Making a shakuhachi with (and by) feel ...
January 11, 2013 11:29 PM   Subscribe

The Japanese shakuhachi (flute) is not a particularly complex device - not much more than a length of bamboo with 5 holes drilled in it. Might be kind of easy to make one, don't you think? Well at least if you can see what you are doing. In this 11 minute documentary video, meet Kelvin Falconer, who makes shakuhachi from bamboo growing on his property in New Zealand, but who must do so completely by touch (and ear), as he is blind.
posted by woodblock100 (3 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Interesting fellow, nice flutes and nice film. I used to know a gentleman who went blind but found a way to keep his car restoration hobby going. Did really nice work, too.

Kevin's voice to my ear is very much like Humphrey B. Flaubert's, of TISM.
posted by maxwelton at 1:05 AM on January 12, 2013

Cool short film. Very relaxing and seems like a cool dude.
posted by pallen123 at 7:23 AM on January 12, 2013

Great film. I really want the guy to find someone he trusts enough to start inlaying the bone/plastic/corian bit at the top or figure out a way to himself because the instruments are going to be time bombs without it. For anyone interested in getting started in making these things, you can build a perfectly playable instrument using pvc pipe parts, some glue and a hand drill or pocket knife and some files. I can play Gershwin's "Summertime" and that part of "Howlin' for Judy" that the Beastie boys sampled on mine. You can use the rest of the length of pvc as an ersatz alpenhorn as well (heat gun, pvc cement, traffic cone or funnel.) I really need to get out to the storage unit and check on whether that piece of bamboo is dry yet...
posted by mcrandello at 11:43 PM on January 12, 2013

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