?

Kiku Day wrote:

If you read Shimura's book 古管尺八の楽器学 you wil learn that Shimura's research is concerned finding out Edo period playing techniques and his research has gone on for 20 odd years researching into old instruments and the music as played by different styles. As far as I know he likes to play the pieces as he has learned them and researched the old styles.

Do you know who he's studied actual pieces or repertoires from except Chikuho Ryu and Taizan Ryu?

Kiku Day wrote:

Looking forward to hear more of your research results and it will be nice to know how far you can go back. It will - in sound be very difficult to go back further than sound recordings as that is the character of music - ephemeral.

Yes indeed. At first it seems an impossible task!

Offline

 

#27 2010-10-03 09:43:07

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

Re: The passing of Satō Reidō

Moran from Planet X wrote:

Justin wrote:

Tairaku 太楽 wrote:

Yes this does irritate me.

If these are the most authentic extant recordings of the "entire repertoire" they should be made public. The musical and historical imperative outweighs Sato's insecurity, humility, or stubbornness, whatever the case might be.

Hi Brian,
There is a cultural difference here. And the fact that many Japanese are aware of this cultural difference in attitude towards recordings and respect towards the wish for them to be treated privately is a large reason for many Japanese to be unwilling or less willing to share recordings with foreigners. I have mentioned this before.

As I understand it, in some schools only the Iemoto has the authority to record. I imagine this can be pretty dicey if the Iemoto is quite aged and no longer able to play to full capacity.

Well that's not the case in this instance. I did provide a recording for you! Most people here in Japan don't produce recordings as easily as Westerners, who seem to be willing to make a CD regardless of their skill! And as well as maybe being shy, and maybe not wanting to promote themselves, some of these guys are busy with full time jobs, and in Japan, that means really busy! But like I said, their emphasis is on playing and teaching, and they feel their music lives on in their students, their lineage.

Offline

 

#28 2010-10-03 10:15:55

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

Re: The passing of Satō Reidō

Tairaku 太楽 wrote:

It's a bit paranoid to hide music because you think people are going to poach it and license themselves to teach it.

Well I mentioned that as merely a possibility of one of their reasons, though I can't guarantee specifically. I can tell you though that the world here can be difficult at times. You heard recently someone mention that Tsukitani had felt it was easier for her to talk to people since she wasn't a player, and so they didn't have to worry about her "stealing" their techniques! This is what it can be like here, some people very protective! However, I can tell you that Sato Reido and his student Otsubo Shido have been very generous in teaching me, as has Takahashi Rochiku. They are not trying to keep the music to themselves. They are just fussy about who they teach!

Offline

 

#29 2010-10-03 11:04:21

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

Re: The passing of Satō Reidō

Moran from Planet X wrote:

edosan wrote:

Moran from Planet X wrote:

Do you mean that I have to read _and comprehend_ all of this?

You can read?

Only every other letter.

That explains a great deal.....


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

Offline

 

#30 2010-10-03 15:43:59

Kiku Day
Shakuhachi player, teacher and ethnomusicologist
From: London, UK & Nørre Snede, DK
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 922
Website

Re: The passing of Satō Reidō

Tairaku 太楽 wrote:

Kiku Day wrote:

Looking forward to hear more of your research results and it will be nice to know how far you can go back. It will - in sound be very difficult to go back further than sound recordings as that is the character of music - ephemeral.

Yes once you don't have recordings all you can do is make assumptions (which might be biased) or descriptions, (which are definitely biased).

If you can verify the melodies, does it really matter if it is played exactly the way someone else played it? In every other style of music reinterpretation of a melody is considered a great talent and desirable.

I find it interesting to hear the extreme differences between versions of "Kumoijishi" or "Azuma no Kyoku" for example, which can range all the way from heavy Kinko honkyoku style to something that's almost minyo. Which version is correct? Don't care!

I agree, Tairaku.
I think Justin is doing a very important job in learning and perhaps recording - perhaps certainly performing these more unknown styles.
But how music sounded during the Edo period we don't know and will never know. The Edo period ended in 1868 and that is before the wax cylinder and the commercialisation of wax cylinders was quite a while after that. And the Meiji period ended in 1912.... so even if you were born the last year of Meiji you will be 98 years old now. We have no chance of getting so far back. Lots of people think they play exactly as "it has always been played". As a researcher you have to take a critical view of these kinds of information.
I think the biggest value is to make more people aware of the different styles of the smaller schools. So really honestly looking forward to more.

