Monday, November 30, 2009

Atsuya Okuda's Unofficial Kind Words

My dear friend Chester is in Japan now visiting shakuhachi makers and players. He visited with Atsuya Okuda last week. They went takehori (bamboo harvesting) together and sent me some photos. He also wanted to share this "...I am in osaka as we speak, will be seeing Kurahashi Sensei tomorrow, btw Okuda sensei is very familiar with your work and he thinks you do excellent work...actually a lot of people think very highly of your work.
Photos by Andrew Chester Ong

I have never met Okuda Sensei but I have enjoyed his music immensely. It's quite obvious that he knows how to listen and have a conversation with the raw bamboo.

When finishing a flute, I often hope that the future owner will be able to hear what I hear and feel what I feel, at least in the beginning. And as they become a true "partner" of the instrument, I hope that they will take it further beyond what I have experienced, since I only birthed them. It is this unique relationship that is quintessential in discovering the essence of the shakuhachi. Without this awareness, we are just jumping from one bed to another. Please excuse the rude analogy, but it help us think of the respect a flute deserves (it also came from a teacher of mine).

With this in mind, I humbly go back to work in deeper awe of my teachers, makers and players before me.
Namaste, Perry

Saturday, November 7, 2009

2.9 Choukan Bass Hocchiku Shakuhachi Flutes

This is an all natural Choukan long bass shakuhachi made in the Hocchiku style in respect to Watazumi, the eccentric Komuso Monk who brought the experience of the shakuhachi back to it's origins by playing Zen Honkyoku music on completely natural, organic shakuhachi instruments. Hocchiku shakuhachi work much like the modern shakuhachi. They are fully functional instruments that work into the third octave otherwise they could not play the Dokyoku music. The main difference is in how the flute behaves. Hocchiku are organic so the pitches need more embouchure adjustments and the volume is softer and more precarious. The Hocchiku tone instantly evokes bamboo while the modern shakuhachi tone brings me to a concert stage. One is not better than the other, only different, unique unto themselves like people. I learned to make and understand Hocchiku under Kinya Sogawa, who studied Dokyoku music under Katsuya Yokoyama, who studied under Watazumi himself. As a shakuhachi artist supported by both the American and Japanese governments, it is my mission to help spread the shakuhachi with clarity. The experience of the shakuhachi in all it's traditions are open to anyone. Please feel free to ask any questions what so ever.

Watazumi Doso Roshi

Thanks for visiting. A deep bow, Perry

Monday, October 19, 2009

Old Komuso Monks Shakuhachi

I am playing a Myoan Jinashi shakuhachi made around the turn of the century or as late the 1920's. It's has a sharp Chi and flat Ri, which is common on old flutes of this period. It's a bit of a struggle to play (in modern tuning), but I love the sound.

The funny thing is I was at a koto workshop with the extraordinary Yoko Hiraoko that morning and was just coming home on the subway. But as I waited for the train the tunnel it was the old flute that beckoned, not my modern 1.8 I' had been playing all morning. Go figure.

This old 1.7 Komuso Monk flute is available along with others.

The flutes pictured on my couch ranges from $300 - $2,000. The Nobe 1.8 and Choukan 2.8 YUNG flutes are spoken for. The others are Japanese made 1.8 Tensei Rebirth/Recycle instruments. Please inquire directly at perry (at) yungflutes (dot) com.

A deep bow, Perry

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Vintage and Modern Shakuhachi Sounds

I recently refurbished two fine shakuhachi instruments. The first was made by Tadasuke around 1960 and the second by Gyokusui around 1990. I enjoyed discovering the voice of each flute and thought I share my discovery with you all. The Tadasuke has a larger bore and has more of a vintage sound. The Gyoksui has a standard modern bore profile and sounds brighter. The sound quality of this video, of course, is compromised by the mic and my playing :) Enjoy, Perry

Friday, May 22, 2009

Ivan Plays Shakuhachi in the NYC Subway

There are a few natural beginners on the shakuhachi. The flute is known to be one of the most difficult instrument of human kind, like the violin or human voice. It takes a lot of practice to just sound OK. Ivan was handed the flute and made a sound within seconds. Not everyone shares his experience :)

On another note, I've been contemplating whether or not I should keep this blog going. It was started as a temporary website when my old one was hacked and now that I have a newly designed one finished, I'm not suire what to do with this blogspot account. In the time being, those interested in viewing the new site can go here:

Namaste, Perry

Namaste, Perry

Monday, May 11, 2009

Florida ShakuhachI Camp

Hi all, here is an announcement from my friend Brian. If you've never been to one of Michael Chikuzen Gould's shakuhachi camps, I would highly recommend it.

Namaste, Perry

Great News!!!! We will be having a Florida Shakuhachi Camp in October of this year here in Florida. The camp will be taught by Michael Chikuzen Gould. It will be held October 9-11, 2009. For complete details see The Florida Shakuhachi Camp website located at: . The camp is limited to 7 participants to make sure that everyone who attends gets the full attention to their playing they deserve. Please check back often as the site will soon be updated with pictures of the cabins we will be staying in and the pieces we will be studying. I hope I see you there!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Balancing Shakuhachi

I've been rehearsing for a new La MaMa E.T.C. show the last two weeks and things are moving fast as usual. The show is Asclepeus, the Greek God of medicine. I play his father, Apollo. The cast is more than a cast. It is the Great Jones Repertory Group, some of the most daring actors, dancers and singers I know. I'm so happy to be working with them again. Here we are in the famous Annex theater in the East Village.

Although I'm in theater heaven, I've also been feeling a little schizophrenic with the shakuhachi. When the rehearsals first started, I was swept with a wave of frenetic energy that interrupted the solitude of working with bamboo. But, I think I found a great balance this week. I've been rehearsing for the Hot Peas and Butter show at the Tribeca Film Festival's Family Outdoor Festival and teaching more than I expected. For those in NYC who may want to hear some Latin pop Bamboo soul, come by Tribeca May 2nd 4pm - Main Stage on Greenwhich and North Moore streets.

Not sure if I can slip the shakuhachi into Asclepeus, but we'll see...