Shakuhachi – One Man’s Meditation


I found this beautiful story on Jonnathan Dunnemann blog.

I come from Papua New Guinea where traditional bamboo flutes are played in most of our regions. My mother plays the flute. It was a beautiful sound I grew up with.  The Shakuhachi is a Japanese bamboo end-blown flute, which has a rich culture and history associated with it. It is believed the Chinese brought Shakuhachi to Japan in 6th Century.

Blind New Zealander Kevin Falconer has made the sound of bamboo his own by developing his own relationship with bamboo, the craft and the Shakuhachi music. I found his story very moving and at the same time very inspiring. We are only limited by what we set for ourselves.

Kelvin Falconer walks through his bamboo groves, with tall shoots of bamboo towering over him. The bamboo littered with beautiful hand-made terracotta tags that Kelvin has made for knowing how long each culm has been growing for.
Once he finds a suitable shoot he proceeds to patiently craft the bamboo using only his senses of touch and hearing. At a glance Shakuhachi appear to be simple instruments but the understanding and skill in shaping even a basic flute is something which requires Kelvin to have an acute knowledge of the physics of sound and a finesse to fine tune each unique culm of bamboo.
Through playing the Shakuhachi, Kelvin is able to develop a calmness which he describes as ‘Meditation through Sound and Breath’. Through watching him craft a flute from beginning to end we are witness also to a craftsman putting his all into every detail.
Kelvin shows us that the Shakuhachi is a tool that can bring calm and focus to distracted and stressed Minds. His flute becomes a metaphor for what we ‘make’ in our own lives and through his craft he transcends his perceived disability and the limitations of Blindness.
Type: Documentary
Country: New Zealand
Year: 2012
Filmmaker: Michael Hobbs
Format: Digital 1080
Language: English
Subtitles: N/A
Colour: Colour
Film Ratio: 16:9
Sound Type: Stereo
Running Time: 11m38s

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