Perry Yung Shakuhachi Image
With Ralph Samuelson and Yoko Hiraoka
May 28-29, 2016

I get a lot of emails form people telling me there are no teachers near them. My advice has always been to attend a shakuhachi camp or festival once a year. This will be one of the best things you can do for your shakuhachi practice. You will get incredible tutelage that will last not just a year, but a lifetime.


The two-day program will take place at “The Barn”, the studio of artist Lothar Osterburg and musician (and shakuhachi player par excellence) Elizabeth Brown. This is located in the village of Red Hook, New York, about 15 minutes from the town of Rhinebeck and 1 hour 45 minutes north of Manhattan.

The weekend will focus on ensemble music for shakuhachi with koto and shamisen, and on the playing style and repertoire of Kinko Ryu honkyoku.  Shakuhachi students from everywhere, at all levels, are invited to participate.

The classical chamber music of Japan known as sankyoku is a music of rich beauty and depth. It is typically performed by three instruments—shamisen, koto, and shakuhachi—along with a vocal line set to poetic text. The many captivating aspects of this music include an elaborate interweaving of melodic lines, subtle and elegant ornamentations, and an emphasis on tone color. The workshop will explore these elements of the music and the manner in which the different parts of the ensemble come together while each expresses its own unique voice. Pieces in this repertoire were initially composed for shamisen or koto, with the shakuhachi part added later, and we will highlight the special qualities that shakuhachi brings to the music.

Kinko Ryu Honkyoku
The school of shakuhachi known as Kinko Ryu is named for Kurosawa Kinko (1710-1771), who was the lead shakuhachi teacher at the primary Fuke Sect temples in the capital of Edo.  The Kinko style and repertoire known today, however, were standardized later in the 19th century after players of the Kinko Ryu began performing sankyoku music. In this workshop we will explore the close relationship between the performance practice of honkyoku and sankyoku in Kinko Ryu.

2 Days of Music Study
[Note: selection of study pieces will be made after registration is completed.]
-Saturday, May 28, 11 AM-5 PM.
-Long tone practice and blowing
-Group session: understanding sankyoku
-Lunch break
-Track 1: Group session, Kinko Ryu Honkyoku
-Track 2: Individual or small-group ensemble lessons with koto/shamisen
(Tracks 1 and 2 occur simultaneously.)
Evening dinner to be followed by open mic

-Sunday, May 29, 9 AM-5 PM
-Long tone practice and blowing
-Continue Tracks 1 and 2
-lunch break
-Informal friendly concert. Students play with koto/shamisen.

Optional Day 3
Since Monday is a holiday, we can schedule private lessons at “The Barn” on Monday for those who wish to stay longer.

If you’re not driving, Amtrak service is available from New York City or Albany to Rhinecliff Station in Rhinebeck, NY; we will pick you up at Rhinecliff. If you are coming from New York on Saturday morning, there is an 8:15 AM train from Penn Station, arriving Rhinecliff at 10 AM.

Arrive Friday night if coming from afar, or travel on Saturday morning (we are starting at 11 to give you that option). For overnight accommodations, several choices are available including:
-outdoor camping on the grounds of “The Barn”—bring your tent
-bring your mat and sleeping bag and sleep in the large studio
-there are a number of recommended motels and B&Bs in the area

Registration and Workshop Fee
The two-day workshop fee is $300.  Space is limited and early registration is recommended. (Note: There will be an additional charge for those staying for a private lesson on Monday.)  Please register or request further information by emailing Ralph at (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The Teachers
YOKO HIRAOKA is a master performer of koto, shamisen, biwa, and jiuta vocal music. http://www.japanesestrings.com

RALPH SAMUELSON is a shakuhachi performer and teacher trained in the classical tradition of the Kinko Ryu under the tutelage of the late Living National Treasure Goro Yamaguchi and other leading teachers in Japan. He is based in the New York area and performs and teaches throughout the world.

Zen saying for Perry.