Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Shimura & Yomei's interviews

I found this part of Shimura Zenho's (along with Christopher Yomei's) interview quite interesting. It's in the 4th clip of 6 youtube clips. To translate roughly,

The interviewer: Is the muscle employed for jinashi playing quite different from the one you use for the jiari?

Shimura: When playing wind instruments we use muscles that are hardly observable from the outside. So we cannot really tell how muscles work for each type of the flute. But I've experienced this: A flute (jinashi) didn't sound well initially. But as I used it for a year, it started sounding well. In a few years, the tones that initially didn't come out easily became vibrant. As Chris said earlier, the shakuhachi - be it jiari or jinashi - can make beautiful tone colors. So if you listen to these two different types of shakuhachi on recordings, you may not notice the differences of sound. If you listen to them in a live setting, you may be able to notice the differences slightly. The differences can only be that much. However, those are the sounds heard as a product. In reality, the process of the player becoming able to make a jiari or jinashi sound must be different. I believe the instrument develops the player. Therefore, the body of a jinashi player is the one that was formed through the jinashi shakuhachi. A jiari player develops a body that plays jiari well. You cannot attain both. Of course, you can pursue both and ultimately achieve certain levels. But there are more contradictory things than commonalities [between playing jiari and playing jinashi]. That's how I feel.

The interviewer: So the body developed for each type is incomparable from each other...

Yomei: Shakuhachi, koto, shamisen, and other instruments necessitate the use of the body. Without being aware of the corporeal domain and able to handle the body well, you cannot play good music. Western instruments have developed in the way that they have been distanced from the body, like piano, and synthesizer in particular, you use your brain to make music. It's important to feel the instrument through the body. Jinashi is the one that you need to play with the body. It's as if you play through the air hole coming from the inside of the body.


Parts of Shimura and Yomei's performances are uploaded here (thanks Jeff for the links!):

If you read Japanese, here is the program of the event. (Pasted from http://asianimprov.at.webry.info/200910/article_1.html) The interviews were conducted prior to the concert.


1 呼竹 受竹 よびたけ うけたけ      志村禅保 クリストファー遙盟


2 明暗対山流本曲 瀧落 たきおち     志村禅保(照明作 三尺三寸地無し管)


3 琴古流本曲 瀧落の曲 たきおとしのきょく

            クリストファー遙盟(山口四郎作 一尺八寸地有り管)


4 琴古流本曲 鹿の遠音 しかのとおね     志村禅保 クリストファー遙盟


*** 15分の休憩 ***

5 胎蔵界 たいぞうかい    クリストファー遙盟 (山口秋月作 二尺九寸地無し管)


6 虚空 こくう 他  志村禅保(林虎月作 地無し古管「松風まつかぜ」、「虫の音」)


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