Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Returning from the White Mountains

I had a very relaxing and quite spiritual vacation. Time alone with my family was wonderful as those moments are precious and few between. Just being amongst the White Mountains with the high mountain lakes was beautiful. The lakes are majestic and invigorating like being plunged into an ice bath; say goodbye to all of your aches and pains. The photo above was taken from Bald Mountain looking south toward Echo Lake which is around 1,930 feet above sea level and at the base of Cannon Mountain off to the right of the photo. Mount Lafayette is off to the left.

I also had a chance to play my shak up in the mountains on Cannon Mountain above where the "Old Man in the Mountain" rock formation used to be at about 4,100 feet above sea level and up on Bald Mountain. The difficulty I found in playing up at these heights is the wind; sometimes it can be so strong that it literally will run up the shakuhachi while you are trying to play. It definitely will challenge your breath power or Kokyu. I highly recommend playing the flute in as many places outside the comfort of your home that you are willing to try out. You will be amazed at how different your flute will sound in the forest, up on a hill above a valley, on a mountain top, at the beach early in the morning before the tourists arrive. It has surely invigorated my practice and may do the same for you.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Shak is flying the coop.

I'm taking a few flutes and heading to the hinterlands, a.k.a. the White Mountains, of Northern New Hampshire. There are many great places to play the shakuhachi there outdoors, especially up on the mountains, where the sound of the flute can travel a great distance. After reading the book,"Blowing Zen" by Ray Brooks, I can't wait to hike up onto Cannon Mountain (where the 'Old Man of the Mountain' sadly used to be) and just play. Maybe the spirit of the "Old Man" will shine through me as I play; one can only hope.

Be back in a week.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

New Shak

Jon Kypros recently crafted a beautiful 2.4 jinashi flute for me. I left it up to Jon on the exterior and bore finish. I know that Jon hated to let it go but I'm glad that he did. Keep up the great work Jon! What a nice flute.