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#1 2015-01-15 16:31:55

Mujitsu
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From: San Francisco
Registered: 2005-10-05
Posts: 884
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Change your mind.

Yungflutes wrote:

The shakuhachi is a great reminder of change.

So true Perry. And thanks for bringing up something that has been on my mind lately.

The shakuhachi surely is a great reminder of change. After being at it for awhile, I've become less attached to, and more flexible about my shakuhachi beliefs. They constantly evolve or sometimes completely change over time.

Before going into those changes, I'm curious how people have changed their minds about shakuhachi. Anything you once thought that has developed or changed?

Thanks in advance.

Ken

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#2 2015-01-17 13:00:51

Mujitsu
Administrator/Flutemaker
From: San Francisco
Registered: 2005-10-05
Posts: 884
Website

Re: Change your mind.

One thing about the shakuhachi which has changed for me is the development from a romantic view to a more practical view of the instrument. In the beginning years as a maker, I mentioned to Tom Deaver how I felt a responsibility to maintain the tradition of shakuhachi making. He was puzzled and asked why? He said, "You live in California. Why not let it develop naturally through your own experience?" Tom had a way of planting a seed then shutting up.

That idea gave me the confidence to pursue the particular sounds that I enjoyed while respecting, but not being bound by tradition. 

Another idea which has developed is the deeper appreciation of both the scientific AND mystical ways the shakuhachi works. Rather than leaning on only one or the other, both approaches seem to exist together more easily than they used to in my head. The more I learn the less sure I seem to be about any of this. It's nice to feel content and open about that kind of uncertainty.

What I like about shakuhachi is that change is relative no matter how long you've been at it. It begins from day one.

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#3 2015-01-25 09:15:01

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

Re: Change your mind.

Mujitsu wrote:

That idea gave me the confidence to pursue the particular sounds that I enjoyed while respecting, but not being bound by tradition.

Thanks for sharing Ken, I'm with you. Of all the art disciplines I practice, shakuhachi is the one most rooted in a particular culture or tradition. Looking at it it like a forest instead of the tree, I see that it is about continued growth. Each great maker or player adds to the forest. We can see the rings left by Watazumi, Yokoyama, Tozan, Yamaguchi, Neptune and many many more as they stretch the border of the forest, enriching it from one perimeter to the next.

I just saw Marco Lienhard perform a contemporary Japanese composition, Voyage X - Nozarashi, two nights ago by Toshio Hosokawa . Marco played three different length flutes through out the piece interweaving between Gamelan gongs, violins and contras bass, piccolo, mallets etc... After the piece, I overheard an audience member behind me whisper to her partner, "I think it's a Japanese flute". He said, "That was amazing." Marco is living in his present moment, playing in his present moment. Together with the composer, they were at the edge of the forest (in this particular moment, that was the Peter Jay Sharp Theater at Julliard, 65th St and Broadway, New York City).

Artists recognized in history has added to the culture by pushing the boundaries of their craft. They, we, do not have a choice. It is all one thing, really. Whether you are out exploring at the edge of the forest, or nestled safely at the base of the mother tree, playing and making shakuhachi truthfully can only be one thing. A great hero of mine once said, "Stagnant waters breed disease. Your life should flow like a river." I know I'm mixing metaphors but at least it's all in the "nature" of shakuhachi smile

Last edited by Yungflutes (2015-01-25 10:34:35)


"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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#4 2015-01-25 10:54:45

madoherty
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Registered: 2008-03-15
Posts: 366

Re: Change your mind.

Recently I have come to the understanding regarding shakuhachi, and Zen/Buddhism in general, that in the west these traditions are so new that each practitioner is in the processes of translation.  Just as a translator like Red Pine works at translating texts (which is a largely subjective endeavor, though we would like to think otherwise) from Japanese to English, so to we are working out what shakuhachi means to ourselves, but also in our cultures in the west. 

This process of translation has to mean change, as daily we come across, adjust to, accept, all of the organic intricacies that is the nature of the shakuhachi-if we are open to it.  If we are explorers of that forest and the mountain passes, if we answer the call that the bamboo sounds out, to find our way with, and in it. 

I came to shakuhachi with a specific purpose in mind, but open to possibilities.  Within that journey, that focus has shifted and changed, largely due to the influences I have had from teachers, but also through my own maturity, understanding and interest.  Looking back, I am not sure that anything really has stayed the same, actually!

Shakuhachi has taught me great patience, and the ability to flow along with experience.  Though, there is a balance between that flow and integrity that needs to be struck, and that is part of the translation that we endeavor- integration must mean pushing that forest out.  That same forest looks pretty different to each of us, but it is all the same forest.

Sound of the mountain stream
Captures the pine forests' original face
A breeze blows across needles
Each singing from its own breadth

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#5 2015-01-29 12:13:31

Yungflutes
Flutemaker/Performer
From: New York City
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 1061
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Re: Change your mind.

madoherty wrote:

Though, there is a balance between that flow and integrity that needs to be struck, and that is part of the translation that we endeavor- integration must mean pushing that forest out.  That same forest looks pretty different to each of us, but it is all the same forest.

Sound of the mountain stream
Captures the pine forests' original face
A breeze blows across needles
Each singing from its own breadth

Right on Michael!


"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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#6 2015-01-30 01:32:53

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

Re: Change your mind.

_/|\_ (gassho) Perry.

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#7 2015-02-03 13:12:15

Mujitsu
Administrator/Flutemaker
From: San Francisco
Registered: 2005-10-05
Posts: 884
Website

Re: Change your mind.

Thanks for the eloquent responses fellows.

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