Yes, I know Shimura has learned the whole of Myoan Taizan-ha repertoire and pieces here and there. But I do not have precise info about that.


I am a hole in a flute
that the Christ's breath moves through
listen to this music
Hafiz

Offline

 

#31 2010-10-03 15:57:53

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

Re: The passing of Satō Reidō

The concept of restoring music to its original state is speculative but it can be a good exercise I suppose. Jin Nyodo for example said he thought Kinko had become a bit decadent, so his renditions of Kinko honkyoku are what he considered the earlier style to be. But Justin has criticized (or noted) Jin Nyodo for adapting Shimpo Ryu pieces. I suppose if he was restoring Kinko but modifying Shimpo that's not inconsistent. But even then it's speculative whether he did restore Kinko to an earlier style, or just what he thought that style might have been.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

Offline

 

#32 2010-10-03 23:29:53

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

Re: The passing of Satō Reidō

Tairaku 太楽 wrote:

The concept of restoring music to its original state is speculative but it can be a good exercise I suppose. Jin Nyodo for example said he thought Kinko had become a bit decadent, so his renditions of Kinko honkyoku are what he considered the earlier style to be. But Justin has criticized (or noted) Jin Nyodo for adapting Shimpo Ryu pieces. I suppose if he was restoring Kinko but modifying Shimpo that's not inconsistent. But even then it's speculative whether he did restore Kinko to an earlier style, or just what he thought that style might have been.

Hi Brian,
I have had a close look at Jin's pieces and style, not just from studying them myself but from carefully comparing some of them with various other sources. It is my conclusion that he had certain ideas of what "Zen" music should be, and more or less imposed those (and I guess other of his musical) ideas onto the pieces which he played, rather than investigating the individual pieces or repertoires and try to actually understand how they used to have been played. Basically, if he didn't like it, he changed it. This involved deleting sections, changing notes, adding sections or notes and so on. This I have noticed, and has also been openly admitted by his top student. In that respect I see what he did as more of creating something new, than actually restoring. Or to put it in your words, I would say he modified both Kinko and Shimpo pieces (those few of each which exist in his repertoire that is).

You could say that any restoration is itself a modification, and of course this would be true. But you yourself may well have the experience of seeing for example an Edo period shakuhachi repaired by someone who is thinking purely in terms of modern shakuhachi, The result is entirely different than a restoration done by an experienced expert of Edo period instruments. Both are modifications but in very different directions.


Kiku Day wrote:

I think Justin is doing a very important job in learning and perhaps recording - perhaps certainly performing these more unknown styles.
But how music sounded during the Edo period we don't know and will never know.

That is a very pessimistic view. I'm glad to say that I don't hold this view. Now, of course we can never know exactly how it sounded. Just as we can never know exactly what dinosaurs looked like, or what the houses of our ancestors looked like, or how words were pronounced even 150 years ago, and so on and so forth. That is not to say though that we cannot know anything about these things. There is a surprising amount which can be found out when one really puts ones mind to it.


Kiku Day wrote:

Lots of people think they play exactly as "it has always been played".

Yes of course that is nonsense. Nothing stays the same. What is interesting for me is to trace the changes.
There are some interesting examples in language. Tibetan language for example, is extremely varied, as the population is scattered across the huge Tibetan plateau. One might think it would be impossible to find out how people talked "before in advent of wax cylinders". And yet, we can actually find out a great deal. The dialects are different from place to place, so much so that there is a saying that there are as many languages as there are valleys! Well, that may be an exaggeration but if you go say from Lhasa to Kham in the East, the people of these two locales cannot understand each other, the dialects being so different. However, the nomads from all across Tibet can often understand each other. Could this be because their language is older, changing more slowly as they remain in greater isolation away from the cities?

