I interviewed Araki Kodo VI, a.k.a. Hanz Araki or Hanz Araki-Campbell. I really think I managed to get a fascinating glimpse into the world of an amazing shakuhachi legacy in modern times with a cross-cultural twist because of the honesty and openness of Hanz. It was a touching narrative about the transmission of shakuhachi music, culture and art from father to son. We also spoke about how it was to enter such a stronghold of traditional music as “half Japanese”. I hope many will watch because it is really an insider story most fo us rarely can access. Grateful to Hanz sharing his amazing story! (please subscribe to my YouTube channel)!
This is an interview with Professor in Buddhist Studies Max Deeg. Professor Max Deeg deconstruct the tale of the Fuke sect in his article from 2007: “Komusō and “Shakuhachi-Zen”: From Historical Legitimation to the Spiritualisation of a Buddhist denomination in the Edo Period”. The conversation on this video is based on this article and Professor Deeg explains the historical sources that shows the Fuke Sect came about much later than most of us shakuhachi players are told. We speak about the political and cultural environment during the time of the komusō. • Please subscribe to my YouTube channel with conversations with shakuhachi scholars and performers. • The article by Professor Deeg can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/v2me8m4p
Kodama Hiroyuki is a great jinashi shakuhachi player. He is a student of Okuda Atsuya and my senpai. He studied jinashi shakuhachi making with Okuda and Murai Eigoro, and today is one of the key makers of this style of shakuhachi. In this video he will take you through the basic jinashi shakuhachi making process. Although a short film cannot show all the detailed and delicate parts of the making prcess, requiring a great deal of intuition, you can clearly get a sense of how someone as experienced as Kodama works with the bamboo in dialogue and respect. It is also easy to feel his spirit and approach to life as well as bamboo and nature.
The shakuhachi history is a mystery! There are many unknown areas. It is therefore interesting to hear from researchers with various approaches. Here is the shakuhachi history seen through paintings. It is a relaxed conversations with IZUMI Takeo, professor emeritus with many wonderful paintings of shakuhachi playing people from the Middle Ages to the Edo period. Izumi explains what can clearly be seen when following the changes of paintings of komosō and komusō. He also talks about a mysterious person… 2 editing mistakes: • 00:40 IZUMI Takeo is a curator emeritus at Kyoto National Museum and not an honorary librarian. • 24:43 Izumi speaks about komosō but in the subtitles it is written komusō. FCPX could not handle macrons so the subtitles are without macrons unfortunately.
I have started a new video series about the shakuhachi. I will do interviews with players from whom we can learn about the shakuhachi with all its variations of approach of history, repertoire etc. The first video in the series is an interview with the heir of Ueda Ryū, Tanabe Houei. A written version of the interview was published in the latest ESS Newsletter Autumn/Winter 2020. You can find the NL on the ESS website, which can be found here. To me, the shakuhachi players in Japan have their own stories to share! So it is so much better to hear from themselves how they see the history they are placed within and the future. I am happy to begin with Ueda Ryū. And please do follow me on YouTube!
My next activity: Performance on 10 Dec (7-8pm UK time) & Discussion on 11 Dec (3-5pm UK Time): Performing and speaking at “New Creativity in the UK’s East Asian Music Scene: A Symposium” Calling all artists, academics and audiences interested in transnational East Asian culture!Join us for a series of performances and conversations exploring how artists are creating and translating East Asian identities in the UK today. Featuring Hyelim Kim, Kiku Day, An-Ting Chang, David Tse Ka-Shing, Alex Ho, Reylon Yount, Naomi Woo & Youngsook Choi. Co-presented by Tangram x SOAS. 10 Dec (7-8pm) & 11 Dec (3-5pm). Free. RSVP here: https://tinyurl.com/tgrmsoas