Monday, November 30, 2009
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.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
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
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
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
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:
Monday, May 11, 2009
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: http://www.floridashakuhachi.com . 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
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...
Saturday, April 18, 2009
I enjoy collecting these and fine tuning them so that they operate at a higher level in response and tone production. As a maker, it's interesting for me to see how I can improve them with simple adjustments, usually by undercutting the tone holes. Once they leave my shop, they produce a wider range of tone color, much closer to the dynamic qualities of a fine bamboo shakuhachi. It comes apart in the middle in two-pieces, just like the modern two-piece bamboo instrument.
When these wooden flutes were first made in Japan, the manufacturers hired professional musicians to fine tune them before they left the factory. These days, non shakuhachi players are employed to do the finishing work, resulting in flutes with less dynamic range. This one now plays like a fine hand tuned instrument.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions what so ever.
Have a great day! Perry
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Tairaku is in the house! Got a visit yesterday from Brian Tairaku Ritchie. Here he is trying a 1.2. Shorter flutes are more difficult to play in tune and usually requires the player to know the flute well as the "window" for blowing is smaller. I think Tairaku did a great job having just pick up this shorty for the first time. I ran out of memory on the video card just when Brian started to cook! Gotta get a 1GB card soon.
Monday, April 13, 2009
As Oedipus in Ellen Stewart's Oedipus the King
Many around the globe know me as a Shakuhachi craftsman and performer but my first profession is in the theater. In the past 5 years, since my children were bore, I've had to focus on the shakuhachi work (not that I am complaining!) because that allowed me to work at home and be involved with child raring. Working in the theater means a lot of time spent on rehearsals, performance runs and touring. My partner and I decided it would be more beneficial to focus on shakuhachi for a while. But, now that she has an embarked on her academic career and the kids are a little older, I can go back to the theater. I am so excited to start rehearsals tonight with Ellen Stewart's new La MaMa theater production.
Because it's difficult for me to separate the two these days, I will try to make the shakuhachi a part of the performance. Let's see where I can sneak it in :)
New flute production will slow down but the commissions and repairs will still go on. As always, your instruments are a extremely important to me and they will continue to be worked on with mindfulness and finished in a timely fashion.
More to come....
Friday, April 3, 2009
When I first saw this Hanko - Kazan - Flower Mountain, I recognized it immediately. I also recalled that a fellow shakuhachi blogger over at A Shakuhachi Journey happens to own a Kazan. So I did some detective work to see if I can get a reference picture for the depth on her Kazan.
Thanks to Erin, I got the shot! And as I started to remove, the instrument became more and more responsive and with a wider dynamic range on tone color and volume. I always feel so lucky that I can be a part of this process - helping a flute find it's original voice.
I could have played this flute all day but I had to go pick up Jet from Day Care so I deferred to Erin's photo's. I had 20 minutes to apply some Honshu Red Urushi, the original color. Honshu Red is an amazing deep red that's quite beautiful. It also takes longer to cure. It's going to sit out for 12 hours and then will go into my humid box for a about a week or more.
Check back then for a sound file.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Today's repair (among 3 others and a plastic horse) is a Kazan that needs a new Utaguchi inlay.
I've seen some Kazan flutes before and know that the maker likes to use Ivory.
The back of the utaguchi. You can get an idea of the craftsmanship of Japanese made flutes.
A proper fitting can be extremely tedious and time consuming.
I've been doing inlays for over 13 years...so I'm not as slow as I was in 1996!
After the cut and careful filing so as not to change the angle of the front facet. It works fine as is, but I need to play it thoroughly to make some critical decisions on how much to lower it.
Stay tuned :)
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Here's the space at the Brooklyn Center for the Arts.
