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Hello from Massachusetts.

 
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Chris Stetson
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PostPosted: 2011-04-10, 23:58    Post subject: Hello from Massachusetts. Reply with quote

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Hello to everyone, and thanks for starting this forum!

I'm a shakuhachi player from the Western region of Massachusetts, USA. I'm trained in Tozan school, but mostly play solo. We've got an inactive group of about 4 or 5 players here, but everyone's so busy these days!
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Kiku Day
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PostPosted: 2011-04-11, 11:53    Post subject: Hello from Massachusetts. Reply with quote

Hi Chris!
Welcome to the forum!
Where were you trained in the Tozan School? And the other members of the group, are they Tozan as well?
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Chris Stetson
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PostPosted: 2011-04-11, 15:02    Post subject: Hello from Massachusetts. Reply with quote

Hello, Kiku!
Pleased to meet you, and thanks for your questions!
Officially I'm a student of Nakajima Seizan in Sapporo, but most of my study has been with one of his senior students, Mary Ellen Miller, here in Massachusetts. In re: Nagaegawa Shakuhachi Kyokai: we had one Kinko crossover for a time (he's since stopped playing altogether, last I heard), but the rest of us play in the Tozan tradition. Since our teacher is a laid-back Hokkaijin, however, we're open to pieces from other schools, too.
I noticed in other posts that you're looking for input and opinions from Tozan-ryu players, so I'll offer a couple of very personal, grossly over-generalized statements. Most of the Tozan players I've met see shakuhachi as one of several musical pursuits, though that's more true of friends here in the USA than in Japan. Though I think our teacher does, I can't imagine most of them speaking of "living the shakuhachi life" as someone has said on this forum. I include myself in this group. Even more generally, I think Tozan-ryu sees the shakuhachi more as a musical rather than a spiritual instrument (though where does one draw the line?), and that this stems from Nakao Tozan himself, specifically his fear that the tradition would be lost if it were not modernized to appeal to the tastes of the rapidly changing culture of early 20th century Japan. In this way he was a man of his time, as the rush to modernization was by no means limited to Japan. In many ways, I think Tozan's music, including the honkyoku (with which, I should note, I'm only familiar in passing. We mostly play sankyoku and shinkyoku.) can be understood equally well as 20th century music and as part of the Japanese tradition.
But enough rambling!
Looking forward to interesting conversations.
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Kiku Day
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PostPosted: 2011-04-11, 22:05    Post subject: Hello from Massachusetts. Reply with quote

Hi Chris

Thanks for your detailed answer - both on the local Massachusetts shakuhachi network and on Tozan-ryū.
iIt is actually nice to know more Tozan networks outside Japan. So far I only knew of the Shin Tozan ryū group in France...

Nakao Tozan was certainly a man with visions. He actually managed to found the Tozan-ryū at the end of the 19th century... in 1896 (I am sure you know). Nakao Tozan certainly had a big influence on the popularisation of the shakuhachi and on the "first shakuhachi boom".

You are very welcome to write more thoughts on Tozan ryū in the Dōjō section! Looking forward to hear more.
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Chris Stetson
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PostPosted: 2011-04-12, 00:17    Post subject: Hello from Massachusetts. Reply with quote

Hi, Kiku,
You're welcome, and yes, let's move the conversation to the dojo!
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Perry Yung
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PostPosted: 2011-04-12, 12:56    Post subject: Hello from Massachusetts. Reply with quote

Hi Chris, Great to see you here!
How's your Shinobue doing? I recalled you saying that someone told you it couldn't be repaired. Just wondering how it's holding up Confused

All the best, Perry
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Chris Stetson
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PostPosted: 2011-04-12, 16:32    Post subject: Hello from Massachusetts. Reply with quote

Hi, Perry, great to "see" you, too. Which reminds me, I've gotta get a photo up.

The shinobue's fine, I just got it out and played Hanagasa no Odori, and it sounds great. It hasn't been getting much play time lately, though. Isshin Taiko broke up shortly after you worked on it (pure coincidence, I assure you!), and I tend to use the larger, heavier flutes for solo playing. That, and my interest in 19th c. American guitar. There's a new taiko girl in town, though, so anything could happen!

Also, I don't think anyone said that flute couldn't be fixed, I just heard someone (Marco?) say that generally when they split along the fingerholes the way you fix it is by getting a new one. Maybe he hadn't talked to you, though.

Speaking of that, though, I do have a shak I need to get to you. Yes, ebay in a weak moment. One piece, Kinko (or at least not Tozan) style, shaved root end, looks like laquered jinashi. It spoke to me, but it has a crack right up by the utaguchi and a loose, though largely intact, insert and an old leather(?) band repair which is, now that I've brought to a dry New England winter, also loose. Wetting it seems to tighten everything up, and it has a nice voice, soft but nuanced.

But we should take that discussion to "The Workshop."

Best, and hope you're well,
Chris.

PS, I'll have to check out your parenting blog ;-). I'd love to see your take on life's greatest adventure!
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Perry Yung
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PostPosted: 2011-04-13, 13:21    Post subject: Hello from Massachusetts. Reply with quote

Chris Stetson wrote:
Hi, Perry, great to "see" you, too....

Also, I don't think anyone said that flute couldn't be fixed, I just heard someone (Marco?) say that generally when they split along the fingerholes the way you fix it is by getting a new one. Maybe he hadn't talked to you, though.

Great to know it's playing!


Quote:
Speaking of that, though, I do have a shak I need to get to you. Yes, ebay in a weak moment.


I know the moment. I'm presently waiting for a used guitar purchase.

Quote:
One piece, Kinko (or at least not Tozan) style, shaved root end, looks like laquered jinashi. It spoke to me, but it has a crack right up by the utaguchi and a loose, though largely intact, insert and an old leather(?) band repair which is, now that I've brought to a dry New England winter, also loose. Wetting it seems to tighten everything up, and it has a nice voice, soft but nuanced. But we should take that discussion to "The Workshop."

Did you know I relocated back to New York City? You can send me a private email.

Quote:
PS, I'll have to check out your parenting blog ;-). I'd love to see your take on life's greatest adventure!


If a flute doesn't behave, you could just put it a way for a while. That doesn't work with the kids. Parenting has taught me to listen more carefully, which helps everything I do with the shakuhachi Very Happy
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Chris Stetson
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PostPosted: 2011-04-16, 19:17    Post subject: Hello from Massachusetts. Reply with quote

Hi, Perry.
Yes, I knew you had moved back to NYC, but I still enjoy thinking of you when I see the house here. I'll be in touch privately soon, as you suggest.
Chris.
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PostPosted: Today at 19:14    Post subject: Hello from Massachusetts.

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