Sunday, June 15, 2008

Shakuhachi Project

I finished my first Shakuhachi, the Japanese traditional end-blown flute.

Following the "standard" specification, it has 5 equal sized finger holes, beautifully arranged at even spacing of 1/10th of the flute's length.

After drilling the bamboo nodes to create a continuous pipe, the bamboo was initiated with fire. The heat treatment process left burn marks on the bamboo, which I found aesthetically appeasing.

The next step is cutting the utaguchi (blowing edge) at the end of the bamboo. Finally, the finger holes were drilled. Fine tuning was done by adjusting the finger hole size and adding or removing materials from the bore.

For finishing, the word Shakuhachi (in Japanese character) was inlaid at the back of the utaguchi. Then three strips of rattan binding was introduced. The strips served as decoration as well as adding some strength to the bamboo.

Finally, a thin layer of lacquer was applied to give the bamboo a nice, smooth, shiny appearance. Listen to the sound of this instrument here:

1 comment:

Feureau said...

The Sakuhachi sounds very verry good. ^^ Got the full 3 octave?