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#1 2007-10-28 10:30:12

marek
Member
From: Czech Republic
Registered: 2007-03-02
Posts: 187
Website

Essence intrisic or created?

Hi all,

I have been thinking about traditional/not traditional approaches to shakuhachi music and other related topics, such as teachers, techniques, ...
It occurs to me that the merit of these discussions is whether we conceive shakuhachi music as something(an imperative) that transcends time and has to be attained, or something singular that one creates at the time of playing; i.e. which doesnt necessarily exist in any context and which exists only at the time when the music is played. Thus it suggests that shakuhachi music is not limited to certain genres but can be imbued with other "essences".
I would like to promote a discussion about philosophical implications of these two(or more) concepts concerning shakuhachi music, in order to clarify and refine our view of what is shakuhachi music.

Thanks for any contributions.

Cheers,

Marek


"what are you gawping at!?"
                                          Uchiyama Roshi

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#2 2007-10-28 15:33:12

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

Re: Essence intrisic or created?



What?


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

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#3 2007-10-28 18:18:57

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

Re: Essence intrisic or created?

So you're saying are we goal oriented in terms of learning how to play a certain kind of music through linear, progressive methods like studying and practicing, or just "be in the moment"?

I guess the more you practice and study the more fun you'll have down the road when you're just in the moment.

For a flute that's really "in the moment" I recommend Iwabue, no rules.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#4 2007-10-28 18:58:34

dust
Member
From: Albion
Registered: 2007-09-08
Posts: 91

Re: Essence intrisic or created?

So you're saying are we goal oriented in terms of learning how to play, "be in the moment" or just play a certain kind of music through linear, progressive methods like studying and practicing?  wink


imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.

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#5 2007-10-28 19:11:26

marek
Member
From: Czech Republic
Registered: 2007-03-02
Posts: 187
Website

Re: Essence intrisic or created?

Tairaku wrote:

So you're saying are we goal oriented in terms of learning how to play a certain kind of music through linear, progressive methods like studying and practicing, or just "be in the moment"?

No, I actually tried to point out that for some of us playing shakuhachi means playing traditional shakuhachi genres(or just honkyoku) because this is what shakuhachi is - an instrument for these genres. This implies that these genres(honkyoku, sankyoku) constitute a creative space for these players(a kind of a playground) which itself is unquestioned. Therefore(within that ideology), there are some wrong approaches to shakuhachi(non traditional repertoire); and there we are, we have shakuhachi music which has an essence that exists without the shakuhachi actually being played.

It looks like its gonna be a long debate... smile
Hopefully a good one.

Cheers,

Marek


"what are you gawping at!?"
                                          Uchiyama Roshi

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#6 2007-10-28 19:59:52

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

Re: Essence intrisic or created?

marek wrote:

No, I actually tried to point out that for some of us playing shakuhachi means playing traditional shakuhachi genres(or just honkyoku) because this is what shakuhachi is - an instrument for these genres. This implies that these genres(honkyoku, sankyoku) constitute a creative space for these players(a kind of a playground) which itself is unquestioned. Therefore(within that ideology), there are some wrong approaches to shakuhachi(non traditional repertoire); and there we are, we have shakuhachi music which has an essence that exists without the shakuhachi actually being played.

It looks like its gonna be a long debate... smile
Hopefully a good one.

Cheers,

Marek

Are you implying it's "wrong" to play non-traditional repertoire on shakuhachi?

That's a slippery slope. There are people in the shakuhachi world who would deny that sankyoku is appropriate for shakuhachi, that's why they call it "gaikyoku" (outside music). Myoan players do not believe in playing sankyoku.

Then you have many masters of traditional Japanese music who nevertheless have used shakuhachi for other puposes like jazz or improv. Watazumi, Yokoyama and Nakamura come to mind as people who have a traditional background but used it for other purposes as well.

Then there is the vexed issue of shinkyoku. Most "traditional" shakuhachi people do at least some of that whether it's Fukuda Rando or whatever. Is that wrong? Pretty common actually.

At one time it was not used for sankyoku or honkyoku. It was used for gagaku. I wonder if there were people 700 years ago who sat around scratching their beards and saying, "These youngsters with their new fangled honkyoku! Why can't they just play gagaku like we did in our day?!?!??!?" smile

I think shakuhachi would be entirely complete as an instrument playing only honkyoku. Then you have the question of what is "legitimate" honkyoku.

I'd be interested to hear from people who think it should not be used for certain kinds of music and why.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#7 2007-10-28 21:01:34

chikuzen
Dai Shihan/Dokyoku
From: Cleveland Heights,OH 44118
Registered: 2005-10-24
Posts: 402
Website

Re: Essence intrisic or created?

