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Monty's work
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Jon Palombi
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PostPosted: 2011-07-18, 14:31    Post subject: Monty's work Reply with quote

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Brian Tairaku Ritchie wrote:
I'm sure Pepe can play the quena. He could get a decent tune out of a Coke bottle.

So professors of voodoo etymology, please expound on the difference and relationship between juju and mojo.
Razz Twisted Evil Mr. Green Okay Idea Confused Shocked


I'm certainly no authority on African Vodun, Haitian Voodoo or African-American Hoodoo. Frankly, I'm no professor of any filed of study... merely a verbose but sincerely inquisitive student. That being said, I've been around the block a few times and I keep my eyes and ears open. According to wikipedia, Mojo is a bag or sack, which contains Sacred objects (which posses Juju). African-Americans use the term somewhat differently than the original African usage of the word "Mojuba", from which it is derived. Meaning prayer, homage to the living Spirit or a Scared ritual observance. From a Native American cosmological perspective, Mojo would be a bag which holds Power Objects. So the flute bag for Pepe's shakuhachi, aptly named "Juju", would reasonably have a lot of Mojo going for it... and literally have its Mojo working. Okay

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mojo_(African_American_culture)

Now, when Muddy Waters covered the song, Got my Mojo working, written by by Preston Foster in 1956, he seems to imply that Mojo was some kind of magical sexual power. Indeed, women did actually faint during some of his live performances... so it was definitely working!!!

"Got my Mojo working but it just won't work on you.
Got my Mojo working but it just won't work on you.
I want to love you so that I don't know what to do.
I got my black cat bones all pure and dry.
I got my 4 leaf clovers all hanging high.
I got my Mojo working but it just won't work on you.
I want to love you so till I don't know what to do."



I've heard Mojo used in reference to: B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and a number of other Blues and Rock n' Roll musicians, so the word sure can travel throughout many diverse cultural redefinitions of itself. I think that like all African cultural traditional ideas, Mojo had been re-interpreted for life in the Western hemisphere, the during 19th, 20th and now into the 21st centuries. How this applies to the Japanese shakuhachi is directly symbiotic, in relationship, with the individual shakuhachi player's capacity to get his "Mojo working".

Jazz and Blues music are filled with double-meanings and procreative innuendos. Take the name Jazz itself (I'm not going any further with this one, though). Still, within the genre of Jazz music, the slang name for the flute is "Stick". It is really only a very thinly-veiled reference of the male sexual organ. Yeah and regardless of innuendo, all flutes are essentially sticks, eh?

So, when we are talking shakuhachi... this is a very accurate name, literally and/or figuratively. Or would it be more correct if it were "Shoot"? I guess if the Mojos a workin'... what's in a name? Like William Shakespeare used to say, "A flute by any other name... " Laughing

And yes, Pepe's definitely got his Mojo working and he could translate the magic of Juju, hidden within a shakuhachi, quena or even a Coke bottle. After all, he is a bonafide Juju-Mon. Say, does anyone know the traditional Japanese equivalent to these African words? Perhaps it might be said, that one in tune with the Tao/Do, has his or her Qi/Ki flowing and circulating, without forcing said flow? Essentially, Mojo working.

There must be a more reserved set of terms in play from the Land of the Rising Sun??? Idea
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Last edited by Jon Palombi on 2011-07-19, 02:25; edited 1 time in total
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J. Danza
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PostPosted: 2011-07-18, 19:35    Post subject: Monty's work Reply with quote

Thanks Brian Very Happy I did write a piece for a choir where they where all blowing on Coke bottles and hitting them with chopsticks while singing pygmy style Smile
Jon... Yes, I have a little collection of Quenas, and I like the Quenacho best, but I agree with you that nothing compares with the Shakuhachi. Funny enough, It was "Music for Zen Meditation" that turned me on to Shakuhachi also! I was playing electric guitar on a "Sex Pistols meets Stockhausen" crazy band, and ingesting a lot of mind altering substances, when I came upon this album (late seventies). I immediately called the Japanese Consulate and I asked them what the heck is Shakuhachi and where can I get one (living in Washington DC at the time)! They kindly responded with all the information needed. A few months later I had purchased my first flute and was traveling weekly almost two hours to my teacher, whose name I hate to say I don't remember, and further down the path I ended up in a "spiritual" community doing a year long retreat that changed my life. Later on I lived in Hawaii for a year and discovered the Bansuri, also through a Sachdev recording!
I lived both in India and Japan for years, and play also the Sitar and Bansuri, but nothing has taken the place of the Shakuhachi as my soul instrument, followed as a close second by the Djembe drum.
And yes, that Quena vibrato! If you take it out of context it sounds simply awful.

As far as Mojo and Juju... my understanding is that Juju refers to magic, while Mojo is more about power... Juju is sixth/seventh chakra juice and Mojo is first to third chakra juice.
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Toby
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PostPosted: 2011-08-11, 07:40    Post subject: Monty's work Reply with quote

Monty is a wonderful craftsman and also a talented innovator. I visited him at his home in Northern California a couple of years ago and was highly impressed with all his instruments.
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Lorka
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PostPosted: 2011-12-08, 19:54    Post subject: Monty's work Reply with quote

Came late to this post... (been away from forum for some time)...

That is a nice vintage restoration Pepe. Thanks for the pic. I have a similar one too from Monty and thought I would chime in with the Monty-praise. I will try post a pic some time. It looks sort of like yours, but possibly a darker tan (I got it from Gishin). It is from the mid 19th Century, but brought up to modern standards by Monty, while retaining an old sound. This strays into subjective territory, lord knows, but I consistently compare it against my modern 1.8, and the old one just has this different tone, despite being comformed to modern 1.8 standards. Could be in my head, but I don't think so.

Like you, my vintage restoration is fast becoming the main flute. Monty is indeed a treasure. His restoration jobs are only done on flutes of a high caliber to begin with. So you know you are getting something good when he is finished with it.

EDIT: I forget to ask... Pepe, does your vintage monty do muraiki easier than modern equivalent, and perhaps have a sweeter kan register? Just curious, as mine seems to.
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J. Danza
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PostPosted: 2011-12-08, 23:30    Post subject: Monty's work Reply with quote

Hello Lorka... the flute can take as much air as I can produce... beautiful Muraiki. I can't quite compare because I don't have a modern jiari of comparable quality, but I am waiting for Monty to finish the job on a gorgeous Gyokusui I purchased recently... then I will have ground for comparing. I'm looking forward to going to Kyoto for the Festival and trying many flutes, old and modern! I must confess that I always thought this vintage flute thing was a bit snobbish... my philosophy is you blow on what you got... it's the soul, not the object that counts... But after being lucky to get a hold of a couple of amazing vintage instruments, and having them fully brought back to their full power by Monty and/or Perry (both of whom I admire and love both as people and craftsmen) (Perry just did a truly amazing job on a couple of eBay scores that turned out to be treasures thanks to his artistry and dedication)... I understand the fascination and the value...
By the way... where are you in Canada?
Looking forward to seeing your flute picture...
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Lorka
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PostPosted: 2011-12-09, 20:40    Post subject: Monty's work Reply with quote

Hey Pepe, acutally we have spoken before a couple of years ago. I was the one you got the david brown 2.4 from. Which I hope is working out well for you still.

I just moved, so most things are in boxes, but I will take pics and post them for sure, along with comparison of modern 1.8.

As of now, I am in Gatineau, which is right by Ottawa. To my knowledge there are no other players here, though there may be some out there in Ottawa. If so, they have not identified themselves to the community.
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