Entries in taiko concert (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



Raion Taiko in Concert, This Saturday (Feb 20)


February 20th has nearly arrived.  What's so important about February 20th? We are playing a major concert at Marshall Middle School, in Marshall, MI. The organizers are teachers at the school who are in charge of an exchange program between their school and a junior high in Shiga, Japan.  They contacted me ... gosh ... I feel like it was almost a year ago, to see if we'd be interested in doing a fundraising concert for their students. Although we were still in Japan at the time and the only members of our group were me and my wife, I said we'd do it. Now there are five of us and our new members, Tom, Eileen and Larry, have worked hard to learn new music, as well as teach us a few new songs. 

Last weekend we rented a local auditorium to do a run through on our own, with costumes and everything. (see the picture above) and now, we're ready to go. Friday night we'll pack up our drums and after Saturday morning taiko class, we'll head on over to Marshall for the concert.

We even got a write up in the Battle Creek Enquirer today:

Rhythm of the Far East coming to Marshall

If you're interested in coming out to see us, please take a look at the information on our Taiko Performances page.

We hope to see a lot of people there.


Neighborhood Concert

Last weekend, on Sunday, we gave a mini-concert in the backyard of my parents' house.  The weather was beautiful and the trees were at the peak of their fall-colors.  My mother baked fresh molasses cookies and prepared warm, spiced cider for the guests.  It was partially an expression of thanks on our part, for all the neighbors putting up with the times that we have used my parents' garage as a practice space.  I am quite certain that the whole neighborhood is able to hear it when we do practice there.  Although we apologized for the noise and waking people up out of their Saturday afternoon naps, everyone was kind and said they didn't mind at all.  In fact, since we have moved into our new practice space, we haven't really been practicing in the garage any more and some of the neighbors actually complained that we HAVEN'T been practicing.  They actually miss hearing the drums.

Here are a few pictures from the performance.  We played an arrangement of a song called "Raigun" written by Yamada san of Hono Taiko, an excerpt on shime taiko from "Yatai Bayashi" (a song often performed by Kodo), a short piece with our daughter, which we learned at Earth Celebration this past summer and Kaga Mushi Okuri.









Extasia 2009 - Taiko of Japan, Taiko of Tomorrow

Today is the big day: Exstasia 2009. I will leave for the concert hall in about an hour, there will be a dress rehearsal in the morning, eat lunch, and then the concert starts at 2:00 PM. When concert-goers enter the lobby when we open up the doors at 1:00, they will be greeted by the large, foam-board Odaiko cut-out you see in the picture above. It has been signed by all of the performers... well, most of them, and the rest will probably sign it this morning. Concert-goers will also be invited to leave a message on the board.

This year's Exstasia will be held indoors, unlike last year's which was held outdoors. It's a good thing, though, because the chance of rain is 80 or 90% all day. Although it is not raining yet. In fact, I was thinking of riding my bike to the concert venue until I checked the weather forecast.

Having the concert inside not only reduces the worries about bad weather, but it also means a lot less work in preparing the venue. Last year we had to spend several days putting up a temporary fence surrounding the whole amphitheater so that people couldn't watch the program without paying and there were many other jobs that had to be done. We were working every day for a week before the concert. This year, most of us only were asked to come the day before the concert (yesterday). I had to work in the morning, so I couldn't make it there until lunchtime. When I arrived, they told me that they'd finished work until 7:00 pm and I could go home until then if I wanted.

I stuck around for a little bit to watch some of the rehearsal because I won't get to see much of the performance today. I got to see about six of the 14 groups performing. Hopefully I'll get to see a few more today. Out of the groups I saw yesterday, the group that left the most lasting impression was Shiobara Ryo and Gokasen (塩原 良 & 御花泉). Gokasen is the name of the team, which is produced by Shiobara san. They feature four women playing Katsugi Taiko. If you can read the Kanji for the name, you'll know that it means "Flower Fountain". After watching their rehearsal yesterday, I think it is an appropriate name. Their playing (the women katsugi players) was very feminine, but in a powerful sort of way. There movement was graceful and smooth, especially their arms. Their name is "Flower Fountain" but think more of a fountain of flowers made of fireworks and perhaps you'll get a bit of an idea of what they are like.