I hear the show is almost sold out. It's a good thing I don't get nervous anymore :)
Monday, March 30, 2009
Fully functional shakuhachi for modern lessons can be difficult to find, even today. In the olden days (pre internet), there were only two ways to obtain a fine shakuhachi, that is through someone whom you trust or through your shakuhachi teacher. Today, one can audition my Tensei line of refurbished Japanese made shakuhachi. These range in style from vintage Jiari to modern Jiari (Jiari = plastered bore), but all are fully capable of study. I invite you to try one. There is a 30 day ample audition time so that you can bring it to your next lesson with your experienced shakuhachi teacher for evaluation. I'm 100% sure that he or she would say that you have found a high quality flute at an incredible price. I can offer these fine instruments at a great discount because I am not only a maker of traditional shakuhachi instruments, but one of the only repairmen in the world that can handle all aspects of full repairs or restorations in both traditional Japanese and modern techniques. I come into flutes in many stages of damage and wear. It often takes a me just a little time to bring it back to life. I truly enjoy working in this manner because I love visiting makers of the past through repairing their fine instruments and because of the need to work with a GREEN ethic. Together, we can help to save the planet by playing recycled shakuhachi!
These are all 1.8 the standard lengths and numbered 1,2 and 3 from top to bottom for discussion. All three are capable of the "honking" Ro.
Here is a sound file of a Tensei shakuhachi in a similar grade:
I am just noodling around so that you can hear the general characteristics of a 1.8 modern Jiari shakuhachi without "milking".
#1) Shinsui, Deep Water, Tozan Ryu. Repaired crack on the top section with inlaid rattan and one Mono filament binding so as not to hide the Hanko maker's stamp. Filled and refurbished utaguchi inlay. Snug Joint. In tune to the standard set by professional players and teachers. Fast response, modern sound, full ringing volume - everything one would need to pursue rigorous study in modern and classical shakuhachi music. Acrylic Tortoise Shell joint ring - $1,600.
#2) No hanko, Kinko Ryu. Repaired cracks with topical nylon cord with urushi lacquer painted over. Snug joint. This one plays extremely well with the desired sound quality of a Kinko style flute made around the 1960s. In tune. Full, robust yet velvety smooth sublime quality expected by traditional Kinko players. Vintage style, Urushi Lacquer oint wrap - $1,400
#3) Chikusen Tamai. Tozan Ryu. Well respected maker who trained many of the top maker's working in Japan today. Repaired cracks along the top section. Snug Joint. Sweet direct tone. Fast response. Celluloid Tortoise Shell, metal Nakatsuki joint wrap.
Please feel free to email with any questions what so ever through the comments button or email me at perry (at) yungflutes (dot) com
Have a great day! Perry
Sunday, March 29, 2009
I stand on this corner everyday, more than once. I have two friend who have been injured in Taxi accidents in the past. This is a reminder of the non drug or other crime related dangers of NYC.
What does this entry have to do with shakuhachi? Well, we caught a cab to the Hot Peas and Butter gig yesterday morning, from that very corner.
The show was fun to say the least. I enjoy collaborating with world musicians all the time and I sometimes I get to do that with my partner. It was fun just playing music and watching the dance with no other worries. The child care provider watched with Sasa and Jet from the audience and took the pics. Sasa's been practicing with the ribbons and will perform with us at next weeks show in Brooklyn.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
The next show is on April 5th in Brooklyn. More info TBA
I like playing Latin pop music with shakuhachi!
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Hear the tuning and response of this Hocchiku. I am just noodling around with the scale and Zen Honkyoku riffs.
Monday, March 23, 2009
The joints were a bit loose so I am applying Urushi Lacquer to make them snug.
It's made by Kinshu and had four hankos stamps. Three by Kinshu and another by a repair person.
It came apart in five pieces! The Ro was a little unstable but after the first coat on all the joints, it's already showing it's potential. I can 't wait until it's snug. Sounds like it's going to reveal a special voice.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Here are some testimonials. This page will be updated.
Enjoy! Namaste, Perry
"I suggest that while you are in New York you contact Perry Yung, who is making excellent instruments right here in New York, and some of them are very reasonably priced. Perry is a wonderful person...You could visit him, pick a flute, and take an introductory lesson, or maybe two or three lessons before you leave New York."- Ralph Samuelson, Kinko Master New York City. Jan, 2009
"Hi Perry, I received the flutes today. Real nice work. I appreciate your time and the care you put into repairing these instruments...you really did a fantastic job. I really like the way everything was done. Thank you very much.
