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Hello from Cairns, Australia!

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Joined: 07 May 2011
Posts: 1
Localisation: Cairns, Australia

PostPosted: 2011-05-07, 06:05    Post subject: Hello from Cairns, Australia! Reply with quote

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I've been reading this forum (and the earlier shakuhachiforum) for a bit and thought I should introduce myself finally.

I'm about a month into my shakuhachi experience. Professionally I am a classroom music and Japanese teacher, so I decided to find away to combine the two areas instrumentally. I was flip-flopping between shamisen and shakuhachi, but the area I live in is very hot and humid for much of the year and I figured the shamisen might not be as hardy as the shaku. Also, I saw a presentation by Dr Koji Matsunobu last year on world music in the classroom and he did some demonstration with the shakuhachi.

I picked up a maple wood 1.8 Tozan-ryu from Meijiro during a trip to Japan last month along with some of the standard guides, and have been trying to play every day for at least 30 minutes. I've found that years of vocal training has helped a bit with controlling air flow, but it's been over 10 years since I've played a wind or brass instrument, so my lips are taking a beating. Wink

I'm still just trying to produce a nice tone at different dynamics on each different note at the moment. I haven't been able to find a teacher up here, but I know there are some a few hours flight away. I figure I'll try to get some basics of tone production mastered (I have the Blasdel & Neptune books, along with a copy of Zenyoji's 初めての尺八 with the translation Meijro sell) and then organise some lesson time during a vacation period.

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Joined: 22 Mar 2011
Posts: 103
Localisation: ny usa

PostPosted: 2011-05-07, 15:21    Post subject: Hello from Cairns, Australia! Reply with quote

Hi birusensie, No teacher within an easy commute is a common dilemma among shakuhachi students. A growing number of shakuhachi teachers have begun offering remote lessons via Skype. I put together a web-page that lists teachers offering Skype lessons in the links section. The website is

Like you, I had some voice training and thought it helped a lot. Maybe not so much that every shakuhachi student should pursue voice lessons, but I found the voice lessons beneficial in respect to both breath control and ear training and I'd recommend voice lessons to any instrumentalist if they could find the time.

As far as trying to produce a nice tone at different dynamics, I'm not sure if that is something shakuhachi players ever stop practicing, it seems like you can always get it better. It's what I love most about shakuhachi.
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie


Joined: 18 Mar 2011
Posts: 635
Localisation: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

PostPosted: 2011-05-07, 23:36    Post subject: Hello from Cairns, Australia! Reply with quote

Welcome Biru, nice to see more Aussies on board. You might want to consider attending the Australian Shakuhachi Society Festival in Sept-Oct. There will be classes for beginners.
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Koji Matsunobu


Joined: 28 Mar 2011
Posts: 13
Localisation: Brisbane

PostPosted: 2011-05-23, 08:27    Post subject: Hello from Cairns, Australia! Reply with quote

Hi Birusensei,

Were you the person I met in Julie's class last year? If so, sorry that we couldn't talk much after the class. But it's great to see you here. (If not, which class/workshop did you find me playing the shaku? Was it in the world music course?)

We just had a lunchtime concert at UQ last week with two shaku players from Brisbane (Carl and Shigeru). It must have been great to have you with us.

JetStar flights often drop me off in Cairs on the way to/back from Japan. Hopefully I will see you in Cairs or back in Brisbane.

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