Time passes

2006_06_26_22-38-55-987_n0.large.jpeg I miss my dad. Father’s day was very, very…. sobering. Only seven years
ago did I join my dad on the honored end of Father’s Day. Now it’s having
Father’s Day without a father to call and talk to. My boys and my wife
sure made me feel special that day though.

My parents bought me a shakuhachi for Christmas this past year. Yes,
they too thought I had taken leave of my senses. I never got a chance to
show my dad that I could in fact play something that didn’t move the
table across the floor (I play drums) and keyboard (organ mainly). I’ve
been poking at it on my own now since Christmas. For those who don’t
know, a shakuhachi is a traditional Japanese bamboo flute. Nice part
about this
is that it is made of PVC rather than bamboo. The tone is quite
nice, but the PVC makes it cheaper and a lot more resistant to drying
and splitting in this dry climate in Calgary.

It’s a very pure, solitary instrument in sound, and it has been a goal
of mine to be able to play it since I visited Japan in 1991. Thanks to a
mic, GarageBand and some practice, I’ve eked out a very simple recording
of me pretty much “hacking” on the shakuhachi. It’s not a great demo of
the instrument, but I’ve recorded it for posterity, and to at least show
my mom that the gift is being used and was well received. Thanks Mom! It
might sound a bit contrived and there’s parts where my tone and control
show “rookie” in flashing lights, but I’m happy with more than a few
portions. If you’re curious how it really sounds, iTunes
has a whack of Shakuhachi music by professionals. One good disc would be
the Japanese
Masterpieces for the Shakuhachi
Various Artists - Japanese Masterpieces for the Shakuhachi

All that warning and diversions aside, I’ve got the AAC
(3.8 MB) of my little experiment
. I’ll post more as I get better,
but please send me your impressions on the email chain at “dallas (at)
hockley . ca”. Minus the spaces and filling in the at sign as needed. ;-)

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