Hey TP Blog followers! As you may have seen from Jenny’s last post, TP is starting to experiment trying to do video blogs as well. Hope you enjoy this one, we present to you Bonenkai 2013!
Hey TP Blog readers! Thanks for stopping by and checking out what TAIKOPROJECT has been up too! It has been a very eventful year with many big concerts in amazing venues, an incredible Rhythmic Relations 2013 concert with Amir Sofi, appearances at local and far state/county fairs, a new drum project for the World Taiko Gathering (WTG), performances with 30 seconds to Mars, and even some commercial and music video shoots along the way. So as this year comes to a close, thanks for following us along the way and I hope that our blog gives you a little bit of insight of the work we do. But the year isn’t over yet and I am here to talk about our school show through the ArtTeach program at Arroyo Elementary School.
On Monday December 2nd, TAIKOPROJECT was invited to do an educational performance for Arroyo Elementary School in Santa Ana. Bryan, David and Maz made their way to the school with the van with all of our equipment and met with Jenny and I on site. Usually for school shows we have multiple performances for the different grades, but this time at Arroyo Elementary we only had to do one performance in the afternoon after school was dismissed. As the students started trickling into the multipurpose room they were all full of energy probably from the excitement of being finished with school for the day. Once the principal calmed the kids down, we knew that we had to kick up our energy because it was time to start the show.
I think the show went very smoothly and I think it is safe to say that we all brought our “A game” for this performance. Smiles were being thrown around the ensemble and the synergy was great. Once we finished our portion of the performance, we gave the students the chance to play on the taiko drums. Usually when we choose the first round of students to try there is often some reluctance to volunteer to play, but at Arroyo Elementary everyone’s hand shot up into the air when we asked who wanted to try. It was so hard to only pick ten students since we want to give everyone a try. Overall everyone had a good time and there were some really great questions in the question and answer portion. There were some questions that I had to call upon my colleagues to rush to my assistance cause I didn’t have the answer! I think the students really enjoyed the performance and some of the kids even asked for our autographs after the performance! I felt like a superstar! Hahaha!
Thanks for iniviting us out to your school Arroyo Elementary School! We hope that you had as much fun as we did and hopefully you learned a little bit about taiko drumming!
Last month Bryan, Darren, Yumi, Doug, and I took a quick 2 day trip to St. George, Utah to perform at the Sun River Fall Festival. This time for our blog post, we wanted to change it up a little bit so we made an attempt to create our very first video blog!
We had a very fun time recording our little adventure so we wanted to share it with all of you! Enjoy!
The World Taiko Gathering is fast approaching! Soon, hundreds of taiko players will be flocking to Little Tokyo in Downtown Los Angeles. Beginners and Masters alike will be in attendance to watch the concert and most importantly, attend workshops! But with so many people in attendance, it’s not likely that we’ll have enough drums for everyone. . .
Unless. . .
Bryan Yamami and David Cheetham have been working on a design for a collapsible practice drum that can easily get set up, torn down, stacked high, and moved throughout the event. TP members travelled out to meet David at his home in Las Vegas this week to help build the very first prototype.
Upon arriving at chateau de Cheetham, we were introduced to a garage filled to the brim with tools and gadgets. David’s property is a taiko laboratory, with woodworking in the garage and steel cutting just outside. We took turns cleaning, cutting, grinding, drilling, welding, polishing, and painting steel bars.
And the end result was exactly as planned! A single Uchiwa head is held in place by a thin reinforced steel frame. The head spins on a circular clutch plate that can lock the head in a beta, or naname angle. After three days at the chopping block (and several trips to Lowes), our first prototype was born!
It now resides at Higashi Honganji Temple, where we’re playing it all we can to test out its response and make needed adjustments. As per David’s instructions, “Beat the hell out of it.”
Rest assured, by the time the World Taiko Gathering rolls around, we’ll have nearly one hundred of these drums for workshops, and everyone can relax knowing that their own drums are in safe hands.
Until next year!
Greetings TP-Blog readership!
On the 19th, a slightly-modified TP crew trekked down to Santa Ana to play a second day of shows for Santiago Elementary School. Elementary school assemblies are usually some my favourite audiences, and all the great kids at Santiago did not disappoint!
David and I braved traffic on the 5 in the van (rather, David braved traffic while I napped) and met the rest of the crew there. Since all the equipment was already set from the previous day’s shows, we had plenty of time to very seriously warm up and totally not fool around.
Both assemblies we played went very well! The audiences were great, and we had plenty of time for my favourite part: audience participation. My job is to choose which audience members get to come up, but this is tough. I wish I could give every single person the chance to play!
And of course, every student’s favourite part is when we make the teachers come up and try.
See? It’s not so hard after all. Great job teachers! Thanks again to ArtsTeach and Santiago Elementary for giving us the chance to share taiko with you all. See you again next time!