Entries in recital (7)


GLTC 8th Annual Concert: Dream 夢 on June 10th 2018 @The Berman

Dream 夢 2018

GLTC 8th Annual Concert & Showcase

June 10th SUN 4:00pm

Doors open 3:30pm @The Berman


Join us as we celebrate our Dream of sharing the art and joy of taiko in the Midwest. Whether you are a taiko enthusiast or just curious to see Japanese taiko drumming for the first time, you are sure to enjoy the wonderful spirit of our Taiko Center students and the amazing artistry of our performing groups.

Our 8th Annual Concert showcases the GLTC 2017-2018 youth and adult students (from Tiny Tots to Advanced Taiko classes) and also features our performing groups, the popular Godaiko Drummers student team and the professional Raion Taiko Ensemble. Our new venue this year is The Berman Center for the Performing Arts in West Bloomfield Township. Tickets are available through The Berman online box office or by contacting GLTC for pickup in Novi, Michigan. [Advance tickets are $20/adult and $15/youth (12 & under); +$5 at the door.]


> Link to TheBerman.org for venue info & tickets

> Link to our Facebook event! www.facebook.org/greatlakestaiko



Asano Taiko Spring Recital March 8, 2009

I went to get my haircut yesterday. It's nice and short now. My friends and co-workers now know what my short haircut means. As soon as I come to work the next day, they ask me, "So when is your taiko concert?"

This time it is this Sunday afternoon (March 8) I will play in three groups, Mayumi (my wife) will play in two and my daughter will play in one. It will be a busy day. We'll really have to give it our best, though. This time there will be a lot of people coming to see it, including some of my students, co-workers and my parents have even traveled all the way from Michigan to see the performance. (Well, that wasn't the only reason they came.)

So this past week has been filled with taiko practices driven by the thought: "This is our last chance to practice altogether before the big event." Our most challenging group, Jigen, does not feel very well prepared. I am certain that all of us have made improvements since our October debut, but the song we took on to learn for this recital is significantly more challenging, in that for half of it, all 9 of us are playing shime taiko. And if you are a regular reader of this blog, or a taiko player, you will already know that getting 9 shime taiko to play in exact unison is not an easy task.

The other group my wife and I play in together is Shin-Matto Bayashi. This time around it certainly will be "shin" (new) because for the first time in a long time, we will be playing with Shamisen players, which will add a nice melodic element to the piece. The piece also calls for a flute part and is we actually only perform half of it. When played in full, it is maybe more than 20 minutes long and for these recitals, there are so many groups that need to play, each one is limited to 10 minutes. The time restraints, as well as a decline in members in recent years, has led to a stripped down version of Shin-Matto Bayashi. Therefore, it has been quite a while since anyone has seen it performed with the Shamisen players. Maybe next time we can add back the flute parts.

The group I play in by myself, Yume Mitai is playing the same song we have played the past three concerts, but this time around, many people have switched parts. I moved to Shime Taiko, along with two other nagado players and one of the Odaiko players. Two of the original shime taiko players moved to the nagado part, the other one moved to Odaiko. One other nagado player also moved to Odaiko. With so many people moving around to different parts, it is also likely that, although this is the fourth time we have performed this piece, it will probably sound a bit different.

I was going to write about the advice I got from Yamada sensei about playing shime daiko in a group, but I think I will save that for next time, as this has already gotten longer than I had intended.


It's a Beautiul Day!

It's a brisk, October morning, there's a beautiful sunrise and today is a taiko concert. There is something about performing that I really enjoy. I'll be performing with three groups today, playing Odaiko for two of them. Mayumi will be playing in two groups. Can't wait.



Our Sunday performance was more or less a success. I was pretty exhausted afterwards, though. Not from the playing. I only played for 3 numbers and they were spread out through the concert. It was more the release of all the pre-concert stress, I suppose. It was a lot of work (mentally) for the three of us to prepare for this recital, not only the music, but putting together all of the clothes for our costumes (it probably cost me over $100 to get everything I needed), organizing car pools to get to the venue and so on. Needless to say, on Monday, I was able to finally exhale, and my exhaustion finally caught up with me. In spite of the exhaustion, you can bet that we were at our taiko practices the next two days after the concert. (they were a bit lighter than usual, though.)

I hope to eventually get some video up of our performances, but in the meantime, several audience members gave us some nice pictures from the performance (and some of the practices) which I will post here for your enjoyment.

Here's my daughter ready to practice

More practicing...

... and the performance ...

My wife at Matto Bayashi practice...

Me at Matto Bayashi practice...

Here is the Matto Bayashi group before the concert...

Me (in the back) peforming with Matto Bayashi...

My wife (on the left) performing with Matto Bayashi...

Wow, there are a lot of pictures to post
Here is the Yume Mitai group picture before the concert...

Me at Yume Mitai practice...

Yume Mitai performance...

and a close up during the performance...

Oh yeah, I got interviewed again after our Matto Bayashi performance...

That is Kinoshita san of Hono Taiko interviewing me.

And the finale...

So, that's it for the photo essay of our performance. Be patient for videos. It will likely be a couple weeks before I have a chance to get them up. In the meantime, enjoy the pictures.


Dress Rehearsal

We just returned from our dress rehearsal for tomorrow's concert. I think everything went well enough and I feel ready for tomorrow's performance. I had one little thing go wrong for me today, though. I was playing a different drum than what I am used to and it turns out that the head is much tighter than my usual drum. When I hit the first couple notes, the rebound was so strong that my stick flew out of my hand. Although embarassing and I had to walk part way across the stage to pick it up, I recovered well and finished the song without any more mistakes. No one even mentioned it.

It was interesting to watch all the groups go through their rehearsal as well. One thing I noticed is that the instructors gave very few criticisms, if any. They only said things like "Play a little louder tomorrow." "Let's have even more energy tomorrow!" "Use more voice tomorrow." No individuals were pointed out or picked. No particular sections of the music were critized either. I know everything was not perfrect, but still, only very general comments were given. Even the practices the last couple weeks have been fairly relaxed, and non-critical. In my opinion, I think the instructors are thinking that at this point, it is too late to be making big changes. It will only put pressure on people and make them even more nervous. I think that their hope is that we will all relax and enjoy playing, and if we can do that, our best performance will come out by itself. I agree with this 100%. If the performers are enjoying themselves, the audience will too.

Lastly, I got two big encouragments as I was getting ready to leave. Our bags and coats were close to where Jige-san (of Hono Taiko) and Asano-san (the owner of Asano Taiko) were sitting. Both of them told me they thought I was doing a good job. I know not to put too much worth on this, but still, Jige-san is one of my original taiko inspirations and Asano-san, the owner of the company that makes the best taiko in the world, well, he's seen so many different taiko groups at so many levels, it's just an honor that he would give me encouragement. I was pleased.