World Shakuhachi Discussion / Go to Live Shakuhachi Chat
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I'm a married white male in my late 40s. I started playing western silver flute in fourth grade. After college, I started dabbling in various other flutes, including Irish flute. I seriously took to the shakuhachi in June 2000 and left the rest of my flutes behind.
I particularly like playing with other people, and was lucky to find several koto players in Seattle. If only they all weren't quite so busy with other things.
I also studied physics in college, so of course I'm interested in the physics of the shakuhachi. Alas, acoustics is an inexact science at the best of times, and it was not part of my curriculum, so I'm starting from scratch in a lot of ways.
I have heard it said that most American shakuhachi players were drawn into it by the mystical aspects. That's not me. The religious culture behind the shakuhachi is fascinating, but I was drawn by the challenge of the music. The silver flute, at least the way I was taught as a kid, was too much about getting the right notes out at the right time, and I got bored with it. The shakuhachi, with its emphasis on phrasing and tone color, and with its foreign notation, made me feel like I was relearning music from the ground up, only this time as an adult.
But mostly, I play the shakuhachi because it's fun.
Welcome, James! I'm in Seattle, too, over in the Ballard area. There's one other, Steven, here too, and another that goes to school at Evergreen. We should all try to get together sometime!