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#1 2014-04-09 16:14:34

madoherty
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Registered: 2008-03-15
Posts: 366

Disparaging Remarks Concerning How "They" Play Shakuhachi

I didn't want to flood the European shakuhachi society's discussion board with what might end up being a discussion amongst American westerners, so I am posting it here:

In follow to X Moran's comment concerning the disparaging remarks that one "shihan" made concerning Tokuyama's performance (here: http://www.shakuhachiforum.eu/t1230-Tok … .htm#p6374)...

Because one can not remain intellectual in terms of the arts (particularly traditional arts, in this matter "zen" arts), such as shakuhachi practice, everyone has a certain amount of embodied "ignorance" concerning the embodiment of another's practice.  I would go as far as to say that everyone in this regard is different and not just different schools, lineages, or styles.  This is called "radical pluralism" in western philosophy.  I would also state it positively as, all of these different ways are part of "one sound".  Shakuhachi sounds are part of this one sound and non-shakuhachi sounds are part of this one sound- as are words- including disparaging remarks concerning other's musical aesthetics.

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#2 2014-04-12 02:05:33

fouw
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From: Europe
Registered: 2007-01-16
Posts: 323

Re: Disparaging Remarks Concerning How "They" Play Shakuhachi

Michael, can you please rephrase the above so a dummie, which I am, will understand? (I saw X's eu post)
Do you mean ignorance, sectarianism and intellectual approach are all One Sound?
Cheers, Kees

Oh and uh.... folks visiting the euro forum might be interested in what american players discuss. Aren't we shakuhachi lovers One Community?
Lately it seems both the euro forum and the BBQ could well use some flooding.......

Last edited by fouw (2014-04-12 02:49:02)

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#3 2014-04-12 17:01:51

Tairaku 太楽
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Re: Disparaging Remarks Concerning How "They" Play Shakuhachi

Yes, funny to respond to a post on one forum on another forum. The Euro Forum was supposed to be international, and it is but a lot of US people were intimidated by the Euro languages, gee whiz.

Yes Michael, not exactly sure what you're saying here. That people should be careful of disparaging other players because it degrades the quality of the unified sound we should be making together? True. But shakuhachi has a long history of people claiming to be better, more authentic etc. and that the other guy is not. Seems about par for the course.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#4 2014-04-14 01:22:23

madoherty
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Registered: 2008-03-15
Posts: 366

Re: Disparaging Remarks Concerning How "They" Play Shakuhachi

Yeah, I thought it might be weird to bring the topic her, but figured X and I might have an interesting side bar...

However, see my response and clarification here:
http://www.shakuhachiforum.eu/t1230-Tok … .htm#p6379

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#5 2014-04-15 01:01:29

Moran from Planet X
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Re: Disparaging Remarks Concerning How "They" Play Shakuhachi

People claiming they can play better than someone else are not people I would respond to. Rather I do respond to people making claims about the superiority of school or lineage which really is just ignorance of the wide, rich heritage of the instrument. The comment I heard personally from an American shihan about Tokoyama, for example. Another would be a Western Kinko shihan who remarked that that Taizan Ha music was "just church music."   That was a pretty ignorant statement.

Maybe what stirs my ire (I am Ir-ish after all) are people who lay claim to lineages that for all logical intents and purposes no longer exist. The name Fuké gets bandied about a lot. A few people out in Shakuhachidom claim to be the personal single inheritors of a lineage from a player, long since passed. Nothing important really. Braggadocio is so 20th century.

I'm really of the Evangelical Shakuhachi School: Anyone who wants to play shakuhachi should be encouraged and supported, regardless of style, school, Ryu, lineage, intent or material of instrument.


"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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#6 2014-04-15 13:19:47

mrgecko
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Registered: 2014-01-01
Posts: 6

Re: Disparaging Remarks Concerning How "They" Play Shakuhachi

"Anyone who wants to play shakuhachi should be encouraged and supported, regardless of style, school, Ryu, lineage, intent or material of instrument."

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

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#7 2014-04-16 03:11:13

Tairaku 太楽
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From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
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Re: Disparaging Remarks Concerning How "They" Play Shakuhachi

X, shakuhachi is so difficult to play, that anyone who can do that is to be commended regardless of their affiliation. Every school of shakuhachi is more similar to every other school than shakuhachi is to quena or recorder, which in turn are more similar to shakuhachi than a clarinet, which is in turn more similar to shakuhachi than a buzzsaw.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#8 2014-04-16 09:15:07

Yungflutes
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From: New York City
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 1061
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Re: Disparaging Remarks Concerning How "They" Play Shakuhachi

Moran from Planet X wrote:

I'm really of the Evangelical Shakuhachi School: Anyone who wants to play shakuhachi should be encouraged and supported, regardless of style, school, Ryu, lineage, intent or material of instrument.

