What to expect--the Festival Daily Fare,
2017 Shakuhachi Festival of the Pacific

Although the individual workshop topics, as well as the group lesson pieces, are not yet decided, this page will give you an idea of what to expect from the festival.


After registration on the afternoon of Friday, December 15th, there will be an informal gathering where everyone can get to know each other. That evening will be the Masters' Concert at Orvis Hall at the University of Hawaii, the primary festival venue.


The next three mornings of the festival will begin with everyone gathering to blow the lowest note, ro, on the shakuhachi. This acts as a kind of group meditation and allows us to improve our tone and our concentration. After announcements, we will attend a special group presentation each morning by one of our invited teachers. These sessions will focus on such topics as how to master various technical aspects of the shakuhachi, how to practice and concentrate, body and relaxation issues with the shakuhachi and historical/cultural aspects of the shakuhachi.


After the morning special session we will break off into individual workshops with the various masters. These workshops will focus on set pieces—to be decided upon in advance and provided to the participants—and will include the traditional honkyoku meditative pieces, sankyoku ensemble pieces with shamisen and/or koto accompaniment, folk songs, contemporary and avant garde pieces. These workshops will be set at various levels: beginners, intermediate or advanced, and you may take as many of these workshops as time permits.


There will also be special sessions for absolute beginners—those who have never gotten a sound on the shakuhachi. These lessons will proceed at a quick pace, but will not be overwhelming and will allow you to find your own sound.


The afternoons will continue with the various workshops and private lessons. You will be able to take at least one private lesson from one of the master teachers during the course of the festival.


Evenings will focus on the academic aspects of the shakuhachi and Japanese music in general. There will be two evenings (Saturday and Sunday), with invited scholars who will present their academic research, along with question and answer sessions, at the East West Center, just a few minute walks from the festival venue.


The grand finale will be a participant concert on the afternoon of Monday, December 18, where everyone will show us what they learned during the camp. After the concert there will be a farewell reception.