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.
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