And this goes for shakuhachi makers too!

This thread reminds me of my art school days. Only history can tell whether a particular form was/is important - if it will inspire others to join the movement (however big or small). There are many artists still working in Impressionism today, but very few in Italian Renaissance. Why is that? Well, in a nutshell, people change.  If the art no longer speaks to the people, it will die out. 

The question for me is always, "Is this music I am playing true for me"?


"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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#9 2014-04-16 17:24:11

Moran from Planet X
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From: Here to There
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Re: Disparaging Remarks Concerning How "They" Play Shakuhachi

Tairaku 太楽 wrote:

Every school of shakuhachi is more similar to every other school than shakuhachi is to quena or recorder, which in turn are more similar to shakuhachi than a clarinet, which is in turn more similar to shakuhachi than a buzzsaw.

well said.

i think.

my head hurts when i re-read this.

ouch.

ouch.

ouch.


"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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#10 2014-04-16 21:13:43

Rick Riekert
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Registered: 2008-03-13
Posts: 100

Re: Disparaging Remarks Concerning How "They" Play Shakuhachi

Yungflutes wrote:

There are many artists still working in Impressionism today, but very few in Italian Renaissance. Why is that? Well, in a nutshell, people change.  If the art no longer speaks to the people, it will die out.

It's an interesting question why, for example, composers no longer compose in the style of Mozart or artists paint in the style of Tintoretto, but it's certainly not because those two great artists have nothing to say to "the people".


Mastery does not lay in the mastery of technique, but in penetrating the heart of the music. However, he who has not mastered the technique will not penetrate the heart of the music.
~ Hisamatsu Fûyô

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#11 2014-04-17 09:34:01

Yungflutes
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From: New York City
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 1061
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Re: Disparaging Remarks Concerning How "They" Play Shakuhachi

Rick Riekert wrote:

Yungflutes wrote:

There are many artists still working in Impressionism today, but very few in Italian Renaissance. Why is that? Well, in a nutshell, people change.  If the art no longer speaks to the people, it will die out.

It's an interesting question why, for example, composers no longer compose in the style of Mozart or artists paint in the style of Tintoretto, but it's certainly not because those two great artists have nothing to say to "the people".

Rick, I'm sure you have a good answer to why that is!

Here's my take: an artist can only thrive if she/he can pay the rent. Mozart worked for most of his life through commissions from wealthy patrons. When he found his patrons' demands creatively stifling, he went to work for the common folks for little or no money. He died penniless.

So how does this apply to to the topic -Disparaging Remarks Concerning How "They" Play Shakuhachi? As fouw said, this is one community, and quite a small one at that. This quote is alwasy a reminder for me:

“When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That's the message he is sending.” ― Thích Nhất Hạnh

Most of the artists I choose to hang with suffer for their art.... mostly sad

Last edited by Yungflutes (2014-04-18 07:57:41)


"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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#12 2014-04-17 18:04:15

Tairaku 太楽
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From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3222
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Re: Disparaging Remarks Concerning How "They" Play Shakuhachi

Yungflutes wrote:

Most of the artists choose to hang with suffer for their art.... mostly sad

Someone from a famous band told me while his bandmate was compelling him to rehearse endlessly before debuting the band he told that dude:

I am willing to suffer for my art. However I am not willing to suffer for your art. Let's do some gigs.

wink


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#13 2014-04-17 18:11:54

madoherty
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Registered: 2008-03-15
Posts: 366

Re: Disparaging Remarks Concerning How "They" Play Shakuhachi

madoherty wrote:

Yeah, I... figured X and I might have an interesting side bar...

Moran from Planet X wrote:

People claiming they can play better than someone else are not people I would respond to.

X, are you talking about someone in particular here?  I've never heard you play.

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#14 2014-04-17 18:28:04

madoherty
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Registered: 2008-03-15
Posts: 366

Re: Disparaging Remarks Concerning How "They" Play Shakuhachi

Yungflutes wrote:

“When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That's the message he is sending.” ― Thích Nhất Hạnh

Most of the artists choose to hang with suffer for their art.... mostly sad

Perry, Thay speaks the truth.  And, interesting connection to artists!

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#15 2014-04-18 08:55:26

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

Re: Disparaging Remarks Concerning How "They" Play Shakuhachi

Tairaku 太楽 wrote:

... I am willing to suffer for my art. However I am not willing to suffer for your art. Let's do some gigs.

wink

That's a tough one, like being married. We make those we love suffer most ;(

madoherty wrote:

Yungflutes wrote:

“When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That's the message he is sending.” ― Thích Nhất Hạnh

Most of the artists choose to hang with suffer for their art.... mostly sad

Perry, Thay speaks the truth.  And, interesting connection to artists!

I know that was stretching it Michael. Especially since I wasn't really sure of the original context of the discussion.

