Session 1.109h15 – 10h30Christopher Yohmei Blasdel – posture, embouchure and your first sounds
Session 1.210h45 – 12h00Christopher Yohmei Blasdel –  breath exercises and musical phrasing
Session 1.313h00 – 13h45Kiku Day – Practice meri and kari
Session 1.414h00 – 15h15Kiku Day – Playing Hifumi-chō (Zensabo) using the meri and kari
Times are in Central European Time (CET)


Christopher Yohmei Blasdel – Shakuhachi Basics and the Breath

Session I: The Basics — posture, embouchure and your first (and subsequent) sounds
This workshop will focus on (but not limited to) the beginner player and will consist of an introduction to the basics: how to hold the shakuhachi, how to become aware of your body in relationship to the instrument, how to effectively move your fingers to cover the holes, how to produce a sound and what to do with it once you get one. We will practice the basic notes and notation of the Kinko style (Tozan equivalent notation will also be made available) and end the session with some simple Japanese children’s songs.

Session II : Breath becomes music — breath exercises and musical phrasing
This session will focus on the single most important aspect of shakuhachi playing (and life itself): the breath. Topics to be covered will include:

– How to effectively breath and utilize your body’s inherent potential and power.
– How to foster awareness and train the muscle groups that support and sustain the respiration process.
– How the breath can create beautiful musical phrases.
This session will feature a few easy Japanese songs to demonstrate how to creatively incorporate breath into musical phrasing.

While both sessions will focus on beginning techniques, they are open to all levels of shakuhachi playing.

Kiku Day – Playing meri and kari efficiently

Session I: Practice meri and kari

We can’t make good meri sounds without a good kari sound as a base! It is important to be able to control both positions and the many variants when playing shakuhachi. This workshop will focus on the problems many beginners have in producing the sounds of meri and kari when starting to play the shakuhachi. 

• How to play kari

• How to play meri

• How to play meri and kari using the breath and lip movements

• We will play some phrases using the above techniques to produce meri and kari notes

Session II: Playing Hifumi-chō (Zensabo) using the meri and kari techniques learned

We will play through Hifumi-chō in Zensabo style using the learned techniques from session I. The Hifumi-cho in Zensabo style is quite different than in other styles. We will discuss how the learned techniques can be employed in the context of a piece. We will work on the problems and difficulties of the students present.