Black Earth Shakuhachi School
21st Century Watazumido
“Going For It” on Jinashi Shakuhachi Zen Buddhist Music: it is what it is. 地無し尺八
Gnarly Honkyoku is a series started within Black Earth Shakuhachi School (Watazumido and Eric Dolphy dual lineage) that emphasizes the dynamism, musicality and breath demands of this Japanese Zen Buddhist solo repertoire. Too often as musicians and practitioners, we allow the very loftiness of our highest goals to induce a kind of creativity paralysis — we believe that we MUST practice over and over until it is “right;” but this very refinement practice can sometimes cut both ways.
Gnarly Honkyoku casts aside any overly polished ethos, not out of irreverence, but instead taking a side alley to celebrate spontaneity, levity, aliveness and “going for it” — even while maintaining a lifelong dedicated practice and commitment to evolution, cultivation, transformation and high artistic standards.
This is the method:
1 – take a piece of honkyoku that is at a medium or high difficulty level for wherever you are at in your shakuhachi path, maybe one not practiced recently
2 – pick a flute that may or may not be one that you have practiced the piece on very much — or at all
3 – set up your camera and really go for it! one take, “warts and all” — post to YouTube with no further fixins, reverb, hesitation or clean-up. Living Music. It may not be our best, but it is true for now.
Watazumi pointed us towards discovery of ourselves and nature by engaging the bamboo with full energy, full awareness, full aliveness. Let’s keep the dynamism alive.
“I am committed to woodwind performance as a living art form in collaboration with the natural material, with plant consciousness. Because of this, I only play on jinashi or 100% bamboo, unlacquered shakuhachi, hotchiku and Taimu flutes.” 深竹道
2. INFORMAL•NORTH AMERICAN
difficult, dangerous, or challenging.
“she battled through the gnarly first sequence”
3. unpleasant or unattractive.
“train stations can be pretty gnarly places”
4. slang term for something extreme. Used in bad and good cases.
Originated from the word gnarled.