vrijdag 20 januari 2012

For sale 2.0 Jiari Shakuhachi

Sold: a 2.0 Jiari Shakuhachi by maker 'Radou'.
Hanko 'Radou'
The specifications:

2.0 jiari
36mm O.D. / 22mm I.D.
Length: 635mm
Weight: 495 gms
Key: C438hz
Maker: Radou

Details: This is a well-made choukan probably near WWII vintage with a kinko style buffalo horn utaguchi  inlay and urushi nakatsugi rings. Because of its overlength by 9 bu from the ideal 2.0 size, it plays slightly flat of C 440 but is well in tune with itself. As seen in the above picture, there was a crack running down the back side from the utaguchi, but repaired with staples, rattan binding and urushi. I doesn't seem to have run through the bore. As you can see, the staples is an old way of binding cracks. the crack has been stable for a long time and doesn't affect playing.
This choukan has an expressive and full tone. Very playable.


and a video:

The binded crack with staples and rattan, urushi finish

Utaguchi and blowing end

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)

woensdag 31 augustus 2011

Prague Shakuhachi Festival 2011

Here is the first of some more posts about this festival. They are not all about the festival, but are all related to my experiences there about different shakuhachi related topics! First some pictures of Prague and the festival itself to feel some of how it was. It was marvelous by the way. I have enjoyed it a lot. The city is lovely, the venue very nice and the people...Well see for your self.

Ro Buki

Class setting with Christopher Blasdel

Tea time

The famous bridge

Student Concert, Jim Franklin's piece "Dawn"

Sakai Shyodo and others listening to students performing

zaterdag 20 augustus 2011

zondag 14 augustus 2011

Workshop with Justin Senryu

Playing the piece

A few weeks ago I attended a very nice workshop with the friendly shakuhachi master: Justin Senryu.
The workshop was held in Leiden at Kees Kort's his house and was well attended. We studie two different but nice pieces: Shizu and Fudaiken Shirabe there. 
Listening to the explanations

Justin is and was travelling around Europe to visit several places. He is also going to the Shakuhachi camp end of August in Prague. There I will go as well to play some more and meet other shakuhachionado's.

woensdag 10 augustus 2011


I have taking up my other interest more then shakuhachi lately which is painting. A while ago I posted my first self portrait. Now I have a site dedicated to the painting I do. It is mostly in oils. Just as with the shakuhachi, painting is a journey into unknown territory. Everytime you seem to learn something else, something new. Sometimes you make nice paintings and other times it won't work. See the similarity with playing the flute? I do, and that's what makes it interesting too! In both there is a thing of beauty or soul which is hard to grasp or understand in a rational manner. It is a thing which can only be sensed or experienced. See more of my works at www.basnijenhuis.com which is the site I mentioned.