woensdag 28 september 2011


I want to talk a little about relaxation. During the shakuhachi event in Prague, one 'class' was about relaxing, which was given by Christopher Blasdel. Het talked about it and we did excercises to become more relaxed. Some where based on Aikido I believe. I sometimes feel it is quite difficult to relax most of your muscles and use the one you need for playing. Your body has so many things going on at the same time, they can be hard to notice. Some reactions seem te be more under unconscious control. Like tensing up the shoulders or muscles in your face like the jaw. It can become a conditioned state. I notice when I am focussed that my jaw seems to tense a bit automaticly. So asking yourself about your state and be present during playing (or anything you do) makes me aware of the state of your body and relaxation. I feel the latter is quite important in getting a good sound and nice playing. But how hard it can be to change it! Relaxing on command is difficult. I feel a more gentle approach might be better for it. And playing Ro, that is a good way to sense the body and let some unneccesary tensions go. How relaxed do you play the flute? (or 'play' life?)

dinsdag 6 september 2011


In the Shakuhachi student concert in Prague I signed up for a solo piece (Tamuke). I have performed before on other instruments and with singing. This was not the case with the shakuhachi. So the "head has been chopped off", so to speak. I was rather nervous in the beginning and didn't loose all of that during playing. I think it is a good experience to do so and to practice playing like this. I had signed up quite early and with some anticipation I listened and watched differently performing the pro's on the concerts held each evening. When paying close attention even they are a bit nervous from the start or just before that. After they started performing, nothing was felt of it anymore though. I haven't asked though, but think this feeling prior to performing is quite normal. My admiration for performing itself grew with this experience. I think the best way to go from the first performance is to do another like it someday and get more used to perform for a larger audience. See below for a compilation of some pictures taken from my performance mixed with images from Prague and the festival itself. The recording is of my performance. (Thanks to Hélène and Ella for the footage)