Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Nothing Extraordinary

There is something happening in my shakuhachi playing and practice that feels very good lately.  Playing and taking lessons with Chikuzen has, in one way, become very ordinary.  I don't mean that I see nothing special in it, but rather that this instrument and this music is less and less soemthing new and exotic that I am doing.  More and more it is a part of my life and the life of my family.  There is a comfort and familiarity that allows for a natural focus on what I am doing. 

Lessons of late have focussed on stability and range.  Michael has been helping me tweek the position of the shakuhachi on my chin so that I get a fuller tone and so higher notes (and meri's) done get caught on the blowing edge.  I am after drills and warm ups, I am focussing much of my playing on parts 1, 2, and 4 of Etenraku Celebration Melody.

I have also been spending some time on the porch in the early morning with my Shakuhachi Yuu, a tea and the birds.  I sit quietly with birds and my tea for a time,a nd them I play call and answer with the different birds in my neighbourhood.  I try to match them, or play off of them, responding to what they give me.  It is a beautiful practice that has me jumping all over the place on the instrument as new birds come and go.

I highly recommend it.

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