There is also an area to the North West in one of the bordering Islamic countries where the language is Tibetan, but sounds very strange when compared to modern Tibetan. However, when compared to the spelling of modern Tibetan, which was formalised about 1000 years ago, their pronunciation is actually a very literal pronunciation of the script, [i]far more so[i/] than modern Tibetan, for which many letters have become silent, and others having a more subtle modification of the sound. And this even though that area no longer uses the old Tibetan script! Could this be because their language represents an older state of change? Of course there are also some Islamic words which have been adopted into their dialect. The study of language history is a complex business, but these few examples may give you a picture of how, coming from a variety of angles, it is possible to some extent to "look back into the past", and gain an understanding as to where in the evolutionary journey things lie.

Last edited by Justin (2010-10-04 01:44:53)

Offline

 

#33 2010-10-03 23:42:35

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

Re: The passing of Satō Reidō

OK, I have received a couple of private mails from people apparently unable to find the recording I uploaded of Shimpo Ryu. So I'll explain. Here's what I wrote:

Justin wrote:

For now, here is an example of Sou Mukaiji in the style as I have been taught it. I played it on a nice Edo period instrument though unfortunately the tone colour has been destroyed by myspace's mp3 compression. Scroll down to find it on this page:
http://www.myspace.com/justinsenryu

So, go to this page:
http://www.myspace.com/justinsenryu

And then look in the playlist but scroll it down to the bottom track, where it says "Sou Mukaiji". This is one of the oldest Shimpo Ryu pieces and one of my personal favourites.

Offline

 

#34 2010-10-04 00:15:53

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

Re: The passing of Satō Reidō

Justin wrote:

So, go to this page:
http://www.myspace.com/justinsenryu

And then look in the playlist but scroll it down to the bottom track, where it says "Sou Mukaiji". This is one of the oldest Shimpo Ryu pieces and one of my personal favourites.

Thank you Justin. Lovely piece.


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

Offline

 

#35 2010-10-04 00:27:21

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

Re: The passing of Satō Reidō

Justin wrote:

I have had a close look at Jin's pieces and style, not just from studying them myself but from carefully comparing some of them with various other sources. It is my conclusion that he had certain ideas of what "Zen" music should be, and more or less imposed those (and I guess other of his musical) ideas onto the pieces which he played, rather than investigating the individual pieces or repertoires and try to actually understand how they used to have been played. Basically, if he didn't like it, he changed it. This involved deleting sections, changing notes, adding sections or notes and so on. This I have noticed, and has also been openly admitted by his top student. In that respect I see what he did as more of creating something new, than actually restoring. Or to put it in your words, I would say he modified both Kinko and Shimpo pieces (those few of each which exist in his repertoire that is).
.

I guess maybe he's a musician rather than a curator. Musicians in every style of music do this, but the only time I've heard anybody complain about it is some shakuhachi people. Watazumi did this as well, and we all put him on a pedestal because of the fact that he kicks ass.

Still I have heard it said that Jin Nyodo thought he was playing an earlier style of Kinko. I don't know what he was doing with Shimpo and other "myoan" style pieces. His Nezasaha seems pretty much within the norm. He certainly had particular trademark things he did which do not correlate with other versions. For example he used kazashi on the phrase "tsu-re" much more than most people did.

However I don't have any problem with any of that, because I'm positive that if you look at any ryu of shakuhachi or indeed any style of music whatsoever you'll see this pattern. An individual looks at the music around him and decides how to bend it to his will and create something new. That's what Hendrix did with the blues, Bach came up with equal temper, Indian dudes are using mandolins and slide guitars to play ragas. We'd all be banging on logs if we didn't accept musical evolution. That's what creativity is about.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

Offline

 

#36 2010-10-04 00:31:35

No-sword
Member
From: Kanagawa
Registered: 2008-07-09
Posts: 115
Website

Re: The passing of Satō Reidō

Hey, if I may offer a (long) thought, since this is an area that interests me...

It is correct to say that we will never KNOW what non-recorded music from 100+ years ago sounded like -- we can't even know that, say, a 100-year-old master of X-ryu plays in exactly the same style today as he did when he first mastered the style at age 20. What we can do is construct hypotheses, and these can be ranked based on internal consistency, explanatory power, falsifiability, etc.

