Just in case

We are alive and well and continue to practice every week, play at the annual Arizona Matsuri on the last weekend in February and other opportunities with the beautiful dojo as they come up.

Some of us will be performing at Leprecon 42 on June 25.
Some of the dojo are attending Leonard Eto’s workshops on June 18.
Two of us will be attending Taiko Spirit in Emmental, Switzerland on September 3rd & 4th.

We are just not very good at writing regular blog entries :-)

Murray

Matsuri 2012

Dojo preparations are in full swing for the big event of our year.

Arizona Matsuri

The 28th Annual Festival of Japan
February 25-26, 2012

Heritage and Science Park,

Downtown Phoenix

http://azmatsuri.org/

The two teams I play with are sharpening their playing and honing the transitions between numbers. Last weekend after a couple of months of refresher workshops we held our first big rehearsal of the set of common numbers which people from many of the different teams all know. The All-Arizona Taiko Team this year is 45 strong, nearly 50% more than last year and it was amazing how well we played together for the first time this year. Two more long rehearsals before the event!

It is wonderful that some of the folks from Odaiko Sonora in Tucson are able to join us this year and that they will be playing a set of their own too.

So come and join us at Matsuri in beautiful historic Heritage Square by the Science Center. Celebrate the Arizona centenary. Enjoy the art, the food, the martial arts, bonsai, tea, anime, artwork, fabrics, clothing, books, dance, cosplay, J-Pop/Rock, a Lion Dance, our heroes TAIKOPROJECT, and non-stop, all-day TAIKO!

Revitalized

I have not posted in a long while but life has still been full of Taiko (and the other stuff). If I’m good I will go back and enter some retrospective posts about the Taiko events of the last year. Just to give you some idea

  • Matsuri 2011 of course, some photos, video and all the joy and work involved.
  • Arizona Asian Festival, driven out of Heritage Square by the Recession. We remember out feet burning through the soles of our jika-tabi on the black carpeting of the stage in the full sun.
  • Taiko Explosion! a glorious evening at the beautiful Japanese Friendship Garden, RO HO EN to honour the retirement of our founding sensei, Esther Vandecar.
  • Playing Taiko at Phoenix ComiCon (for the Anime crowd of course)
  • Workshops with Tiffany Tamaribuchi on playing Naname kata (slant drum).
  • A concert and workshop with On Ensemble. Learning Omiyage from the creator, Shoji Kameda.
  • Ken Koshio beginning his workshops focussed on making the most of your body and spirit, gaining that elusive “feel” of Japanese culture.
  • Workshops with Chieko Kojima of Kodo on her piece “Hana Hachijo”
  • The above experiences coming together in a personal epiphany dramatically improving the way I play, with more relaxation, launching the bachi at the drum rather than “hitting”, sound and movement flowing inevitably from intention and breathing.
  • Some of us being invited to play as associates of Fushicho Daiko. A whole extra level of practice and musicianship. For me the challenge is speed and learning the material, but the joy of playing together and interacting in developing new arrangements is fantastic.
  • The 2011 North American Taiko Conference at Stanford
  • Playing at Arcosanti
  • Lunatic day trip with Eileen to L.A. to see Ryutaro Kaneko play at the TAIKOPROJECT Rhythmic Relations concert 2011.
  • Wadaiko Yamato performance in Tucson. Seeing Takeru Matsushita again!
  • Developing my love for and skill with the chappa.
  • The arrival of THREE Asano taiko in the dojo.
  • A new series of Saturday workshops to brush up on the All-Arizona repertoire
  • New insights into Yukata and Obi courtesy of Rebecca Bushner
  • The current rising tide of rehearsals for Matsuri 2012
  • Developing a problem with my right knee. Sigh. Have to be careful of some stances and kneeling/rising. Should be okay long-term but not something that can be eliminated before Matsuri. Won’t stop me playing with spirit though!

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