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New (old) Shakuhachi recording
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J. Danza
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PostPosted: 2011-10-13, 21:46    Post subject: New (old) Shakuhachi recording Reply with quote

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Just scored a real find on eBay... a Showa period flute (about eighty years old). I didn't even expect it to play but when I put my mouth to it this incredible and silky sound came out of it totally effortlessly. Now I know why some players rave about these old flutes! At this point some notes are hard to get and Meris are very difficult or sometimes non existent, but after a trip to Perry this flute may become my main instrument!
Here is a late night improvisation on it.

<span>First thought... Old flute. by jdanza</span>
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2011-10-13, 23:26    Post subject: New (old) Shakuhachi recording Reply with quote

Sounds good. Is it a Kinko, Tozan or Myoan flute? Sounds like Kinko.
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Jon Palombi
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PostPosted: 2011-10-14, 00:19    Post subject: New (old) Shakuhachi recording Reply with quote

That's just awesome, Pepe! I can hear why you express that it sounds "silky". A warm, hollow, almost fuzzy and most organic tone to it. Congrats! BTW, your improv was wonderful, as usual. It really took me out... or did it take me in? Either direction it took me, it was a very good way to travel (but of course). Sweet sounds, man. Okay
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J. Danza
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PostPosted: 2011-10-14, 03:55    Post subject: New (old) Shakuhachi recording Reply with quote

Thanks guys!... I'm in love :-)
I think it is Tozan, shapewise any way, but it's the weirdest utaguchi I've seen. Let's see if I can post a photo... here I go...



and

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Kiku Day
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PostPosted: 2011-10-14, 04:49    Post subject: New (old) Shakuhachi recording Reply with quote

Sweet!!!!
A close-up of the utaguchi.... perhaps ??? Smile
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2011-10-14, 05:36    Post subject: New (old) Shakuhachi recording Reply with quote

Looks like it's a Myoan flute with an utaguchi that has been damaged and repaired in a strange way.
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J. Danza
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PostPosted: 2011-10-14, 05:47    Post subject: New (old) Shakuhachi recording Reply with quote

Two more shots of the utaguchi. If you click on it they come up big... Any ideas or info are welcome!





Hey Kiku! I'm coming to London soon! I'll send you a message with details on FB... would love to share a tea and maybe some playing...
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2011-10-14, 06:43    Post subject: New (old) Shakuhachi recording Reply with quote

Is it jinashi?
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J. Danza
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PostPosted: 2011-10-14, 10:43    Post subject: New (old) Shakuhachi recording Reply with quote

Well... the inside is definitely shiny... but the presence of urushi does not necessarily make it jiari, right?... in other words... we'll have to wait on Perry's word Neutral
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Kiku Day
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PostPosted: 2011-10-14, 11:33    Post subject: New (old) Shakuhachi recording Reply with quote

Pepe, let me know well in advance when you are going to be in London as I am only there once a month at the moment... Would LOVE to meet up for both tea and a play! The utaguchi is very interesting looking!
Looking forward to perhaps seeing it in real life!
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Perry Yung
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PostPosted: 2011-10-14, 13:23    Post subject: New (old) Shakuhachi recording Reply with quote

J. Danza wrote:
Well... the inside is definitely shiny... but the presence of urushi does not necessarily make it jiari, right?... in other words... we'll have to wait on Perry's word Neutral


Hey Pepe, Congrats on the score! Great improv. I think Brian is right. The utaguchi looks like it was done by someone other than the maker long after the flute was first made. Not sure if it was done according to any Ryu style. It looks like the original was damaged or deteriorated so a wider inlay had to be inserted to cover from edge to edge. Most old flutes usually had a very narrow width on the utaguchi inlay. Of course this is all just an educated guess. Smile
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garyc
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PostPosted: 2011-10-14, 16:42    Post subject: New (old) Shakuhachi recording Reply with quote

Great improve by the way, really enjoyed listening to it!
It looks like the inserted blowing edge is an inverted triangle with two almost straight edges which is different from my limited experience, all I've seen present a rounded edge to the embouchure. Could this be the source of the mellow feel? I've Looked at the spectrum, lots of harmonics in the Ro buzzing around which is audible, but the rest look like very pure tones not a lot of overtones mixed in. Probably the skill of the player has a lot to do with it!

Shakuhachi never fails to fascinate.

Might have to give the inverted triangle shape a try on my next one to see what happens, anyone seen this shape before from this period or any period other?

Maybe it just a unique ware pattern from lots of use, which means it was a well liked and well played. Glad it has a good home.
But this would mean I have 80+ years of "Utaguchi tuning" ahead of me to replicate it .....
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J. Danza
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PostPosted: 2011-10-14, 20:33    Post subject: New (old) Shakuhachi recording Reply with quote

Wow! That's very interesting, Gary... and it totally echoes my experience. All my flutes have this rich and complex tone but this one seems to have a purity I haven't experienced before. It would be indeed hilarious if it had to do with the utaguchi. It's the ugliest thing I've ever seen! Of course, at this point it has serious limitations... tsu meri is close to impossible, u meri very difficult, and of course, chi is tuned pretty well to A sharp. However, the instrument has such an energy that the other day I got lost in playing and totally missed breakfast.
Perry, the flute is off to you on Monday by courier so you should be getting it by Tuesday.
Will keep you all posted on the saga Smile
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Jon Palombi
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PostPosted: 2011-10-18, 02:13    Post subject: New (old) Shakuhachi recording Reply with quote

Wow Pepe,

I can't wait to see what Perry does to tune-up and revamp this old, sage warrior. How is it that some instruments appear to have more substance or perhaps character and that indescribable... spiritual essence about them? Perry is rebuilding the utaguchi and/or anything else expected from his examination? Some spot-tuning and other subtle modifications in the mix? I bet you're gonna be thrilled with the results!

BTW, are you opting for a simple applied bamboo utaguchi (replacing the old repair), or do you want to have the inlaid bamboo, in turn, inlaid with horn or something ultra-fancy? If so, Kinko or Tozan inlay style? It does seem to cry out for a wide and oh-so-bold Tozan inlay.

Also, as Gary pointed out, is it possible the straight-ish lines of the blowing edge are responsible for the mysterious "purity"? While I am this erudite shakuhachi forum's proverbial village idiot, I suspect it may have more to do with the way the bore was carefully crafted, than the shape and cutting-edge of the utaguchi. Reasonable assumption or not?

As fellow member Kerry emphatically states, "The sonic and timbre qualities of any particular shakuhachi are totally and unequivocally resultant from the shape and texture of the bore of the particular shakuhachi."

Ciao, Jon
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J. Danza
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PostPosted: 2011-10-18, 07:35    Post subject: New (old) Shakuhachi recording Reply with quote

Hello Jon
Perry should be getting it tomorrow and then we'll discuss the best way to proceed. I totally trust his experienced instincts. I would, however, be afraid of changing anything in the utuaguchi, unless Perry highly recommends it. I'd love it if Perry could bring the flute to it's maximum quality capacity while changing as little as possible. From my limited experience, tiny adjustments in the bore may be all that's needed, but again, making and repairing are not at all my departments... my available time is fully dedicated to perfecting my playing! If all I was doing was Shakuhachi I would dearly love to have the experience of making and repairing my own instruments, but between teaching drumming and Shak., doing professional studio work, teaching and practicing Yoga, playing/rehearsing with different bands and singers, organizing, promoting and playing my own concerts, touring, and recording/producing/releasing my own albums, my hands are joyfully full... I'll leave the repair to masters such as Perry and Monty...
I'll keep you posted and post another improv. when the flute returns... hopefully with nice and clear meris Smile
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