I have been playing shakuhachi since 2010. I first got started when I heard this beautiful and unique sound. I listened to many pieces of Japanese music, and each time I heard this foregin instrument, I wanted to know what it was and more about it. I did research and found out it was the shakuhachi.
Later, I met a friend on Youtube, who had bought a shakuhachi from a flutemaker named Perry Yung. I checked out Mr. Yung and was amazed at all the sounds that was coming from a single piece of bamboo with five holes.. From that point on, I wanted to play the shakuhachi. I wasn't sure if I would even be able to blow into it. Until that day came, I experimented with other cheap flutes.
The first flute I had was a side-blown wooden flute. I could get a few sounds out of it, but I could only go but so far due to how it was so poorly made. I practiced with it, anyway, every morning before my ninjutsu training. People really liked what I was playing at that time. But while I was playing that flute, somewhere in the back of my mind, I dreamed of having a real shakuhachi.
Six months later, I had gotten a second flute. This one looked more like a shakuhachi, but it wasn't. I did not find this out until much later. The utaguchi of this flute was very narrow in size, so it made it difficult to blow into it. For days, I couldn't make a single note. Frustrated, yet determined, I kept trying. One day, I was able to make sounds. When I started playing songs, people would say how nice the melodies were.
Finally, after what seemed to be years of waiting, I was able to be in a position to get a real genuine shakuhachi from Mr. Perry Yung. When it arrived, I was awestruck of the craftsmanship. I took it out of its bag and tried to play it. At first, I could not get a single tone. Somehow, 20 seconds later, I was able to get some notes, not only that, I was playing songs. It felt like a miracle, a dream come true.
For eleven months, after that fateful day, I was self-taught. I was able to read shakuhachi notation from a book that came with my first shakuhachi, but the problem was I could not read and play at the same time due to my visual impaiment. So, I would read a phrase, play it over and over until it got stuck into my head, go to the next phrase of music, rinse and repeat, until I had learned the entire song. If there were no shakuhachi sheet music, I would listen to professional and master shakuhachi players and then play by ear. I would listen to other instruments as well and try to find those same notes on the bamboo flute.
On March of 2011, I began to study under my teacher, Perry Yung, with online mp3 lessons. When I am not studying with Perry, I continue to learn by ear, do improvisations and read notation, using the method I previously mentioned.
The shakuhachi has taken me to heights that I never thought I could reach. I now play other exotic instruments such as the Xiao (Chinese vertical bamboo flute), Shinobue (Japanese transverse flute), bamboo saxaphone, didgeridoo, and other exotic flutes. I also make and produce my own music by using other synthesizers combined with my other instruments. I'm always trying to come up with new ideas and learning new things along the way.
I've also had the honor and opportunity to collaborate with a foreign film director and a composer to make music for their Sci Fi movie entitled "Penthesilea", and I've worked with great musicians and artists on Youtube. It's awesome to be able to connect with these people and to share our work with others.
Other Things About Me
I am also a martial artist, currently in the Bujinkan. My goal is to become an instructor in ninjutsu so that I could one day teach and help others. I am a poet and an artist. I enjoy drawing and painting nature and landscapes. My inspiration came from Bob Ross.
Comments by Flute Ninja 笛忍者
@jeremy-lumb: Thank you!
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Wow, amazing work! very unique.
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@billy-dragon: Thanks, man! Glad you enjoyed it.
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