The linguistics analogy is actually a good one. Take Proto-Indo-European. This is a hypothetical single language that was the ancestor of all the Indo-European languages: Sanskrit, Latin, Greek, German, French, Hindi, English, Urdu... Part of the family tree is very clear because it was written down at the time (e.g. Latin and its descendants like Italian, French, Spanish, etc.), part of the family tree was not written down at the time and so remained obscure until relatively recently (late 18th century was the first time people started seriously proposing the big idea linking Indian languages to European ones).

And the important thing to remember about PIE is that it is a hypothesis. I think very few linguists would take a bet that we currently have all details of PIE right. (Last I heard, they hadn't even decided how many cases it had.) But nevertheless virtually ALL linguists would take a bet that if we found miraculous evidence of an actual ancestral language higher up the family tree than we can currently see clearly, it would match PIE in most important respects. The parts where it differed would then be used to revise the hypothesis, and so on ad infinitum.

So we are never going to get to the point where we can say "Here, we have perfectly described a single language ancestral to all Indo-European languages." But we can test various hypotheses and decide which is better. For example, the laryngeals in PIE had not been retained in any of the languages known at the time laryngeal theory was proposed. But the theory helped explain some irregularities that HAD remained, and eventually, new discoveries found actual laryngeals (in Hittite), providing further support for the theory. It makes sense and so people deem it a better explanation than a laryngeal-free PIE with lots of bizarre vowel-related rules. (On the other hand, linguists still argue about how the laryngeals were actually produced...)

Or to take an example closer to shakuhachi, for a long time people assumed that Japanese writing from 1000+ years ago reflected basically the same sounds as spoken Japanese at that time. But some scholars in Japan eventually noticed subtle hints in the writing from those times that indicated certain differences, especially in the vowels: 8 or 6 instead of 5? Some kind of palatalization? Jury is still sort of out (it's complicated) but we can say with near-certainty that some homophones in modern Japanese had distinct pronunciations in the year 500 AD. And that's just one example: we also know that the /h/ in modern Japanese used to be a bilabial fricative (like /f/, but with lip-against-lip instead of tooth-against-lip), and before that it was probably a bilabial plosive (like /p/). We don't have a time machine, we can't go back and hear people saying "kiapu" instead of "kyo" or whatever, but we have a hypothesis, it fits the data we have (including data from the mainland, etc.), and it can be tested when we get new data. If the new data contradicts it, the hypothesis will be revived.

So where I am going is this is that trying to reconstruct an earlier stage of shakuhachi music is speculation in a sense, but it is not necessarily idle speculation. It can be done rigorously, and it can be done in such a way as to give you a hypothesis that you can say "this explains X, Y, and Z, as observed in modern shakuhachi music, and it leaves itself open to the questions A, B, and C" about. Then the next person can look for A, B, and C, and revise it, and so on. And of course researchers may differ: there might be many ways of explaining X, Y, and Z, and some might seem more likely to different people. The only way to resolve a dilemma like this is to find more evidence and see which explanation it supports. (And in the shakuhachi world this is all complicated because of all the competing agendas, present and past, the secrecy, unwillingness to participate in this sort of modernizing project, etc.) Maybe you can never resolve the dilemma. That's fine too. You don't have to have a 100% airtight explanation for everything to have a worthwhile hypothesis.

I don't know the details of Justin's work, but I imagine (since he is learning from so many people) that it is a sort of comparative method in which he builds a library (written, played, flutes, whatever) of information and tries to find unifying threads that could explain divergent evolution from a common source. It sounds like he is thinking of trying to reconstruct a sort of "proto-Shakuhachi" (or several!) that, obviously, cannot be conclusively proven to have existed in exactly the form he describes, but CAN explain the features X, Y, and Z, as observed by him in Source A and Source B, and so on. Given competence on Justin's part (which there's no reason not to grant, he is clearly walking the walk as far as data collection goes) this hypothesis will be objectively better, in the sense of "more likely to be closer to the actual historical phenomena it describes," than the testimony of a single old player who says "Listen, I play the original repertoire unchanged, and I swear that this is how it is" -- as much as we might value that player as a player and as a preserver of (living) tradition, and might even prefer his playing to Justin's hypothetical proto-S recordings. (Maybe part of the process driving the evolution was that the old style was boring.) It's not an aesthetic or a moral judgment. It's a scientific one.

