Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Shakuhachi Beat group/community page now on Facebook!

After a shaky start as an "individual page" on Facebook, I created a new group/page and now you can post directly to Shakuhachi Beat as well as upload your own non-commercial shakuhachi-related photos and videos. So go to the link:

and click "LIKE" and you will be a Shakuhachi Beat member, content provider, creator and master-in-your-own-write.

Thank you and carry on.

— Chris Moran, the man beneath the basket

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Public Domain/Creative Commons Shakuhachi Honkyoku Part II

Links to topic threads on Flute Portal's shakuhachi site for some basic shakuhachi notation from the Taizan Ha tradition. We'll be posting some basic approaches and tips for Taizan Ha to help put the notation in to some context as a jumping off point for people who want to get their feet wet in shakuhachi honkokyu playing. This is not meant to supplant the need for a shakuhachi teacher. We encourage all people who seriously desire to study shakuhachi to find a qualified teacher. But this might give a few people the taste that they are looking for.

Hopefully it might eventually attract more people qualified to teach Taizan Ha music to the West to teach. And it is also meant to stimulate aspiring players to find the school of shakuhachi playing that they desire to learn. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Public Domain/Creative Commons Shakuhachi Honkyoku

There seems to be some question as to the rights of the scans I have linked to and I am exploring the validity of those claims based upon the fact that these identical scores were originally published in the middle 1930s and contained no copyright notice.

The protest to my link to the scans are based on the presumption that the scans were scanned from a 1972 artifact that did contain a copyright notice. Only the 1972 artifact (and thereafter) is copyrighted. The scans that I have linked to are taken from artifacts of the original 1930s printing that do not have a copyright notice.

Although I am confident that the person who has objected to the link is sincere in his/her desire to "preserve tradition," what we seem to have here is an attempt to suppress this notation using an appeal to authority based upon a copyright claim that did not exist on identical notation published approximately 40 years earlier.

I will revisit this at a later date after I consult with people directly associated with the school of music this notation originated from.

Shakuhachi Beat is now on Facebook. Get a Facebook account and search for Shakuhachi Beat.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Shakuhachi Forum un-plugged.

It's all over but the crying.

Thanks Ken and Brian for the past 6 years!

"We'll always have the BBQ. We didn't have it, we'd lost it until ..."

Monday, January 24, 2011

STAN: Little Bastard

My favorite modern band: STAN

Shakuhachi content: You can see shakuhachi hanging on the wall behind the vocalist.

"STAN is unusually productive, not unlike a thick bronchial condition."X. Moran

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bamboo grass & stars: A Shakuhachi Lesson with Walt Whitman

When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer

When I heard the learn'd astronomer;
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;
When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and
measure them;
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much
applause in the lecture-room,
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
Till rising and gliding out, I wander'd off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.

(Thank you my Chicago friends. —cm)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Another crashing bore on Shakuhachi Forum: Do materials affect sound?

"Don't look at my finger, look at where I am pointing..."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy New Year 2011: "May all beings ... be kind-of-okay"

After a year like 2010 you don't want to push your luck.

"May All Beings Be Happy" may be pushing it a bit.

2010 was one of the lousiest years in recent Shakuhachidom history if you don't look at things philosophically.

We lost friend, bamboo-pioneer and raconteur Tom Deaver at a young age.

Yokoyama Katsuya-sensei's health had been flagging for some years, but that didn't lessen the loss to Japanese music lovers and students when he passed from this Earth.

Dr. Tsuneko Tsukitani, professor at Osaka University of the Arts, Japan's leading expert on the shakuhachi, died of cancer, again too young.

Teacher/performer Phil 'Nyokai' James suffered a stroke which thank god didn't take him, but it certainly wrecked havoc in his life.

After a car jumped a curb and smashed into our dear Riley Lee, we're happy that he is is alive and healing, but he paid for it with a literal pound, or two, of flesh.

The news that Australian shakuhachi master Andrew McGregor is going into retirement is unhappy news indeed.

Many of us lesser mortals have had our fair share of challenges this year. Let's not even mention The Economy and the number of tragic disasters worldwide like the earthquake in Haiti and more tsunamis in Indonesia. But we'll stop with that and move on ...

Things to be grateful for:
, the web radio brainchild of musician/composer Michael Doherty was launched.

Kurahashi Yodo II, Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos and Michael Chikuzen Gould have been traveling about, performing, teaching and spreading shakuhachi good will. Kakizakai Kaoru-sensei, a "teachers' teacher" has been touring, teaching and performing. I was fortunate enough to take class with him this year in West Los Angeles. David Wheeler's Shakuhachi Camp of the Rockies had another great year by all accounts. Kiku Day finished her PhD. The European Shakuhachi Society has steadily grown. John Singer has been performing. Ronnie Nyogetsu Reishin Seldin, the Loving Spoonful-and-a-Half of Shakuhachidom, has been active and teaching.

