ASS Melbourne Honkyoku Workshop with Riley Lee

ASS Shakuhachi Workshop, with Riley Lee
February 12, 2017

The Australian Shakuhachi Society invites you to a one-day workshop to experience the art and sound of the Shakuhachi – the Japanese bamboo flute.

The workshop will be taught by Grand Master Riley Lee. In addition to teaching a honkyoku piece, Riley will also lead us through breathing and sound production techniques.


Photo: Rudi Van Starrex

The workshop will be divided into morning and afternoon sessions, with the first session starting at 10.00 am and breaking for lunch at 12.00 pm. The workshop will resume for the afternoon session at 12.30 pm, and the day will conclude at 2.30 pm.

Breathing exercises, sound production, and honkyoku instruction will be divided between the sessions.

As the lunch break is not very long, and not many shops in the vicinity of the workshop are open on Sundays, we will have optional bento boxes delivered. Of course, you can bring your own lunch. Bottled water will be provided.

ASS Members: $80.00
Non-ASS members $100.00
Absolute Beginners $60.00 (shakuhachi provided)

Optional bento box lunch +$20.00 (vegan and non-veg available)


What to bring:
The workshop will be taught on a standard 1.8 shakuhachi.

There will be a number of plastic Yuu shakuhachi available for use by absolute beginners on the day; please specify whether you need to borrow a flute when filling out your registration form.

Copies of notation used for the workshop will be available on the day, and also emailed out to registered participants before the event.

The Gryphon Gallery, 1888 Building, University of Melbourne Parkville Campus.

Click here for 1888 Building Map

Gryphon Gallery, University of Melbourne

Gryphon Gallery, University of Melbourne

The nearest tram stop is on Swanston St, Carlton.

Trams running along Royal Parade, Parkville, can also be used (approx. five minute walk).

For detailed route and timetable information, please visit Yarra Trams.

Paid parking is available at the university. Free or cheap street parking may also be available nearby.

If you have any questions, please contact Lindsay Dugan on 0415 305 777 (overseas until February 2nd), or email: lindsay [at]

Lindsay Dugan
President, Australian Shakuhachi Society

New ASS Facebook Group

The new ASS Facebook Group has been set up, so everyone can participate more actively in discussions, post photos and links, etc.

Have a look and join up at:

The ASS Facebook Page will be taken down at the end of the year.

Student Concert, May 28 2014

Wednesday 28 May 2014

Level 1, Sydney Conservatorium of Music Sydney NSW

Shakuhachi is the end-blown bamboo flute of Japan. It comes in many sizes and pitches and is often associated with Zen Buddhist breath meditation. The repertory in this evening’s program stems from several lineages including Chikuho, Kinko and Tozan.

Performers (shakuhachi and percussion):
Grandmaster Riley Lee, Master Bronwyn Kirkpatrick, David Jobst, Simon Barker, Nicholas Hall, Felicity Clark and Yui Kasamatsu

Honkyoku (canonical pieces):
San’an (Mountain Valley)
Daha (Pounding Wave)
Shika no Tone (Crying of Deer)
Hon Shirabe (Original Melody)

Shinkyoku (post-Meiji work):
Fukuda Rando – Tabibito no Uta (Song of the Traveller)

New works from:
Simon Barker – Chant Cycle
Yui Kasamatsu and Felicity Clark – Aliquot Improv


Group Shakuhachi Sessions 2013

Dear Shakuhachi Enthusiasts,

This year we are holding a number of local group playing sessions in Sydney, at the Yuga Cafe in Glebe. These are open session to all levels of players.The address of the venue is:
172 St Johns Road, Glebe NSW 2037.
From town, Yuga can be accessed via the 470 bus. Get off at Glebe Town Hall.

The dates for this year’s meet-ups are:

3 Feb (Basics)
17 March
28 April
9 June (Basics)
21 July
1 Sept
13 Oct (Basics)
24 Nov
The sessions run from 2.30pm – 4.00pm

Each session will have a $10 participation fee. This fee will go towards making token payments to our guest tutors who so generously offer their time and expertise. We’re offering a season pass to all 8 sessions for $55.

As you may have noticed there are sessions which are labelled as ‘Basics’ sessions. In these sessions we will cover the fundamentals of shakuhachi playing. We aim to make beginners feel welcome and supported in their journey with shakuhachi. More experienced players are encouraged to come along too. There can never be too many hours devoted to good sound production!  Together we’ll help beginners with breathing, posture, embouchure, meri/kari, grip, fingering positions, types of sound, timing, notation, and solid sound production. The goal of these sessions is to create a friendly atmosphere and help beginner players create a practice program.

These sessions are a great chance to meet fellow local shakuhachi players and are a great chance to socialise over a coffee. During the sessions there may be some material handed out for later sessions, but during the ‘Basics’ sessions there will be concentration on the techniques and fundamentals mentioned above.

Also if you would like to bring along a friend who doesn’t own a flute we are happy to lend one out for the session. Please note that newcomers and beginners are more than welcome to come to any of the sessions and should not feel obliged to come to the ‘basics’ session dates. The fee for newcomers will be waived.

Hope you all had a nice break and hope to see you soon at the group sessions!

With goldfish through summer rain,
The Australian Shakuhachi Society.