And as Kiku says, other researchers like Simura and Tsukitani are/were doing similar things, probing the past via the present (living traditions, and documents/recordings that were preserved). I look forward to the day when Justin publishes his research, because the healthier the community of researchers, the better the hypothesis: simpler, more robust, explains more, requires fewer unexplained exceptions. (I would love to read a transcript of a long, serious conversation about this topic between Justin and Simura, even at this stage.) And none of this has to mean a lack of respect for each other, of course: you can point out the holes in someone's theory without making it personal. You can explain how someone's very old tradition actually shows signs in its present form of recent development without denigrating the effort it took to learn the tradition, and the power of being a link in a chain that goes back centuries. New research can only be a good development for everyone except those who rely on confusion and misinformation to promote themselves or make money or whatever.

Also, just to clearly head off the inevitable objection, it obviously doesn't MATTER if you're playing a carefully reconstructed hypothetical 300-year-old style or a carefully learned modern Kinko style. Whatever floats your boat was, is, and will always be just fine. I'm sure as hell not going to throw out my Yamaguchi Goro albums just because some research one reveals that, shock horror, his tsu meri is higher than the hypothetical proto-tsu meri of proto-S. Everyone can and should do what fulfills them -- it's just that for some of us nerds, reconstructing the past like this IS a fulfilling activity.


Matt / no-sword.jp

Offline

 

#37 2010-10-04 00:35:24

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

Re: The passing of Satō Reidō

As a response to a private mail about tuning, the tuning for Shimpo Ryu as taught by both Sato Reido and Takahashi Rochiku uses different pitches to the other schools these teachers play. You may notice the meri notes are sharper. That is deliberate, and we know from Yamaue that Katsura Shozan played like that. As I mentioned above, I am researching this as well as other aspects. This tuning may sound unusual to the ears of especially Kinko Ryu players or members of Yokoyama's school or Chikuho Ryu and so on.

Offline

 

#38 2010-10-04 01:07:40

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

Re: The passing of Satō Reidō

Tairaku 太楽 wrote:

Still I have heard it said that Jin Nyodo thought he was playing an earlier style of Kinko. I don't know what he was doing with Shimpo and other "myoan" style pieces. His Nezasaha seems pretty much within the norm.

Hi Brian,
Yes his Nezasa-ha is very traditional. There is of course variety within the traditional Nezasa-ha school, but Jin's playing of Nezasa-ha pieces very much fits within that. It is also worthy of note that this was his native style.


Tairaku 太楽 wrote:

I guess maybe he's a musician rather than a curator. Musicians in every style of music do this, but the only time I've heard anybody complain about it is some shakuhachi people. Watazumi did this as well, and we all put him on a pedestal because of the fact that he kicks ass.

I hope you realised I was not complaining about Jin. I know that there are people who complain about styles because they are new or changed. I hear lots of complaints as I study from many styles, and many groups I study from have plenty of complaints about often a number of the other groups I study with! Mostly I just smile and keep quiet! But here my point is not to complain, merely to understand. As I research the history of honkyoku, it is necessary for me to understand what is newer and what is older, and who changed what. That is not a good/bad judgement. That is just an attempt at seeing clearly what it is that I'm looking at.

Again I'll just say, I have nothing at all against innovation and change. I don't think someone has to play the style unchanged to be a "good musician", and, similarly, I don't think that someone has to change the style in order to be a "good musician". For my research into the history of honkyoku, searching for the oldest styles, naturally of particular importance to me are those people who are highly skilled musically and at the same time conservative in their approach to the repertoire - you might say the curator who is also a musician. If I were purely looking for music to entertain me regardless of historicity, I would not be needing to pay attention to the conservative element of course. But my current search is not a search for the "best" music. It is a search into the history of the music, to deepen my understanding and appreciation of this repertoire which I so love.

Matt,
Thank you for your long post. Put very well. And as you said:

No-sword wrote:

Everyone can and should do what fulfills them -- it's just that for some of us nerds, reconstructing the past like this IS a fulfilling activity.

