Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Maybe an audio clip of Swanee River WON'T help you sell a shakuhachi


This Ryozan 1.8 flute, which sounds quite capable with "so-so" looks has been on Mejiro's used website for a year or more; price reduced from about 130,000-Yen to below 90,000-Yen, etc. etc. They just can't seem to move it.

The sound clip is Stephen Foster's black-face minstrel song Old Folks at Home (better known as 'Swanee River').

http://www.mejiro-japan.com/system/detail_e.php?a_id=1758

Maybe this song, advertised as an "Ethiopian Melody" when it was published in 1851, is just not the image best associated with a mystical zen Kinko shakuhachi?

~1st verse~
Way down upon de Swanee ribber (river)
Far, far away,
Dere's wha my heart is turning ebber,
Dere's wha de old folks stay.

All up and down de whole creation
Sadly I roam,
Still longing for de old plantation
And for de old folks at home.

~Chorus~
All de world am sad and dreary,
Ebry where I roam,
Oh! darkies how my heart grows weary,
Far from de old folks at home.

(Although this song may sometimes be performed with "modern" lyrics that some claim to be more sensitive racially, the song's original lyrics, included here, had been adopted officially as the lyrics of Florida's state song. — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Folks_at_Home)

5 comments:

Nicholas Hall said...

Fortunately the flute was still around when I got to the store. Absolutely great flute! Think I'm going to be playing this flute for years to come. (^o^)v

Just thought you might of wanted to know.

Chris Moran said...

That's great Nicholas! You can't beat a good shakuhachi for a grand and change. Ryozan is a good maker.

Would you tell those guys over there at Mejiro that I'll take my commission as a good healthy portion of Fugu sashimi, please?

Chris Moran said...

Hey, Nich -- Mejiro still has "your" flute up on their web page! What gives, my brother? You pulling my shakuhachi?

Nicholas Hall said...

Sorry I haven't been able to reply, been away from the computer lately. And blogger doesn't seem to notify me when I have a message... probably me not setting up something right.

Does still seem to be up on their page but I'm not too sure why... I might send them an email sometime soon. (I'll notify them of the fugu lol)

Well I assure I have the flute (^o^;). Because I will be performing with it for my University group on the 2nd of October! (^-^)v

Really loving the flute though! Has a very sweet sound.

Nicholas Hall said...

Sorry for the late reply, I haven't been around a computer for a while and blogger doesn't seem to tell me when I have a message. Probably my fault.

The flute does still seem to be on their webpage. I might send them an email sometime if it doesn't come down. I'll mention the fugu as well lol.(^o^;)

But rest assured the shak is in my hands and will be performing with my university group on the 2nd of October! (^-^)v