Changing the past of a flute to be precise. Not so long ago I have acquired a new old 1.8. My main flute is from a renowned maker Gyokusui and I am really fond of this instrument. As I understand they have made shakuhachi for three generations now starting with Gykosui Kono I. Now the 3rd generation is continuing the arts of the craft. His father and grandfather have died. Both can be seen on this picture.
They worked together on the flutes to make -for some- the best post WW-II flutes around. I haven't played that many flutes in general to say the same thing. But I know when I like a flute.
So a new old Gyokusui came along the way and I decided to give it a go. It is the flute picutered above. It played ok and evenly, but not with the magic feel I had with my main 1.8. It sounded a bit stuffy and some notes were to vague (like Ro). I've sended it for professional repairs, first at doubt if I should have let the past changed of this flute. What if it is me and I have to get to learn to play this flute correctly? Well I sended it and my observations were correct: the flute was as I described -so it wasn't my playing ....- The flute was even changed already before I had it. First it was bound for a serious crack. This was done very well so wasn't the culprit. The bore was changed in a way it wasn't made by Gyokusui. So I felt a lot better about restoring the flute to its more original state. I have to wait patiently for it to be restored. Restoring sound a lot better then repairing :) Lacquer had to cure and that takes time. But I have a feeling it is worth it.
Do I think flutes should be altered for the better? Not if they are original, rare and stand for a special era or historical maker. Those are little artifacts which I feel should be treated with respect. But many flutes do not fit into that category. If you own a flute you also can do to it whatever you like -even if it is rare- so it is al up to the owners of flutes to decide if a flute should be altered...or restored ha ha.