Offline

 

#39 2010-10-04 02:48:09

Kiku Day
Shakuhachi player, teacher and ethnomusicologist
From: London, UK & Nørre Snede, DK
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 922
Website

Re: The passing of Satō Reidō

No-sword wrote:

Or to take an example closer to shakuhachi, for a long time people assumed that Japanese writing from 1000+ years ago reflected basically the same sounds as spoken Japanese at that time. But some scholars in Japan eventually noticed subtle hints in the writing from those times that indicated certain differences, especially in the vowels: 8 or 6 instead of 5? Some kind of palatalization? Jury is still sort of out (it's complicated) but we can say with near-certainty that some homophones in modern Japanese had distinct pronunciations in the year 500 AD. And that's just one example: we also know that the /h/ in modern Japanese used to be a bilabial fricative (like /f/, but with lip-against-lip instead of tooth-against-lip), and before that it was probably a bilabial plosive (like /p/). We don't have a time machine, we can't go back and hear people saying "kiapu" instead of "kyo" or whatever, but we have a hypothesis, it fits the data we have (including data from the mainland, etc.), and it can be tested when we get new data. If the new data contradicts it, the hypothesis will be revived.

So where I am going is this is that trying to reconstruct an earlier stage of shakuhachi music is speculation in a sense, but it is not necessarily idle speculation. It can be done rigorously, and it can be done in such a way as to give you a hypothesis that you can say "this explains X, Y, and Z, as observed in modern shakuhachi music, and it leaves itself open to the questions A, B, and C" about. Then the next person can look for A, B, and C, and revise it, and so on. And of course researchers may differ: there might be many ways of explaining X, Y, and Z, and some might seem more likely to different people. The only way to resolve a dilemma like this is to find more evidence and see which explanation it supports. (And in the shakuhachi world this is all complicated because of all the competing agendas, present and past, the secrecy, unwillingness to participate in this sort of modernizing project, etc.) Maybe you can never resolve the dilemma. That's fine too. You don't have to have a 100% airtight explanation for everything to have a worthwhile hypothesis.

Tsukitani, Yamaguchi Osamu, Shimua Satoshi and one more... Tokumaru I think... a whole group of researchers did a project on reconstructing hitoyogiri music. Now, it is another project as there are less people today (or when they did this project) who play hitoyogiri. So they based it mostly on written accounts. The Shichiku shoshinshū (1664) by Nakamura Sōzan and Ikanobori (1687) by Nagata Chōheibei were the two documents they based this on. It was a very interesting project - even though all the researchers admit it may not be how hitoyogiri sounded at the time Shichiku Shoshinshū was written. So I do think it can be interesting. But the hypothesis of how shakuhachi music may have sounded has to be researched very carefully with support from historical documents - something several have tried to do. However, one has to accept it remains a hypothesis. Shakuhachi has been much more a living tradition than hitoyogiri, and a healthy tradition has always room for changes and innovation. We have to approach it that way and that is the beauty of music. That is not the same as research into history and historical sound is not interesting. It is! And I am sure we will hear more.


I am a hole in a flute
that the Christ's breath moves through
listen to this music
Hafiz

Offline

 

#40 2010-10-04 03:59:33

No-sword
Member
From: Kanagawa
Registered: 2008-07-09
Posts: 115
Website

Re: The passing of Satō Reidō

That hitoyogiri project sounds interesting, Kiku... is there any way that us schmoes with no institutional connections (no decent library access, only free access to CiNii, etc.) can read/hear the results?


Matt / no-sword.jp

Offline

 

#41 2010-10-04 04:04:29

Kiku Day
Shakuhachi player, teacher and ethnomusicologist
From: London, UK & Nørre Snede, DK
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 922
Website

Re: The passing of Satō Reidō

No-sword wrote:

That hitoyogiri project sounds interesting, Kiku... is there any way that us schmoes with no institutional connections (no decent library access, only free access to CiNii, etc.) can read/hear the results?

There should be writings and video of the final concert that Shimura played. I have some photocopies of the writings somewhere but not the whole thing as far as I remember. I can ask about it. In fact things like the hitoyogiri project should be more readily accessible online. writings only in Japanese (I know you can read it very well, No-sword). Perhaps a little project there...


