This week I was very disappointed to find that the primary shakuhachi forum on the internet has been closed.
It was run by pair of players which included Brian Ritchie, the base player of the Violent Femmes. The really disappointing part of it is that it shut suddenly. There was no warning, no discussion, and no opportunity for others to step up and take over the site. The originators had tired of it, so it was closed.
Something new will come along, but without the open forum to aid in planning and discussion, it will have to emerge from ashes.
The shakuhachi community is an amazing thing. As a novice player, I am certainly not an authority on this community, but here is what I do know:
-Compared to other instruments in the world, there really are not a lot of shakuhachi players.
-the shakuhachi community is spread out. Without avenues ont he internet there will no longer be a true sense of a global shakuhachi community.
-when people search out new things, they often turn to the internet, and there were new members to this forum every week.
In my brief time in this endeavour, I have been able to converse with, and seek advice from players from around the world. I have spoken to beginners and masters alike. Heck, my teacher lives 4.5 hours away by car! Thank goodness for Skype.
Now I know the forum was not perfect. There were fruitless veins that had to be closed within it, and just because a person starts something, they are not automatically obligated to keep it going, but Shakuhachi BBQ was a beautiful thing, and it seems like it could have been set free rather than killed.