Ryu translates into stream. If a Ryu is not flowing freely, it's stagnant water that breeds disease. Shakuhachi is a living tradition. There's always change.


"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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#16 2014-04-19 01:02:13

Moran from Planet X
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From: Here to There
Registered: 2005-10-11
Posts: 1524
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Re: Disparaging Remarks Concerning How "They" Play Shakuhachi

madoherty wrote:

X, are you talking about someone in particular here?  I've never heard you play.

ahhhhh ... no.


• • •

Trying to consider your question further: I was actually riffing off of

Tairaku 太楽 wrote:

But shakuhachi has a long history of people claiming to be better, more authentic etc. and that the other guy is not. Seems about par for the course.

And I think if "shakuhachi has a long history of people claiming to be better, more authentic etc." — that kind of behavior is silly.

Last edited by Moran from Planet X (2014-04-19 02:42:47)


"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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#17 2014-04-19 01:12:14

Moran from Planet X
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From: Here to There
Registered: 2005-10-11
Posts: 1524
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Re: Disparaging Remarks Concerning How "They" Play Shakuhachi

madoherty wrote:

I've never heard you play.

I just finished recording a score for a film maker on the East Coast. I'll send you a copy of the finished product after he sends it to me.


"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 2014-04-20 12:05:18

madoherty
Moderator
Registered: 2008-03-15
Posts: 366

Re: Disparaging Remarks Concerning How "They" Play Shakuhachi

Moran from Planet X wrote:

madoherty wrote:

I've never heard you play.

I just finished recording a score for a film maker on the East Coast. I'll send you a copy of the finished product after he sends it to me.

Awesome!

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#19 2014-04-20 12:27:37

madoherty
Moderator
Registered: 2008-03-15
Posts: 366

Re: Disparaging Remarks Concerning How "They" Play Shakuhachi

Yungflutes wrote:

Ryu translates into stream. If a Ryu is not flowing freely, it's stagnant water that breeds disease. Shakuhachi is a living tradition. There's always change.

Particular people can also approach their art/practice as process or as fixed as well.  I know this is implied in what you are saying, but I wanted to point out that there are different levels of analysis: meta-ryu and particular-individual.  One can view a piece as a finished work that is embodied and given expression, or they may view it in a more open minded manner as a sort of unfolding/experience, for example.  I see the unfolding approach to possess more tolerances for novelty, and really ultimately I am thinking of something like Suzuki's "beginner's mind" here.  I guess that in one's personal relationship /disposition toward their ryu, or non-ryu, this distillation occurs in all of us and looks differently.

Where is the art, music, practice?  In the piece?  The performer?  The listener?  The tradition?  And how much are these distinctions broken down?

Perry, your "art school days" comment above also reminds me of something I heard on a recorded talk by John Daido Loori where he had said that we don't know now right whether or not the most important practitioners of the dharma are those in monasteries, or those in a "home dweller" position.  He thought it was possible that the home dwellers could be forging Zen's future path in the U.S.- we don't know right now.  The same could be said of shakuhachi, as you point out.

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#20 2014-04-20 22:26:49

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

Re: Disparaging Remarks Concerning How "They" Play Shakuhachi

madoherty wrote:

Yungflutes wrote:

Ryu translates into stream. If a Ryu is not flowing freely, it's stagnant water that breeds disease. Shakuhachi is a living tradition. There's always change.

Particular people can also approach their art/practice as process or as fixed as well.  I know this is implied in what you are saying, but I wanted to point out that there are different levels of analysis: meta-ryu and particular-individual.  One can view a piece as a finished work that is embodied and given expression, or they may view it in a more open minded manner as a sort of unfolding/experience, for example.  I see the unfolding approach to possess more tolerances for novelty, and really ultimately I am thinking of something like Suzuki's "beginner's mind" here.  I guess that in one's personal relationship /disposition toward their ryu, or non-ryu, this distillation occurs in all of us and looks differently.

Michael, Thanks for taking the time to interpret my response. It's spot on. I apologize to anyone who may have been offended by the stagnant water metaphor. It was my Taoist metaphor for infighting. smile smile

Perry, your "art school days" comment above also reminds me of something I heard on a recorded talk by John Daido Loori where he had said that we don't know now right whether or not the most important practitioners of the dharma are those in monasteries, or those in a "home dweller" position.  He thought it was possible that the home dwellers could be forging Zen's future path in the U.S.- we don't know right now.  The same could be said of shakuhachi, as you point out.

I am very inspired by what is happening at Zen Mountain Monastery. Daido's philosophy of using art to enhance their spiritual practice strikes a deep chord in me. I am blessed and humbled to be teaching there.

I am connected to a lot of players world-wide. Most of them do not play the flute in any Japanese context. Many are doing very interesting and cool things. They are Daido's "home-dwellers" of the shakuhachi. They are part of the steady journey of the shakuhachi.


"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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