(Many more positive advances from myriad players and performers and teachers — more than I can list.)

There have been very good benefit efforts by Phil Nyokai James' friends in the wake of his continuing recovery.

And the rest of Shakuhachi Forum seems to be getting along surprisingly well. Brian Tairaku Ritchie is in good humor and healing well from his multiple identity gymnastics this year — but I must admit that is the pot calling the kettle black from this multifaceted (some would say "two-faced")author.

Oh, and I would be remiss not to mention that Xorst Xenmeister has been seen and heard in hither and yon parts ... and that my favorite YouTube video group STAN has been unusually productive, kind of like a thick bronchial condition.

So from me to you, be as happy as you can or want to be this New Year of 2011.

I leave you now to reflect on an old Italian saying passed onto me by Father William J. Fulco, SJ from his mother who is ... an old Italian, of course:

"When you want to talk, shut up."

With fondness and due negligence,

— Chris M.

Post Script: Apparently I spoke too soon about people on Shakuhachi BBQ Forum getting along well. The Freaks Vs. Geeks Bore Wars are on again...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The øbject of my affection: a shakuhachi lesson with Don Van Vleit


you need that stink on there. then you have to get that stink onto your music.
Captain Beefheart

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A little Riley Lee music for his friends and family while he's recuperating

Riley with Jeff Peterson, Hawaiian Slack Key guitar performing Maika`i ka Makani O Kohala in the Atherton Studio at Hawaii Public Radio.This was during the taping of Kanikapila Sunday with Derrick Malama.

Riley Lee injured in traffic accident; hospitalized in Brisbane

Beloved shakuhachi player/teacher Riley Lee was hit and injured by a car Thursday Oct. 28 while walking near a major road in Brisbane Australia. He is currently hospitalized in Royal Brisbane Hospital with multiple broken bones and contusions according to his wife, Patricia.

Ronnie Nyogetsu Reishin Seldin of New York posted the news on Shakuhachi Forum (BBQ, whatever) on Friday Oct. 29:

For the record, I'll post Patricia Lee's emails:

> Date: Fri, 29 Oct 2010 07:23:11 +1100
   > To:
   > From:
  >Subject: Riley in Royal Brisbane Hospital

  > Just a quick note to update you:
 Yesterday (THU 28 OCT) afternoon, around 4pm Riley was walking along
 the footpath on a busy one way street in the middle of Brisbane. He
 was hit by a car which had mounted the curb.

I was informed of this by the police woman who rang me from the
 hospital on Riley's phone.

Riley had asked her to phone me and tell me what had happened. At
  that stage they thought he had a broken leg and maybe a broken nose.
 He was badly bruised, cut about and in pain but conscious waiting to
 be checked out by the doctors.

Subsequent phone calls with the hospital and the police woman gave me
 more info.

It appears it was quite a pile up with at least one car ploughing
  into the back of the car that hit Riley and causing its steering to
  lock and mount the pavement. The police woman said it was amazing
 that Riley was not killed.
 I spoke briefly with Riley later to reassure him that I had been in
 contact with everyone and that the rest of the taiko group had
 reorganised the show to go on without him.

At around midnight I got a report from the hospital that his left
 shoulder is broken but not too badly. They will probably put it in
 plaster. The worse pain is in his left knee where it seems the
 ligaments are torn on both sides of the knee cap. The orthopaedic
  surgeon felt he needed (no pun intended!) to operate. R is badly
 bruised and scrapped and in a lot of pain.

I will call the hospital soon but it seems he will have to stay there
 for a couple of days. Once I know he can be released from hospital I
 will fly up to Brisbane to bring him home.
  I will keep you posted when I know more.


Later, Patricia provided this update:

 I have just had a phone call from Graham, the TaikOz artistic
  director on this tour, who has been back and forth to the hospital checking on Riley. He says Riley's shakuhachi seem to have survived
 the impact unscathed but he didn't know if Riley had checked his
 computer...these were all in his back pack when the accident happened.

At this stage I only have the following info from Riley via text msg.
 I assume this is info he has received as a result of X-rays.
    His left arm is broken below the shoulder. Probably it will need a
 plate. His left knee is really messed up and will probably need reconstruction. There is another break near the ankle which will heal
 itself. It seems the operations will not happen until Monday. He is
 still waiting for an MRI. And finally his latest text msg says he has
 a burn on his left calf that will need a skin graft.

Shakuhachi Beat and it's extensive research, production and marketing staff send our concern and love to Riley and Patricia with best wishes for a good recuperation.