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IN THE STUDIO WHEEEE

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Yumi with the Dodger Dog! I’m hungry, now.

Hello TP blog readers! Audrey here, reporting about our recent feature on KCAL 9 where we promoted our Rhythmic Relations show! With bright eyes (with or without contacts), we loaded in at the CBS studio earlyyyy on the morning of May 31. From TP, we had Bryan, David, Yumi, Liz, Kelvin, Blaine, and myself, and Kitsune’s Clarissa and Bombu’s Kerry were there too to represent their groups!

We were going to be live on-air at 8:40AM so we got ready in a conference room on the side. When it was close to our performance time, we quiiiiietly set up in the studio while climatologist Amber Lee gave her report. I had never been on set at a live studio before… It was really neat to see what goes on behind the scenes. Did you know the cameras are automated and move on their own?? WHAT.

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Getting ready!

We played a short arrangement of our song “The Stroll” which is a teaser of what is to come at our Rhythmic Relations show on June 27!! We’ve been practicing non-stop in preparation for the show… IT’S GOING TO BE AWESOME. If you haven’t purchased tickets yet, call or visit the UCLA Central Ticket Office at (310) 825-2101, Monday-Friday, 10am-4pm or purchase online via www.tickets.ucla.edu (under Special Events). Hope to see you there! Thanks for having us, KCAL!!

Smiles all around!

Look, Ma! I’m on TV!

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Thanks for having us!

 

Last Thursday, we performed for the Shimadzu Corporation Open House. Shimadzu opened a new building in Long Beach so they invited customers to tour the building. Maz and David played a short piece to gather everyone together for the start of the program. Then later in the program, Bryan, Blaine, and I joined in and performed. It was a lot of fun performing for this event. We had a lot of people, including the staff, come up to us after the performance and say that they really enjoyed it. I even had some ladies come up to me and say that they were envious of me. They said that they couldn’t imagine playing taiko and wished that they could do what we do.

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Somehow it’s June already, and with it come many more performances including Rhythmic Relations 2015 on 6/27), projects, and…gloom.

This year, June also brought with it another opportunity to perform at Sony’s Samurai Awards ceremony.  The Samurai Award is an extremely prestigious award given to Sony employees and TaikoProject has been honored to perform at the ceremony for several years running now.  In this case, Maz, Janelle, and I (David) drove down to balmy San Diego for the event.

While the group usually performs an arrangement of Many Sides, on this occasion they asked us to switch it up a little, which we happily obliged.  The tech crew for the event does an amazing job creating an air of anticipation and suspense with the lighting, so to accompany this atmosphere, I played some kabuki-inspired rhythms on okedo while Maz and Janelle processed down the aisle toward the stage; Maz beautifully matched the feeling of the moment with his fue playing and Janelle —

You know, to be honest, it was sort of dark (suspensefully!), so I’m not exactly sure what Janelle was doing, but she’s a dancer, so I’m sure it was beautiful, too.  After this intro, we played a short version of Omiyage to great audience response.  The CEO of the company and his wife were sitting directly in front of us for the performance!

We had a great time performing for all of the hard-working employees in attendance.  Looking forward to the next time!

PS It was also Janelle’s 21st birthday, so Maz and I took her to a local bar to celebrate!  The bartender was very sweet and made Janelle a delicious drink on the house.

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Default lighting for the event. Pretty cool setup!

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Rubber band ball? That is, like, so 1992.

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Speaking of 1992, Janelle wasn’t even born then. Sheesh. Anyway, Maz and I are talking sports because we are manly men.

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No trip to San Diego is complete without.

 

We love doing school lecture/demonstrations.  It’s not often that kids get to see different kinds of music and we like to expose our vibrant youth to what we do.  Maybe one day, some of those kids will grow up to be taiko players!

We have the ArtsTeach program at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts to thank for helping this happen.  We’ve done countless lecture/demos over the past few years through this program and hope to do a lot more in the future.  Thank you Segerstrom Center for accepting us on your roster!

On May 19th, Liz, Janelle, Yumi, Bryan, and myself showcased our program at the Segerstrom Center to many teachers, faculty, and PTA members.  Liz and Janelle drove the van down, Bryan got there early to set up our booth, and Yumi and I drove in separately.  It was a quick showcase (8 minutes), so we hustled onstage, did our thing, got lunch, loaded up and then left while Bryan returned to the booth.  We hope that we were impressive!

Fun in the dressing room:

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A very overdue blog!  In March we made our way out to Fresno to play a show at The Tower Theater for the Performing Arts!

The Fresno 8 consisted of Bryan, Maz, Courtney, Jen, Jenny, David, Yumi, and myself.

I was excited because it had been awhile since I played a theater show. There is always a lot of energy flying around when we are gearing up for a full show. We spent a lot of time practicing in the weeks leading up to the performance. We drove up Saturday and spent a lovely evening in Fresno eating good food and engaging in the usual TP shenanigans.  Sunday morning we woke up and drove to the theater bright and early. As always, our lighting designer Scott beat us there and was already getting things ready for us.

The stage crew at the Tower Theater was amazing to work with. They helped us a lot throughout the day! After spiking and a sound check we make our final preparations and got ready for the show to start! Once the show gets going, it is always a blur! 12 songs later we were done! We were happy to receive a standing ovation from the good people of Fresno! After the show, we went out into the theater to talk with friends. We met many taiko friends in the audience!

After a good bit of chatting, we packed up and started our journey back to Los Angeles. Overall, it was a great time! Thank you to Diane Mosier and the Lively Arts Foundation for bringing us out!

 

 

 

Here are some pics courtesy of Jenny! :)

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David gets hot easily…

 

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