.SuiZen – April
It is more than a musical instrument. The phrase back in the day before the Meiji period was it is not a musical instrument it is a tool for meditation. As such only those of Fuke sect could play it. This was the rule. After the Meiji period it was open to everyone to play. This was part of the lecture the other night at my lesson.
I was given partial copies of old original Shakuhachi scores. I was told if i wanted the full version Sensei had them all I had to do was ask. What I have is kind of a sampler he had put together. I could not read any of it, except those few , very few that had western notation with it.
Part of my training that needs to be done is learning the Japanese notation as most old traditional songs are written it.
Sensei had me play his Shakuhachi last night so I could tell the difference. Sugoi!!! what a difference! Such a nice sound, such a nice feel to the Bamboo and easy to blow. His was made by one of the top Shakuhachi makers in Japan. Cost several thousand dollars! This maker is also a friend of his, he promised a road trip one day to visit his shop! Sugoi that should be interesting! I will just dream of owner one, since they are so far out of my reach. Like a top-level Yumi. It is good to have dreams.
Overall, I was told my tone is good,… for a beginners. I need to work on making it better! One note is music he said! He demoed playing one note with variations. He repeated that in a book a lent hm by Victor Wooten had said the same thing. The purity on one note, the purity on one shot, I related to Kyudo. He said one other thing, that was directed related to Kyudo thought. I can not recall it now, but at the time it hit a cord! Pun intended! Ahh I remember, when breathing one must have tension, yet be relaxed when make a note. Is this Kai or what! All the tension needed to hold open the Yumi and focus on directing the Ya to the Mato, yet staying relaxed, and elegant. To make a pure clean shot , “true ” (note).
Sensei also gave me a booklet he had published, along with a copy for my Kyudo Sempai who plays Shakuhachi. Sensei is doing a small concert nearby next month. I will make plans to attend. It is the same day as I am suppose to do a showcase at a local “live house” with Matsuo-san of the blues band. That will be at night and the Shakuhachi concert in the afternoon, so it will work out ok to attend both. The Dei Kai @ Kishiwada will have to be sacrificed.
I got around to recording self on the bass and trying to play along on Shakuhachi. It was sad, so far at least. This will take time. The tuning is different. I need to find the right key to play with at my level. That will take some more experimenting. No rush, I can pace myself for this mountain climb. No Dans and shinsas to deal with, this is all about me and just getting better at my own pace, no covert pressure.