ASS Workshop 2011

The Australian Shakuhachi Society (ASS) invites you to a two-day workshop to experience the sound and art of Shakuhachi. The workshop will be held 1-2 October 2011 at the Robert Webster building, UNSW  Kensington Campus . Please click on the following poster to find out more. For inquiries regarding the Workshop, please phone David on 0416 370 703 or email

ASS poster 2011

Venue and Directions:

For general directions to UNSW, please consult the google map.

Getting to and from UNSW Kensington Campus via public transport, you may find this link useful.

The Robert Webster building is located at G14 on the UNSW Campus Map. We suggest that for your convenience, please proceed to the Uni Mall side door of the Webster building.  Should you need any assistance, please call David on 0416 370 703.

On-campus parking is free of charge on the weekend.

ASS Workshop 2011 Lunchboxes:

Participants at the ASS Workshop 2011 may wish to order Lunch in advance – University facilities are mainly closed for the long weekend – so that you can perform/ listen, enjoy the lunch-time concerts. These sushi lunches will be delivered. The price is 20 dollars for two meals. If you are a vegetarian or have special dietary requirements, please let us know by sending an email to

Please go to the main page of Australian Shakuhachi Society to select the payment options.


Here is the Timetable for the ASS Workshop Weekend and AGM.

If you would like to attend only the AGM, there is of course no charge.

These sessions follow the familiar format in which the pieces are worked through in a group, led by Riley or Bronwyn. Attention is also paid to the elements of ensemble performance – developing the awareness necessary to play together in non-rhythmic music. Riley will teach Oboro TsukiYo and Koku. Bronwyn will teach Tamuke and DaHa.

Masterclasses by Riley and Bronwyn are in the usual format that is a public lesson with a student observed whilst being taught. If you would like to be a student in either of these sessions please let me know ( There can be a number of students in each session.

Lachlan’s Piece: The Australia Council granted us funds to commission this piece from Lachlan Skipworth. Lachlan is a shakuhachi player and experienced in various genres. The commission requires that the piece has parts for a range of levels of expertise – diffident to virtuosic. Groups A and B will work separately and together as we discover the piece. Rehearsing and recording will be an interesting and rewarding experience.

AGM Sat 1st Oct 4.30pm: All committee positions are open for nomination and election. Usual formalities will be dealt with. The agenda then is open; please consider what you would like the society to be and do. Any agenda items should be put to secretary Bronwyn Kirkpatrick. Formal notice of the meeting will be sent separately.

Lunches: Workshop weekend lunches cost $10 and are sushi boxes provided by a local vendor. A variety of beverages will be available. There is little open on-campus on the long-weekend and you would not want to miss the lunch-time concerts: so book a sushi box when you register for the weekend.

Concerts: On both days there will be informal lunch-time concerts. Feel free to present your party-piece, group, anything. Taking an opportunity to perform is a guarantee of an intense learning experience. Please let me know what and which day you intend to perform :

(The first item on the concert program will be a performance of ShunSui by Katsuya Yokoyama, played by David Dixon and Lachlan Skipworth.)

Beginners have their own dedicated schedule which will be flexible according to numbers and progress.

I look forward to seeing you at what will be a great weekend.

David Dixon

ASS Festival 2011 Relocation and Downsizing

I am writing to ASS members were interested in the Mudjimba Festival 2011 to explain the regrettable necessity for cancellation. I know that many Queensland members especially will be very disappointed. But I do hope you will seriously consider attending the Workshop Weekend in Sydney which we are organising for that same date – 1st and 2nd October.

The explanation is a simple financial one: previous festivals have been supported to some extent by grants from the Australia Council. This year the grant application was not successful. ASS is a small society with very minimal financial reserves. Large fees have never been the priority for teachers at ASS festivals, Australian or from overseas – indeed they frequently give generously of their time and expertise for nominal sums. Nevertheless there are costs such as airfares and accommodation to be met.

Without grant funding or other financial support the committee felt that the camp registration costs would have been prohibitively high for many members.

On behalf of the committee I apologise for the late changes.

And I do urge you to consider making the trip to Sydney. It has been too long since there was an ASS assembly and the viability of the society depends on such gatherings. The workshop weekend will offer much valuable experience to players of all levels of expertise, including absolute beginners. Riley Lee and Bronwyn Kirkpatrick will be the main teachers.

The new ensemble piece composed by Lachlan Skipworth will be a highlight – this will be the first time a piece specially composed for ASS is premiered. The Australia Council supported this commission. Be a part of this historic occasion as we ‘unveil’ this new work, discover its new sounds and make a recording. Everyone is invited to participate in learning the piece. We intend to submit the recording to the World Shakuhachi Festival 2012 in Kyoto for possible performance by ASS members who decide to attend there.

Also, there will be the ASS Annual General Meeting sandwiched in between a full day of shakuhachi and a social evening with drinks and dinner. AGMs are notoriously under-attended : take this opportunity to be involved in making the society work.

I look forward to seeing you all in Sydney in October.

David Dixon – ASS President web overhaul

Koyasan by DD

The Australian Shakuhachi Society website is currently undergoing an overhaul and will be online soon.

The new site will have a better organised archive section, media downloads, shakuhachi items for sale, and the possibility to sign up for membership via Paypal.

In addition to the site overhaul, we also have a new Facebook group and Twitter page.