- Kyle Kamal Helou, Karate Sensei, Shakuhachi teacher, Beirut Lebanon. Jan, 2009
"I feel that Perry Yung's emergence on the scene of the shakuhachi world is one of the most exciting developments in a long time; one that many shakuhachi players have been waiting for."
- Michael Chikuzen Gould - shakuhachi master, Dokyoku style. Cleveland, Ohio, 2005
"I have known Perry Yung for the past five years and continue to be
impressed with his work making and repairing shakuhachi. Last year we collaborated on a way cool new shakuhachi design with Western scale tuning (C major), and it was a pleasure to work together. Perry is knowledgeable about all aspects of shakuhachi design and construction, thorough and conscientious in his work, and a great
asset to the growing shakuhachi community in the West. I happily
recommend Perry Yung flutes".
- James Nyoraku Schlefer, Dai-Shi-Han, New York City, 2005
"Perry is one of the most creative shakuhachi makers I know. He has spent considerable time studying the basics of construction and his instrumentsrival some of the best in quality, but from there he takes the shakuhachi to
new levels of freedom and, to our great delight, fun."
- Christopher Yomei Blasdel Dai Shihan, author of the Single Tone and Shakuhachi: a Learning Manuel, Tokyo, Japan March, 2006
"Perry Yung is a rare man to find in the Shakuhachi World today. Perry may well prove to be one of the handful of non-Japanese that can make a Shakuhachi in the traditional style - equal to the best of the Japanese makers themselves. There's just no stopping him and his talents!"
- Ronnie Nyogetsu Reishin Seldin, Grandmaster, March 22, 2006
I have used Perry's shakuhachi in performance and on recordings with good results. He is an honest and enthusiastic maker. I recommend
Perry's flutes from his student models up through his professional
- Brian Ritchie, Jun Shihan, Violent Femmes Tasmania March, 2006
"I have been playing shakuhachi on stage for twenty five years, including broadway shows, dance performances and recordings on movie scores and CDs. And I always go back to Perry's Jinashi shakuhachi. His shakuhachi are so spiritual and personal. He will certainly be known as a great maker."
- Yukio Tsuji, Award winning composer. New York City, 2004
"Perry Yung bamboo flutes are beautifully made. I have several of them and each flute has a distinct and wonderful sound that will reflect and mirror the soul of the player. These flutes conjure up the wisdom from the past as well as the visions from the future. On whatever level you are playing music your life will be enhanced You can hear the sound of trees, mountains, skies and rivers. The voices of little children the voices of older people who have picked so much rice they cannot stand erect any longer. Yet they are flying with the sound. I buy these flutes to find these voices and hear their messages. Ancient songs coming from the act of breathing into bamboo. Songs and sounds that can change the world. Every one should play a flute made by Perry Yung what a wonderful world it would be."
- William Parker, Professional musician, August 2007
"Almost all shakuhachi need repairing at some point, and we are lucky to have in the United States a craftsperson as skilled as Perry Yung. He is able to diagnose problems quickly and accurately, and he does only what is necessary to correct a flute's problems or to enhance its responsiveness and musicality. I trust Perry completely with my most valued instruments. In addition, his own excellent and reasonably-priced flutes have significantly lowered the cost of entry for students who want to start right out on a finely crafted bamboo shakuhachi."
- Phil Nyokia James, Shi Han, Maine, 2008
"Perry Yung, you are truly amazing and you may quote me until the cows come home!
With deep appreciation."
- Steve Elson, Baritone sax for David Bowie, New York, 2007
"You are an American National Treasure. Still enjoying my two Yung flutes!"
- D.B. Ohio, 2009
Your flutes are masterful works of art! I was a student in a Bujutsu dojo for 13 years, until family responsibilities became too great to continue. I recognize the quality and standards in your flutes, that I was exposed to through my Sensei. These are standards that are rarely, if ever found in the U.S.