Well, it's time that I get ready to go. I'm sure I'll have more to share after the concert.


Asano Beat - Chapter 2 "Fragrance"

Last Saturday I attended the second monthly concert given at the Asano Taiko museum. (The debut of the monthly concerts I wrote about last month here) Last month's concert was titled 月のしずく, something like "drips of moon". This month was called 香 or "Fragrance". The performers were, once again, Hono Taiko, Kazusa Okazaki of Hikari and a guest flute player, Mr. Yagi (sorry, I can't read his first name).

Each piece for this concert was intended to express a fragrance of nature. The evening began in similar fashion to last month, with the lights going down and images of nature being projected onto the large Odaiko (pictured at the start of this post) accompanied by soft, ambient music. I even thought that I smelled some type aromatic fragrance in the air as the concert was starting. The first, by Hono Taiko, song was slow and soft. It used taiko drums along with a few keys (?) of a Gamelan xylophone. This piece was expressing the fragrance of the moon. A bamboo flute (shinobue, not shakuhachi) performance followed which represented the fragrance of the forest. Next, the sound of thunder came over the sound system and what followed was a piece played on Odaiko along with two shime taiko, symbolizing thunder and rain (this was my favorite piece of the evening) representing, of course, the fragrance of rain. Next we heard the a unique bamboo flute and taiko piece representing the fragrance of the wind. The flute used in this piece was designed and made by Mr. Yagi (the performer). It was about a 5 foot piece of bamboo, which he played horizontally and it had a deep, rich sound. He was accompanied by Jige san and Kinoshita san of Hono Taiko.

We then had an interlude with some comments from Jige san, who is always interesting to listen to. She joked around with Mr. Yagi about how he could use his unique bamboo flute to hang his laundry. She kept talking and talking and talking until finally, Yamada san and Okazaki san, who had been on stand-by for the next piece for several minutes, made it very obvious (in a humorous way) that it was time to stop talking and move on to the next piece. (All part of the show, I think, but amusing, nonetheless).

The last two pieces were not associated with any type of fragrance. First we heard Raigun (雷郡) played by Yamada san (Hono Taiko) and Okazaki san (Hikari). This is the same song Yamada sensei taught JIGEN, a group I am in, for the Asano recital last October (2008), but we played it with 9 people and they only had two for this performance. They had lined up about eight drums across the stage. There were shime taiko on either end, and then different sized Oke taiko meeting in the middle. They used all the drums to cover the three different parts between the two of them. It was interesting to see how they did it.

The last piece was performed by Hono Taiko and was called "Tomoe" 巴. Tomoe the symbol that we would probably call "yin-yang" and in taiko, you often see three of these yin-yang shapes, which is called a mitsudomoe. Anyways, it was a pretty exciting and energetic song.

The finale was the same as last month, with Kinoshita san playing shamisen, Jige san singing while playing a hand-played taiko, Yamada san and Okazaki san on taiko and Yagi san's flute playing.

Once again, it was a wonderfully produced program, very enjoyable to watch, only about a hundred people came to watch, making it very personal. This time my parents, who are visiting, were able to attend the concert with us. They have seen world re known groups like Yamato and Kodo several times, but I think they particularly enjoyed being so close to the drums and being able to see the energy and passion of the players in such close proximity. My dad even said, "That was the best taiko I have ever seen!". My daughter also came with us, and enjoyed the first half, but fell asleep for the second half.

On the way out, my parents were able to take photo with Hono Taiko and Yagi san, the flute player.

It was another great concert and I can't wait until next month's. It is April 26th.