Friday, March 27, 2009

Strap for a Shamisen

 This is my friend Grant playing the shamisen.

I had never heard of this remarkable instrument until he took up playing it. He has traveled to Japan twice to play in tournaments. You can treat yourself to some of the fascinating music by listening to YouTube. Here are just a few links for your entertainment: Grant & friends in Japan, Traditional or check out the God of Shamisen for something really different and interesting. (I recommend the Dragon String Attack.)
Grant also plays guitar. He has several straps that I wove and became interested in the weaving process. Eventually, he purchased his own inkle loom and has woven a few straps himself.
When I asked him to be the subject of my blog post, he came over for a photo shoot and we all got treated to some live music. The strap he uses on his shamisen is one I made a few years ago and had forgotten about. It is unlike anything I have woven before or since. I asked myself "How did I do that?" I think I will try to re-create the pickup method that I used. Here are some closeups. Check back for more on this.

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