- Steve Potts, 2009
" I ordered a "Daily Zen" flute because I was intrigued by what Perry would do with the very simplest type of shakuhachi.... ji-nashi, no urushi even, just bamboo and holes. The result was pretty amazing! One can get such interesting colors and overtones, always a little different each time. The flute was actually quite in tune with itself, and able to be blown close to a pitch meter as well, with a little attention on the player's part (which is a good thing!) The notes all sounded easily first time playing. I find myself indeed playing it almost daily! Overall an amazing flute for the price...quite excellent to explore the no-frills, ji-nashi world on a limited budget. "Daily Zen" is quite an appropriate name for the series.
- Glenn Swan, shakuhachi teacher and professional performer. 2008
"Received your 1.8 Chikusing today. A magnificent shakuhachi. So beautiful a rootend. I have a new friend. "
J.S. - Nagasaki, Japan 2003
" Perry Yung is an expert. He made my Kawase Junsuke I vintage master flute play 100% better. At first I was a bit nervous about getting my instrument fine tuned but after talking with Perry, I felt at ease as he explained carefully what he would. The outcome was superb. I can now use my Kawase in modern playing situations. It now has more flexibility and power yet it retained the classic depth of sound that can get lost in retuning. I was very very impressed and will be sending Perry more of my vintage shakuhachi instruments!"
- Michel Dubeau, professional musician, recording artist, Montreal Canada. 2008
"Perry, I received the shakuhachi yesterday, everything is perfect!"
- Bruno Dechenes, Professional shakuhachi musician and teacher, Montreal Canada. 2008
"Hi Perry! I got my flute today! Great instrument!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am very happy!!! Good tuning, good tone (very flexible), fairly easy to play (still I'll have to get used to it...)Thank you very, very, very much!!! I am happy I found you!! - C.M Ontario, Canada
I played it again tonight, the flute is exactly what I was looking for (and what you told me...)
You contribute to create a better world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks again! Claude
3rd Follow up:
Your 2.8 has become my favorite instrument.
- Claude M,Professional musician, Montreal Canada. 2004
"Like a fresh breath of air come your shakuhachi, is an amazing discovery to play a long flute and Ji-Nashi!"
- Antonio Olias, Professional musician, Madrid, Spain, 2004
"I have been playing the 2.8 for up to 8 hours everyday. My body is getting used to long flutes. The Ro is so big. I am glad I discovered the Jinashi. Others have heard me play both the 1.8 and your 2.8 and they say yours ( the 2.8) is a real shakuhachi. I can't wait to show my teachers.
- Antonio, Spain
"Your shakuhachi is great. I am a professional xiao player, I find it so powerful, responsive, even on the top octave. It responds fast and even. And, in pitch! Let me know if I can do anything for you in Hong Kong.
- J.L Hong Kong, China. 2003
I just want to let you know that I'm very happy with the Chikusing 1.8 you've made for me , now I can tell you without doubts that you are a very good shakuhachi maker !!! Xie Xie!!!
- M.B, Shanghai, China 2003
"What a beauty! Perry, i am so impressed with this shak. It is the most gorgeous flute ever! It plays so easily and projects like an opera singer. So booming and subtle at the same time. I am so happy. i have a lesson soon and i am so excited about showing this off to my instructor. Thank you so much for everything. i am completely satisfied regardless of what my teacher might think. i can tell you now that i will be keeping this and your record will remain unblemmished in terms of satisfaction.
- J.A., Santa Cruz, CA 2003
"Dear Perry, Today i received your 2.4. I believe there are no words to describe what a beautifull 2.4 it is! The instrument is truly a masterpiece. I am very VERY happy...the sound is really warm, breathy and PURE, just the way I like it.
- K.T., Amsterdam,Holland. 2003
"I can play Kyorei, Hon Shirabe and am working on Tamuke. This week I got some folk songs to lighten up a bit. This is great fun and I must say that I use your flute most of the time.
- D.K., MN
"I've actually had it out in public, at a local music store, and everyone, (including the Rockers), was effusive in their praise of the sound of the instrument, so I know it's not just me that's happy with it. (We players can be seriously self-delusional at times, you know.)
