about The Taimu
The "Big Nothing"
Taimu shakuhachi are long, wide bore flutes with a deep, airy,
expressive tone. I've been working closely with Brian Tairaku Ritchie
for a number of years developing this particular style of
shakuhachi. My concern when building these flutes is finding a
'glowing' tone quality. This glow is very different than the focused,
pure tone of thinner bored shakuhachi.
This flute design is characterized by a wide bore, which gives the
flute its natural, raw, windy tone. The holes are also relatively large
and sharply undercut to smooth the playability and open up the volume.
The design approach is minimal. There is no utaguchi and little or no
ji paste added to the bore. Bores are lightly coated with
urushi as a functional addition. This helps protect the bamboo from
climate changes. It also slightly increases the tone projection of the
The term Taimu
seemed to be a logical name for
this style of flute. It was formed by combining Brian's professional
name Tairaku with Mujitsu Shakuhachi. Taimu can be loosely
translated as "The Big Nothing."
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