I am a hole in a flute
that the Christ's breath moves through
listen to this music
Hafiz

Offline

 

#42 2010-10-11 01:27:11

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

Re: The passing of Satō Reidō

Been away from the forum for a while here in Kyushu. Just wanted to post something to clarify some points from this conversationl:

No-sword wrote:

I don't know the details of Justin's work, but I imagine (since he is learning from so many people) that it is a sort of comparative method in which he builds a library (written, played, flutes, whatever) of information and tries to find unifying threads that could explain divergent evolution from a common source. It sounds like he is thinking of trying to reconstruct a sort of "proto-Shakuhachi" (or several!) that, obviously, cannot be conclusively proven to have existed in exactly the form he describes, but CAN explain the features X, Y, and Z, as observed by him in Source A and Source B, and so on. Given competence on Justin's part (which there's no reason not to grant, he is clearly walking the walk as far as data collection goes) this hypothesis will be objectively better, in the sense of "more likely to be closer to the actual historical phenomena it describes," than the testimony of a single old player who says "Listen, I play the original repertoire unchanged, and I swear that this is how it is" -- as much as we might value that player as a player and as a preserver of (living) tradition, and might even prefer his playing to Justin's hypothetical proto-S recordings. (Maybe part of the process driving the evolution was that the old style was boring.) It's not an aesthetic or a moral judgment. It's a scientific one.

Kiku Day wrote:

Tsukitani, Yamaguchi Osamu, Shimua Satoshi and one more... Tokumaru I think... a whole group of researchers did a project on reconstructing hitoyogiri music. Now, it is another project as there are less people today (or when they did this project) who play hitoyogiri. So they based it mostly on written accounts. The Shichiku shoshinshū (1664) by Nakamura Sōzan and Ikanobori (1687) by Nagata Chōheibei were the two documents they based this on. It was a very interesting project - even though all the researchers admit it may not be how hitoyogiri sounded at the time Shichiku Shoshinshū was written.

Matt, if I can trace pieces back all the way to the time before the lineages diverged that would be great. Some I can already, if the divergence was late. But as for going back 400 years, that is really difficult. And naturally, the further one goes back, the more speculative it becomes, though I also of course agree with you that we make it as accurate as possible by many checks and crosschecks with as much source material as we can dig up. And that is fascinating work. However, I wanted to point out that specifically, my main aim is to understand the honkyoku as they existed towards the end of the Edo period. That is actually less ambitious. So while also researching further back with great interest, really what my main interest is, is to just know and play the honkyoku of the komuso, the honkyoku of Fuke-shu.

Kiku your example of hitoyogiri is a good one, like I also mentioned for language research or archaeology and so on. (For those who don't know what a hitoyogiri is, it is another Japanese wind instrument, somewhat similar to shakuhachi, which existed during the Edo period and before. Both Fuke-shakuhachi and hitoyogiri evolved from a common ancestor, the Gagaku shakuhachi). The difference though (in case it is not obvious to those reading this) is that hitoyogiri is an extinct instrument. Although instruments still exist, and notation, there is actually no living lineage of the ancient hitoyogiri music. (There is some claim for one living lineage to hitoyogiri music newly composed at the end of the Edo period, during the hitogogiri revival, but none to the ancient hitoyogiri music which by even that time was already extinct). This brings a far greater element of speculation into the research of hitoyogiri music, and there is no-one to teach the music. So the situation with this instrument is rather different than with shakuhachi, since, luckily we still have living lineages of transmission in shakuhachi, giving us a direct link. In this respect the work I have been speaking of here is far less speculative, investigating pieces from repertoires taught directly to me through this continuous lineage, but digging deeper into their histories from many various angles.

Offline

 

#43 2010-10-11 16:52:17

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

Re: The passing of Satō Reidō

Seems like a difficult task to play like someone from 150 years ago. Dokyoku players of two generations direct transmission from Watazumi don't come close, even with aid of recordings and videos.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

Offline

 

Board footer

Powered by PunBB
© Copyright 2002–2005 Rickard Andersson

Google