glissando flute, shakuhachi, alto shakulute
The Chinese Zheng is one of the most extraordinary instruments I know. Hu JianBing is not only an extraordinary player, but designs and plays innovated Zheng that introduce more pipes, keys and thus tones. In JianBing’s hands it is a completely chromatic harmonic timbre generator. Timbre is the musician’s word for colour, sonic colour. For my part, I was playing the shakuhachi and two unusual flutes. The glissando headcount was invented by flutist Robert Dick. A wonderful innovation to the flute. It is like crossing the flute with a trombone, or if you are a Chinese musician, the flute player can pretend to sing KunQu opera. Or Jimmy Hendrix using his wah-wah pedal. The alto-shakulute combines a western alto flute with a shakuhachi head joint. It is truly a west meets east instrument. The player can pursue strengths of both instruments and both cultures. But the sum is greater than the parts.