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#1 2009-11-28 01:25:04

Tairaku 太楽
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From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3202
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Shimura and Blasdel interview about jinashi

Here is something I cut and pasted from a very cool blog from a dude in Queensland. I don't know who the guy is. Maybe he's on the forum.

The interviewer: Is the muscle employed for jinashi playing quite different from the one you use for the jiari?

Shimura: When playing wind instruments we use muscles that are hardly observable from the outside. So we cannot really tell how muscles work for each type of the flute. But I've experienced this: A flute (jinashi) didn't sound well initially. But as I used it for a year, it started sounding well. In a few years, the tones that initially didn't come out easily became vibrant. As Chris said earlier, the shakuhachi - be it jiari or jinashi - can make beautiful tone colors. So if you listen to these two different types of shakuhachi on recordings, you may not notice the differences of sound. If you listen to them in a live setting, you may be able to notice the differences slightly. The differences can only be that much. However, those are the sounds heard as a product. In reality, the process of the player becoming able to make a jiari or jinashi sound must be different. I believe the instrument develops the player. Therefore, the body of a jinashi player is the one that was formed through the jinashi shakuhachi. A jiari player develops a body that plays jiari well. You cannot attain both. Of course, you can pursue both and ultimately achieve certain levels. But there are more contradictory things than commonalities [between playing jiari and playing jinashi]. That's how I feel.

The interviewer: So the body developed for each type is incomparable from each other...

Yomei: Shakuhachi, koto, shamisen, and other instruments necessitate the use of the body. Without being aware of the corporeal domain and able to handle the body well, you cannot play good music. Western instruments have developed in the way that they have been distanced from the body, like piano, and synthesizer in particular, you use your brain to make music. It's important to feel the instrument through the body. Jinashi is the one that you need to play with the body. It's as if you play through the air hole coming from the inside of the body.

Here's the entire blog, interesting stuff here:

http://shakuhachistuff.blogspot.com/200 … views.html

I don't think I agree with what they're saying here, but it's still interesting to hear the opinions.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#2 2009-12-04 02:08:51

Kiku Day
Shakuhachi player, teacher and ethnomusicologist
From: London, UK & Nørre Snede, DK
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 917
Website

Re: Shimura and Blasdel interview about jinashi

I agree that the bodily element of jinashi and ji-nuri/ari playing is quite different. I can feel it myself very strongly when I play jinuri. It is a whole other experience.
But I'd add that it also depends on what kind of jinashi is being played. More and more, the jinashi of today is produced by skilled makers to enable players trained on jinuri to play and blow as they usually do on a jinuri. Some of these modern jinashi would sound better blown into as if it was a jinuri.
Which part do you not agree on, Tairaku?

I'd better see the other YouTube clips. Thanks for the link!


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

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#3 2009-12-04 03:37:42

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

Re: Shimura and Blasdel interview about jinashi

I don't know what Brian disagreed with, but I thought the bottom picture and the explanation (translation?) you can find on the website looks controversial:

http://members2.jcom.home.ne.jp/maekawa … 88:d3.html

website wrote:

When I met one of Fujita's students in Tokyo, I had a chance to play some of his self-made flutes. It was not easy to get sound out of them partly because I was not used to playing large bore flutes. But the main reason was, unlike modern jinashi makers, he did not narrow the space and control the shape of utaguchi bore using a piece of bamboo or applying tonoko with superglue. It was just a huge piece of bamboo. Then, he asked me "do you put your tongue under/behind the lower lip?" That was my first time to come across this blowing method. The function of this is to fill the space between the chin and the flute by pushing the tongue forward.

Fujita's student explains this in his website with pictures. The first picture demonstrates the embouchure in kinko and tozan styles. The third picture captures his jinashi blowing. He explains this way of blowing relaxes the body, release the tension, allows you to blow with least effort, and enjoy playing. it's good especially for older people who started playing myoan. This style is particularly good for making meri tones: It maintains the kari blowing position for meri and thus makes brighter, large-volumed sound even if it is meri.


"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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#4 2009-12-04 05:51:26

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

Re: Shimura and Blasdel interview about jinashi

Would we feel the difference blindflolded? I have played both and, apart from the difference in tone color, have had no "corporeal" experience. Perhaps, this time, I agree with Brian.


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

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#5 2009-12-04 10:11:39

lowonthetotem
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From: Cape Coral, FL
Registered: 2008-04-05
Posts: 529
Website

Re: Shimura and Blasdel interview about jinashi

My understanding was that the it is less a corporeal "experience" and more of a corporeal discipline, which is unlike many western instruments, although I think that is a little over stated.

