Our equipment manager Brian built all of Tamashii's drums, including our O-Daiko, and he has turned his attention to studying shamisen. Of course in truly Brian-fashion, he had to make it himself, which got a great response from some of our Japan-based taiko friends.
(A quick translation whipped up by our teammate Alec)
Last year, on a New Zealand blog, I was introduced to someone who makes all sorts of musical instruments. He's made Nagadoudaiko's (what we call chuudaiko) about 60 cm long, Oodaiko's about 90 cm long, shimedaiko's, marimbas, and a tsugarujamisen modeled on my shamisen, and his name is Brian.
I've got the latest on Brian.
He keeps on improving his improvements and no matter where you look at it from, it's a Tsugarujamisen.
The skin is cow hide. I don't know what the plectrum's made of, but it looks like he's made that too.
The thread doesn't appear to be silk. I'm not sure what the strings are. The 駒 is also quite an interesting shape.
The sound is something between a guitar and a shamisen, like a banjo. What kind of sound does it give out......?
I want this instrument and definitely want to try playing it.
I also want to gift him some strings.
His playing is very much in the Tsugaru style and I've heard that he taught himself.There are some amazing people in this world.