“They get too close to the horn with the mikes and don’t give the sound time to travel as they should. Consequently, they don’t get enough of the real timbre and they miss the whole body of the sound. They get the inside of it but not the outside as well.”
John Coltrane

Coltrane - The Story of a Sound

Wish: Shakuhachi

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My wish it to be able to order a custom made Jinashi flute from Monty – a flute that is harvested and made for me and with me in mind.

This picture is not of a Jinashi flute – but it is a beautiful one : )

I have been spending time with one of Monty Levenson’s meditation Shakuhachi for the past few months.I am enjoying it greatly – mostly because I don’t ‘know’ what I am doing. I can only respond to the instrument, my interests, sounds, air flow, sensations, images (actually quite a lot going on).

The meditation Shakuhachi is a basic (and low cost) instrument. It’s pitch accuracy is not that great, it’s responsiveness is limited and I feel these things. I have a wish to play a quality Shakuhachi – kind of like dancing with a more responsive dance partner – one that both reacts and demands.

I have learned that there are Jiari and Jinashi Shakuhachi. Ji is a filler material that is used to reshape the bore of the instrument in the tuning process. Jiari flutes are flutes in which Ji is generously used (as needed) to tune the instrument. Jinashi flutes are tuned with little-to-no Ji. One idea I encountered about the difference between the two (though I don’t know of it is true) is that Jiari flutes are tuned to a scale. Jinashi flutes are tuned to themselves. A hollowed bamboo Shakuhachi has a natural base tone. The tuning of the plute is achieved by placement of holes and bore structure. Jinashi flutes are tuned to their base tone making them an instrument suitable for solo playing  (they are not tuned to a scale that can be shared with other instruments). I like this idea, it resonates nicely with me.

…more about my wishing and wishes

Updated 30/4/2009: I can now be more specific – my wish is for a 2.3/2.4 length Jinashi Shakuhachi – with a sound that something like this

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