I think wind instruments of any kind are very sensitive to changes in the body that may not be evident to the observer.  I can sometime hear my heart beat coming through in my sound, not in some super-cool, zen, spiritual way that would qualify me to read auras or anything (I am more of the bikini inspector type)  I just mean that the beating of my heart can fluctuate the sound as my breath expires and my lungs empty.

To what extent this isn't the case in other instruments, I am also skeptical.


"Turn like a wheel inside a wheel."

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#6 2009-12-04 10:56:48

Kiku Day
Shakuhachi player, teacher and ethnomusicologist
From: London, UK & Nørre Snede, DK
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 917
Website

Re: Shimura and Blasdel interview about jinashi

I also totally disagree that Western instruments are played with the head and not the body... All wind instruments, as Lowonthetotem pointed out, are physical and so is a contra bass! And even the piano - although perhaps less so than a wind instrument. I can't see the difference in the physicality of playing between a koto player and a harp player - for example. Ok, another position - but the harp player also need to bend forward etc. And don't tell me playing the trumpet, oboe or bassoon is not physical or a bodily experience.

I have heard many Japanese jinashi players say that jinashi gives you energy and jinuri takes away your energy....! I must admit - I don't buy this at all! I am just putting it here to say that I have heard that same argument Fujita is quoted for saying many times before. I have also heard it from many kyotaku people (I am not saying all). I think if you enjoy playing and if you like the sound it is going to give you energy - whether it be a jinashi or jinuri. For me, who is trained only in jinashi playing - I can find jinuri playing tiring because it requires a tighter embouchure and a stronger breath. But that is no news that something you are not good at requires more energy than something you are good at.

I do actually think - to some extent - I can tell the difference between a jinashi and jinuri blindfolded.... but not a jimori and if the jinashi is made to be blown by jinuri players... perhaps not. So Waryr, it would not be a 100% test I am sure wink. I have on several occasions seen Okuda play somebody's flute - it sounded great... then he said, 'This feels like there is ji in it!' And it showed that it had a few drops! But hey, that is certainly not me! I am not that sensitive! smile


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

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#7 2009-12-04 11:08:25

lowonthetotem
Member
From: Cape Coral, FL
Registered: 2008-04-05
Posts: 529
Website

Re: Shimura and Blasdel interview about jinashi

I have a couple of Jinashi flutes but play them very seldom.  On my pasted flutes, it seems that reverberation within the bore is created more readily as the air pressure builds to a point where it cannot all escape through the foot or the finger holes.  I find this kind of ringing/reverbing/whatever you call it, very energizing.  Still, I think that alot of this is just another expression of the pointless argument, "Well, MY Zen/Chi/insert spiritual widget of your choice, is better than yours."  This kind of egoism should not be so surprising among musicians, I would think.


"Turn like a wheel inside a wheel."

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#8 2009-12-04 11:43:47

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

Re: Shimura and Blasdel interview about jinashi

I notice that if I take a day off. I play stronger the next day. It is like my body needs time to recover.As for difference between jinashi and jiari I am no expert. I have a YUU and a jinashi perry yung earth flute but I can see how after a while you do get better at the flute you are playing. So, I would imagine that your body does develop what is needed for each style flute.

Last edited by purehappiness (2009-12-04 11:44:13)


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

Lieh-tzu

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#9 2009-12-04 17:57:06

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3202
Website

Re: Shimura and Blasdel interview about jinashi

Tairaku wrote:

Shimura: In reality, the process of the player becoming able to make a jiari or jinashi sound must be different. I believe the instrument develops the player. Therefore, the body of a jinashi player is the one that was formed through the jinashi shakuhachi. A jiari player develops a body that plays jiari well. You cannot attain both. Of course, you can pursue both and ultimately achieve certain levels. But there are more contradictory things than commonalities [between playing jiari and playing jinashi]. That's how I feel.

The interviewer: So the body developed for each type is incomparable from each other...

.

That's the part I may not totally agree with.

I think it's possible to be a good jiari and jinashi player. Most people can only play one or the other well but that's probably just a matter of being unadaptable rather than anything inherent in the flutes.

Kinya Sogawa would be one person I can think of off the top of my head who plays both well and can even make both kinds.

I think things like bore width and utaguchi angle are more crucial determinants of technique than what's in the bore.

I play both and I wouldn't waste my time doing that if I thought it was impossible to do both well.

I do agree with the basic principle that your body adapts to what you play, but I think if you play both, your body will adapt to that as well.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#10 2009-12-04 18:31:04

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

Re: Shimura and Blasdel interview about jinashi

I can play both my YUU and earth flute. I just need a different embouchure/technique between the two.

