Thursday, July 22, 2010

"Buddy can you spare a shakuhachi?"

Part II in a continuing series of articles about shakuhachi and the enduring economic crisis

A few weeks ago I wrote an article about forward looking shakuhachi makers and dealers who were offering time payments on shakuhachi: Shakuhachi Prices: "Do you take unemployment checks?"

In the article I made special mention of the late Tom Deaver and his efforts to make Bei Shu shakuhachi available to customers the world over through time payments. Sadly with Tom now gone it is safe to say that no individual maker has a written policy in English on this practice if they do offer it.

In the past couple of days I noticed that Mejiro is offering time payments on shakuhachi for overseas customers. They have had an in-store policy for lay-away sales, but have never extended it to online overseas customers. Their no returns policy for their time payment plan might be reason for caution, but it does show some adaptation to the times in which we live.

As much of a pain in the ass it is to do bookkeeping on time-payments, and further complicating a maker's or dealer's life, having written and advertised payment plan policies only seems like good business sense for people who want to increase shakuhachi sales and cash flow.

It seems to be a preferable alternative to sitting on a lot of expensive inventory and hoping things wiil just "turn around."

Another thing I've noticed on Mejiro's site is that their recent additions of used shakuhachi seem to me starting at a prices about 10-percent lower than previously instruments of about the same grade. Just an observation, there, but something to ponder.

I don't think Darwin's theory ever actually said "only the strongest survive" but it most certainly explained that the most adaptable survive — and, in fact, thrive.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Shakuhachi Workshop with Peter Hill, July 25

Shakuhachi Workshop with Peter Hill
2:00 pm, Sunday, July 25
Media Center/Communication Bldg., UCSD

Peter Hill will be in San Diego the week of July 25 to 31 giving shakuhachi lessons and holding a workshop on the 25th.

Lessons will also be available during the week following the workshop.

Here's Peter's description of the workshop:

Most workshops and lessons on shakuhachi focus on learning traditional or modern pieces. This workshop will spend time on how to make every note one plays sound as good as possible, thus making the pieces sound as good as possible.

We will focus on three elements that are key to playing shakuhachi well:

1. How to make a good sound: embouchure and breath control.

2. How to make the traditional pieces sound authentic:what are the various aspects of the Japanese musical aesthetic; how does one produce them with the shakuhachi.

3. How to make the flute sing, that is how to play the shakuhachi musically.


This is a workshop that will be of value to all students, from beginner to advanced.

Lessons are $50. The workshop is $25.

For details and to schedule a lesson, contact:
Bruce Jones