Posts Tagged ‘shakuhachi’

Flautist Again

2012年 8月 1日

My father-in-law has two main hobbies: one is pottery and the other is playing the shakuhachi (尺八). Almost exactly four years ago he started teaching me how to play. Almost exactly three years ago I was hit by a car while cycling. One of the saddest parts of that was how it knocked a lot of the creativity and inspiration out of me. After that I put the instrument down for a long time and took care of other, less creative things; however, this week – mostly thanks to my kitten – the shakuhachi is back in my hands.

Monday I made sure I could still make sounds and then practiced the basic notes. Tuesday I ran through several fingering exercises and played one song. Today I practiced all the fingering exercises and played a couple songs. Running out of breath and getting dizzy is the most significant trouble right now. One small problem is that my soul patch is too bushy and makes it hard to keep the instrument in the right location. Judicious use of scissors will correct the small problem. Hopefully daily practice will correct the other.

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Mister Potter

2009年 8月 29日

My father-in-law has two primary hobbies and a strong personality; which adds up to me having two new hobbies (being a weak-willed individual, and all). Playing shakuhachi (尺八), a traditional bamboo flute, is already being drilled into me; however, the other hobby, pottery, has been put off many times until today.

We have enjoyed many conversations about pottery, particularly history and appreciation, and we spent a day together feeding the kiln in May. Actually putting clay in my hands and making something requires a block of time when we are both free, which was the largest hurdle. On a few occasions we had enough time, but I was exhausted from other activities, or he wanted me to record English lessons, or such.

Today I – and by “I” I mean “we” – made two good works and one cracked work. First we made a left-handed cup for drinking shochu (焼酎) and then a rice bowl (茶碗) which can also be used for drinking thick tea. I wish I had my camera handy to photo the raw works; however, they will be drying for at least five days before we even think about firing them, so maybe I can swing by and shoot a photo.

We won’t be firing these in the wood-fired kiln, but rather they will be dipped in glaze and fired in a gas or electric kiln. Hopefully they don’t explode so I can show you some “Japanese” works.