Last edited by purehappiness (2009-12-04 18:40:06)


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

Lieh-tzu

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#11 2009-12-08 17:07:17

Kiku Day
Shakuhachi player, teacher and ethnomusicologist
From: London, UK & Nørre Snede, DK
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 917
Website

Re: Shimura and Blasdel interview about jinashi

Tairaku, I don't agree with that either.
Although this is the truth for me as well as it must be for Simura (since he says so)... there are loads of amazing multi-instrumentalists who would have no problem adjusting even at high level playing. I have seen and heard people be good on both jinashi and jinuri. I, in fact, thought that Simura was quite good on both....


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

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#12 2009-12-08 18:06:20

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3202
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Re: Shimura and Blasdel interview about jinashi

Maybe he means to be the absolute best at one or the other you should devote yourself. The word "can't" is problematic, could be a translation thing. Did you listen to the interview in Japanese? Is the translation right?


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#13 2009-12-08 20:06:16

Taldaran
Member
From: Everett, Washington-USA
Registered: 2009-01-13
Posts: 228

Re: Shimura and Blasdel interview about jinashi

If a golfer only had developed the body to use a putter, but couldn't use a driver, that would make for a long, long game.


Christopher

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

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#14 2009-12-09 07:10:52

Kiku Day
Shakuhachi player, teacher and ethnomusicologist
From: London, UK & Nørre Snede, DK
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 917
Website

Re: Shimura and Blasdel interview about jinashi

Tairaku wrote:

Maybe he means to be the absolute best at one or the other you should devote yourself. The word "can't" is problematic, could be a translation thing. Did you listen to the interview in Japanese? Is the translation right?

He does say something that is like can't. So I'd say the translation is correct in this case. But probably he is talking about a very high level.

PS. I like your avatar, Tairaku. Is it you?
And I just noticed my titles. Makes me laugh again although I do not dare to google these words anymore.... wink

PS. I am slow. I see now that that avatar is like an influenza and people tend to catch it...

Last edited by Kiku Day (2009-12-09 07:52:17)


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

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#15 2010-03-21 00:13:27

Ryuzen
Dokyoku (Daishihan); Zensabo
From: Maderia Park, BC, Canada
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 104
Website

Re: Shimura and Blasdel interview about jinashi

Being both a jinashi and jiari player, I feel that both are unique experiences in sound color and blowing technique but I feel working at progressing in both styles helps and enhances the other. Body is not separate from the mind so we need to connect both in doing anything to the fullest. Like anything in the shakuhachi world, you need a good teacher to show the proper way to play.


I live a shakuhachi life.

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#16 2010-03-21 12:58:00

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3202
Website

Re: Shimura and Blasdel interview about jinashi

Al, I like your signature! smile


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#17 2010-03-23 16:04:11

Ryuzen
Dokyoku (Daishihan); Zensabo
From: Maderia Park, BC, Canada
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 104
Website

Re: Shimura and Blasdel interview about jinashi

Thanks Brian! You are such a great ambassador of shakuhachi and music in general!!!

Gassho,

Al


I live a shakuhachi life.

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#18 2010-04-01 02:10:39

Hans van Loon
Member
From: Steenbergen, The Netherlands
Registered: 2005-10-16
Posts: 16
Website

Re: Shimura and Blasdel interview about jinashi

Poeh ............

glad that at least some people can play both

after I gave up ji-ari because of my kyotaku ( ji-nashi ) playing, I am just picking up the ji-ari again

I have indeed big trouble playing ji-ari flutes, but love lots of the pieces , which we do not have on kyoatku
but I notice now , after a short period of ji-ari playing, that the studying ji-ari influences my kyotaku style breathing

so thanks Ryuzen an Tairaku

those comments give me some courage that one day I will manage to play ji-ari as well

Hans


Kyotaku, the ZEN flute with the warm and serene sound

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#19 2010-04-01 10:11:57

Kiku Day
Shakuhachi player, teacher and ethnomusicologist
From: London, UK & Nørre Snede, DK
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 917
Website

Re: Shimura and Blasdel interview about jinashi

Hans, of course you will be bale to play both.
It is just a matter of getting used to separate the breathing techniques which can be quite different and get stable at it.
You will succeed for sure if you continue to play both!
Good luck and hope I can listen to you soon!


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

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#20 2010-05-17 22:37:30

Riley Lee
Moderator
From: Manly NSW Australia
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 78
Website

Re: Shimura and Blasdel interview about jinashi

I agree completely with Kiku's last post.

In fact, oops.... in my opinion, and Simura's comments notwithstanding, if you play both with enough perseverance, you may even find yourself thinking that the differences between the two types of flutes are often overrated, especially near the arbitrarily defined boundaries between the two.

Different techniques, different sound, different construction, all maybe yes, but the quality and quantity of rewards gained by playing either/both of them are equally great.

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