On March 16, I met up with our awesome recording engineer, Glenn Suravech at Universal Mastering Studios to master the new album to be released in mid-May entitled “Our Many Sides”.  If you don’t know what mastering is, it is a process where a mastering engineer balances the sound (EQ, compression, and gain) of the album to be ready for consumption to the general public.  In other words, they make it ready to be played on the radio.

Pete Doell was our mastering engineer and we had a lot of fun for three hours.  I’m familiar with the recording and mixing process since we were present for most of it during the first and last albums, but I’ve never experienced this before.  Pete listened to Shototsu (a song with vocals) first and used it to compare and contrast each of the other songs to it.  He would ask our opinion to make sure we were happy with the sound.  It was a fun experience and I’m excited for this album to be released!  Stay tuned!

Pete At Work

Pete doing work.


All Done

It’s a wrap!  Thank you Pete and Glenn!


Blaine here with a very cool re-cap of a fun show Audrey and I got to do in January,

LACMA had an amazing exhibit, featuring some 14th century Japanese warrior regalia and even a few full sets of Samurai armor.  The exhibit was pretty impressive on it’s own, but since LACMA often celebrates family days on Sunday mornings, they decided to put on something really special for the exhibit’s last weekend.


One of many sets from the exhibit. . .

LACMA hired famed choereographer  Tony Testa to find a dance crew and put together a samurai themed live storybook.  Tony brought together some dancers and put together a short dance number inspired by the exhibit and stories that it had to tell.  Samurai training form, poetry, and legends inspired the dance piece, but there was something missing. . . . .

You guessed it, TAIKO!

So tony called us up to play some taiko along with the dance number!


These dancers were no joke. They did all the backflips.


It was a very unique challenge for Audrey and I to compose music to a routine that had already been created.  But we stitched together familiar TP tunes, and a few bits from other pieces we knew, and the whole thing came together really well!



After a few moments of silence, this guy in front literally launched off the ground into a full 360 McSpinaflip-twist. You know the one I’m talking about. 


We performed the piece three times Sunday morning, each time to a full audience of families enjoying the music and dancing.  After our last show we were pretty tired, but overall it was a fun experience!


Yes, that is face paint.   Yes, it took a long time to wash off.                                                                                                                    No, I didn’t damage my retinas in the removal process. . . . . . . . .. much.


Thanks Tony for a very cool experience!



Blaine here with an update on a fun show we did last December,

So we’re often asked to do shows for big corporate events.  At shows like this, we’re not exactly the main feature so we don’t expect too much, but recently we performed for Bank of the West at the lovely Langham Hotel in Pasadena, and the crowd was just about the most attentive and appreciative group I’ve performed for all year.



Pinky fingers up ya’ll.


After a bit of waiting and awesome food we finally took the stage and did a short set where  I actually didn’t get lost during many sides!



The attendees and coordinators loved the show, and were super glad to have us!

After the show it was a mad dash to load up in the rain and head back to Higashi Honganji for our secret santa gift exchange.

Spoiler warning, I got candy.






Greetings good friends! Hope the year 2015 is treating you well and I hope you are excited to follow along with us on all of our taiko adventures through the year 2015! Our 2015 has been quite exciting so far and we are only into the second month of the new year, so prepare yourself for many more exciting posts and maybe some vlogs along the way!

Today I am reporting on another ArtsTeach performance we had on February 6, 2015 at Judson and Brown Elementary School in Redlands, Ca. For this performance we had to wake up bright and early because we were scheduled to do two performances at 8:00am and 9:15am, so as you can probably guess, it was one of those large coffee kind of mornings. Despite it being very dark outside on the way up to Redlands, I was able to snap a quick picture of the pretty sunrise over the mountains.



Once the TP Team of Bryan, David, Janelle, Jen and myself gathered at the Multi Purpose Room, we moved in our equipment and prepared to wow the kids of Judson and Brown Elementary. The kids had a great time and I think they really enjoyed the performance as well as the audience participation section. I think my favorite moment of the show was successfully making in through Expanding in the new time signature we have been practicing. It really made me think, but the groove was very solid and I was definitely sweating afterwards. Haha!

The Team Today! (David, Jen, Bryan, Doug and Janelle)

The Team Today! (David, Jen, Bryan, Doug and Janelle)

Our Stage Setup!

Our Stage Setup!








After our second show we had time to take a couple photos with the classes that came to watch and some of the kids gave us high fives for the awesome performance! SUCCESS! Another mission accomplished! Thank you Judson and Brown Elementary for having us! Hope to see you again soon!

The TP5! Yes, in fact you can preorder your Bryan bobblehead in the near future! Thanks for showing Janelle! Coming soon!

The TP5! Yes, in fact you can preorder your Bryan bobblehead in the near future! Thanks for showing Janelle! Coming soon!


On January 14, 2015, David and Janelle picked up Bryan and I in the van down in Tustin off the Newport exit off the 5.  We got back on the 5 and took that all the way down to San Diego, took the Front St exit, continued on that, then turned left on Harbor, right on Switzer, a slight right on Gull and arrived at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel.

We loaded in, did our tech, and then had some time to kill so we went and got some beverages:


Shortly after Doug and Blaine arrived and we ate a lavish dinner at the hotel.  One of the better catered hotel meals in a while.


Mac and cheese was amongst the many yummy selections:


The Three Musketeers, The Three Amigos, or The Three Stooges?  Which title do you prefer?


We performed our five minutes of fame which energized the crowd and then loaded out and headed home.  It was a late night, but always fun to go down to San Diego!

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