Since a bit of awareness of the CONNECTION with the shakuhachi is a by product of this activity, maybe we could put ourselves in it's place and just ask the shakuhachi: "Do you mind if I play jazz today"? "Do you mind if I play Honkyoku today"? The shakuhachi DOESN'T care. But it will probably be very happy if you use it well.
  Maybe you"re talking about music which is time and place specific, like Sankyoku, where you have words which had meaning in a certain time and ways  the songs were composed and played at that time along with stylistic performance ways, etc that have been passed on to now and are still practiced. I've approached Honkyoku most of my life as EXPERIENTIAL music in nature. Like Sufi dancing, it's the medium.

Last edited by chikuzen (2007-10-28 21:06:00)


Michael Chikuzen Gould

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#8 2007-10-29 07:13:00

nyokai
shihan
From: Portland, ME
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 613
Website

Re: Essence intrisic or created?

Tairaku wrote:

I'd be interested to hear from people who think it should not be used for certain kinds of music and why.

Shakuhachi should not be used to play Rod Stewart's "Broken Arrow"; in addition it should not be used for certain songs by Meatloaf. This is simple compassion.

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#9 2007-10-29 07:15:44

philthefluter
Member
From: Dublin, Ireland
Registered: 2006-06-02
Posts: 190
Website

Re: Essence intrisic or created?

I play everything and anything on shakuhachi... honkyoku, sankyoku, enka, celtic honkyoku, pop tunes, country and western, classical, jazz... I imbue all music with the spirit of shakuhachi. Pop tunes sound great with muraiki and koro-koro!

Sometimes I am very particular about technique and proper sound production. Other times, I like to just blow and listen to what happens.

I working on some Bach at the moment and will put up some mp3s soon. There are lots of notes in regular rhythm, in many ways the opposite to honkyoku. However, I still feel the Zen!


"The bamboo and Zen are One!" Kurosawa Kinko
http://www.shakuhachizen.com/
http://www.myspace.com/shakuhachizen

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#10 2007-10-29 08:36:33

chikuzen
Dai Shihan/Dokyoku
From: Cleveland Heights,OH 44118
Registered: 2005-10-24
Posts: 402
Website

Re: Essence intrisic or created?

Phil, your right. I asked my shakuhachi about the Rod Stewart song and it just stared at me.

Last edited by chikuzen (2007-10-29 08:36:53)


Michael Chikuzen Gould

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#11 2007-10-29 18:08:49

indigo
Member
From: Brooklyn, New York
Registered: 2005-10-19
Posts: 52

Re: Essence intrisic or created?

being a white male living in nyc carrying around a long canvas wraped wooden tube with a beautifull 1.8 inside my packsack today while in the entrance of the 7 train on 42nd between lex and 3rd was stopped by 6 or 7 police and asked to open my bag and display its' contents on a small table just before the turnstiles

the tube didn't look like an instrument case acording to the main man

opened it up and the policemen were impressed by the flute and the case , the invasion of my privacy was a present to them because they politely asked the flute's age, said it was beautifull and mused aloud that the flute must sound good, I said "now you know something new about somebody" as the flute was wraped up again, not played, one man smiled

even offered to let me in the subway without paying etc. alas I had a month long metro card and could enter under my own steam

went down the long esclator musing on the effect of unraveling my flute

even completely out of context the shakuhachi commanded an unexpected respect    no sound

now practicing sankyoku for my lesson

smoke on the water is a no brainer, maybe deep purple wrote it as a koan for us to discover later if ever we played ro tsu re  ro tsu rechi  ro tsu re tsu roro

wondering about tradition and non tradition for me is real being so so far far away from even 19th century Japanese tradition let alone the origins of honkyoku,  my misgivings pale in comparison to the beauty revealed in "Fune no Yune" 

am forever indepted to deep purple for ingraning the first four intonations of our insempo scale,  makes the necessary singing barely possible

yet will spend many many more hours with "Fune no Yune" in awe inspiring struggle because i have never been where this piece goes

the flute turned 6 or 7 burley policeman into polite well wishers, the musical tradition holds me spell bound

as the tibetans say "eh ma ho"

Last edited by indigo (2007-10-29 18:11:05)

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#12 2007-10-30 17:09:56

dstone
Member
From: Vancouver, Canada
Registered: 2006-01-11
Posts: 552
Website

Re: Essence intrisic or created?

I wonder what the music shop would think of Stairway on koto and shakuhachi.

http://emptybits.com/tmp/no-stairway.jpg

-Darren.


When it is rainy, I am in the rain. When it is windy, I am in the wind.  - Mitsuo Aida

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#13 2007-10-30 21:51:14

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

Re: Essence intrisic or created?

I'm pretty sure these are the players from the Pacific Moon recording label.

Great shakuhachi stylists. The producers use traditional instruments (shakuhachi, shamisen, koto, taiko) in arrangements melding traditional themes with pop themes. Sometimes they also stick closer to 'real' traditional (ie, monks chanting sutras, etc). All of it somewhat ersatz, but well played, and I've learned a lot from working out some of the shakuhachi parts.

[Good find, Darren!]

eB


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

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