Another Concert

Yesterday we had another performance with our hozonkai (Matto Bayashi). This time it was more like a recital sponsored by Asano Taiko. The concert was in a nearby hall in a town called Mikawa. The program included the regular groups that practice at Asano: Hono Taiko, Hikari, Sasuke, Matto Yume Mitai, and our Matto Bayashi Hozonkai. In addition, there were performances from some of the beginning level classes at Asano and a children's group led by Jige san of Hono Taiko.

The Children's group is called Kojira, which is a play on words in Japanese. "Ko" means child in Japanese, and Gojira, is the Japanese pronunciaton of Godzilla. I guess it's almost like saying "Kidzilla", I think it's a creative name for a kid's taiko group. The other neat thing about this group is that the parent's played with the children. The kids were up in front, and their parents played taiko at the back of the stage. I think the youngest member was about 3 years old, and the oldest probably was not much older than 6 or 7.

Trying to motivate my own daughter to participate in her taiko lessons is sometimes a chore. After all, her class is early Sunday morning, and she would usually rather sleep a little longer. I think she would probably be more willing to participate if one of us could practice with her. I was encouraged, though, to hear other parents talking about the difficulty motivating their own children to come to taiko practice, so it is not only my daughter. In any case, once she gets going, and finishes practice, she always says she enjoyed it. In contrast, my son, who is 1 year 3 months, can hardly wait to play taiko. If we leave a pair of sticks lying around the house, he will go straight for them and pick them up with a big smile on his face. He loves going to the concerts, too. He would probably get right up on stage and try to play, if we didn't hold him back.

Yesterday was finally a concert with Hono Taiko, where we were allowed to take video. Wouldn't you know it, our battery ran out before they performed. We were able, though to get some groups, including our hozonkai, so if you have been wanting to see me actually play the drums, instead of watching other groups, you will finally have your chance. I even was interviewed by Kinoshita san of Hono Taiko, following our performance. I thought that we would be playing the song along with the members of Hono Taiko like we did last week, but this time, only Yamada san played with us. If you watch the video, she will be the lady with short hair playing the flute.

Unfortunately, I still was only able to play the very end of the song. There are two Odaiko parts/solos, of which the second is the only one I have memorized so far. I am still working on the first Odaiko solo. I have memorized more than half of it at this point, and I hope to have the whole thing memorized by the next practice. Our next performance isn't until March, so I should definitely have it committed to memory by then.

Here is the video of our performance. By the way, this is only half of the whole song. The whole song is more than 20 minutes long. From what we've been told, because it's so long, it's rarely performed in its complete form.

The interview at the end is probably hard to hear, and if you don't understand Japanese, even more difficult to follow. So here is a brief, rough translation:

Kinoshita san: For one of the members of this group, it is only the second time to perform on stage, and I'd like to ask him a few questions. Brian, could you come over here for a moment?
How long have you been practicing with this group?
Me: I joined around the middle of August.
Kinoshita san: So in only 2 months, you are already able to play at this level. Isn't that great, evryone? And where were you from?
Me: I am from the United States.
Kinoshita san: Isn't playing the taiko difficult?
Me: Yes, it's difficult, but it's a lot of fun.
Kinoshita san: Well, thank you for your efforts, and please continue to work hard and play taiko with the Matto Bayashi Hozonkai. Thank you very much.
Me: Thank you very much.

Also, by March, I hope that we will have joined another group. One the other groups that played yesterday (Matto Yume Mitai) announced after their performance, that they were looking for new members. If we can arrange our schedule, I hope that we can join them as well in a month or two. Then, at the March event, we can perform with two groups. My daughter's class will also have her recital at that time, so it will be a whole family taiko event.

Anyhow, I was able to record part of Yume Mitai's performance as well, so you can see an example of what they sound like. The recording starts in the middle of the opening Odaiko solo, so I missed the first minute or so, but the rest of the song is good also.

The first group that performed yesterday was called Sasuke. I do not know the meaning, or origin of their name, but they play quite nicely. They also performed last week and at Extasia in July as well. I mentioned already that their group is made up of junior high and high school students. Here is a video of the piece they performed yesterday.

So that's about it from Sunday's concert. I started writing this on Monday, but the video editing took sometime and I am only posting it now. So when I say "yesterday", I mean Sunday, 7.October.

1 comment:

lalo said...

Taiko is amazing! i´m having classes of taiko too, in Argentina. Well, greetings!