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The first stage of the project saw the transcription of two works for Shakuhachi from its classical Honkyoku repertoire performed by Dr Kiku Day. These transcriptions can be heard below, I have also attached both a working shorthand score for Tsuru no Sugomori and a more refined score for Shika no Tone can be seen which shows the level of complexity in the fingerings.

In the future I will be breaking down some of the sounds in these performances, showing the process for finding the fingerings and exploring the similarities between them and already established 'extended techniques'.

Tsuru no Sugomori

'The nesting of Cranes' explores all the technical resources available to the shakuhachi and tells a programmatic story, taken here from the international shakuhachi society


"A pair of cranes build a nest, lay an egg, raise a fledgling and rear it to maturity before bidding it farewell as it flies away and they are left to live out their allotted life span"

This transcription required finding fingerings that drastically alter the timbre of the flute across its range as well some complex trills. Luckily, the frequent glissando flutter tongue gesture was easy to recreate

Shika no Tône

Shika no Tône depicts deer calling to each other across the mountains in deep autumn and, like Tsuru no Sugomori, allows the performer to take expressive and creative liberties in its performance. 

This piece required a fine ear to the partials present in high pitches and I regularly confirmed my hearing through the use of a sonic visualiser. Exploring vibrato and fingerings that allow an increased amount of air to be blown into the flute without splitting and keeping a restive timbre were some of the main efforts in recreating this performance. 

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