Saturday, September 28, 2013

Apples and Oranges

In a recent post by friend Perry Yung of Yung Flutes in NY on the differences between a modern instrument and older instruments made in the 19th century, I commented........

........modern and the older flute are different beasts all together and shouldn't be judged by the same standards.  Older shakuhachi have a very distinct character that simply wouldn't hold up to modern, ensemble playing.  Their purpose was to serve as a conduit for the player's spirit or essence to move into the universe.  They moved the player's center from being locked in their physical body to another place in a very conscious action.  They served as an expanding mechanism.  As such, standardization was less an issue than with modern instruments.   Modern shakuhachi are primarily designed to suit ensemble playing and to titillate the listener.  Any sort of spiritual connection and expansion comes by way of compositional constructs and not the instrument itself and isn't necessarily intended for the player, but rather the listener.

For me, the older flutes are a personal, romantic encounter with an expanded spirit.  Very much a time-travelling experience.  When I play them, I hear a distant voice calling….hello……are you there?

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