Thank you for a wonderful instrument at a great price.
- B.H, CA.
"Such a nice instrument. Beautiful tones. Honto ni domo arigato gozaimasu.
- J.E., Canvey Island, Essex, United Kingdom.
I had to write to say that I have been playing your 2.3 shakuhachi everyday for the past month. The problem is, it is so responsive that it makes my older Japanese 1.8 and 1.9 difficult to play. I am looking to order a CHIKUSING 1.8 from you.
- J.W., Australia.
"A week into owning your beautiful 1.8, I just wanted to write and tell you, I can't put it down! It truly is the easiest playing flute I have ever tried! I had a chance to play this past weekend at the Humes Japanese Stroll Garden on LI, along with several other shakuhachi players. Everyone loved your flute! In fact ****used it on a few pieces he performed. You may be getting a call from a man named ****, who also plays and was very impressed with your work!
- K.S, NY. 2003
"Your choukan was a great hit at the (Colorado Shakuhachi) Camp, especially for those with the chops to play it well. It is truly a remarkable flute, and I want to thank you for letting in into my life.
- E.B., CO. 2003
"These comments are coming from one who has been playing very responsive "modern" ji-ari flutes almost exclusively. For the record, I have in my possession a very pretty ji-ari 2.1 by Gyokusui (the son) worth $2000--it isn't mine--and I'd put your 2.1 well ahead of it for playability and responsiveness, even up high.
- E.B., CO. 2003
"I have become a hermit and your 3.0 is partly to blame...your flutes are magic. I want to send you a CD recording I made with your 2.4.
- P.D., Vancouver, B.C. 2003
It is a marvelous instrument and he was very pleased with it. Approval from my teacher meant a lot to me as I am no judge, but now I have great confidence and feel proud to own this beauty. Thanks so much .
- L.G ., B.C. 2002
From Riley Lee's website interview with New Living Magazine:
"... there is a fellow in NYC that makes shakuhachi. His name and email is: Perry Yung, *******.com. His flutes are more of the 'homemade' variety, but are still very playable and in fact can be more visually pleasing than the cheaper ***** flutes. Perry's flutes are $200 or less, I think.
- Riley Lee, 2000
Read the full article here: http://www.rileylee.net/shaku_article_newliving.html
For Gyokusui 1.8 - "Just a quick note to let you know that I picked up the flute this evening and the rich resonant sound came out immediately. Wonderful! Thank you for your careful and sensitive attention to the repair.
- P. Cooper, NYC
For Aoki Reibo 1.8 - " Perry, the flute looks AWESOME...You truly are an asset to the shakuhachi community!"
- L.Farrare NYC
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Hear a sample track on the audio clip on my blogspot profile.
The entire CD is improvised and in the moment. The only rule was not to be afraid of silence. I'm very happy with it as I can put it on while working and not feel like I need to study the pieces!
If you are interested in purchasing the CD, you can contact me directly.
I'm also getting into some early Spring Cleaning so you may see some flutes on ebay soon starting at 99 cents!
Have a great day!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
The cotton cord did not hold the cracks. Probably because they were not bound tight enough. I like the rustic look though.
The urushi lacquer behind the utaguchi blowing edge is damaged.
When I started the inlay rattan work, I noticed a hanko under the cord.
I've never seen this hanko before. It looks like a logo.
Two weeks later, the urushi has cured well.
A very beautiful flute in both looks and sound.
Here is the owner's reply:
In the past couple of weeks, I've repaired cracks for a professional player, teacher, monk and Tai Chi master.
It's always nice meeting different players (and makers).
Monday, March 9, 2009
Those of you searching for a shakuhachi flute, please contact me directly at yungflutes (at ) yahoo (dot) com for my list of available shakuhachi this week.
I'm not bummed, I welcome change. It's just a matter of finding time amidst the flute repairs, commissions and kids.
Stay tuned...ouch! (a pun for those of us who play the shakuhachi :)
Have a great day welcoming change! Perry
PS,..Yes they did :(