Just an Update

It seems like it's been quite a while since I was last able to update this. Maybe it hasn't been all that long, however. Anyhow, I apologize to any of my regular readers (if there are any out there) if you have been anxiously awaiting an update. Let me apologize a second time, because I will soon begin listing excuses of why I haven't written and why it will be difficult for me to write for a couple months. My goal is to make at least a weekly entry, which I have actually exceeded in the first few months. Now, however, we have entered one of the busy seasons in Japan and everyone seems to have a lot going on. For the last two weeks, I have been at work from around 7 am to 7 or 8 pm every day. I also joined a new taiko group (Yume Mitai) starting last night, so that adds another thing to my schedule. I will have a "business" trip to Tokyo next week for 4 days, and then when I return, it will be time for final exams at the school. Furthermore, our school puts on a huge Christmas pageant every year, which we have now begun the preparations for, and that also means some late nights at work. To sum it all up, I will probably be rather busy until January, and then things will settle down probably until April or May.

As I mentioned, I have joined a new group, Yume Mitai. I went to the first practice last night. In this group, instead of the O-daiko (large drum) I will play Nagado Taiko, which is probably what most people think of when they think of taiko. It is a barrel shaped taiko. It sits on the floor and probably comes up to around my thighs or knee height. I haven't had much experience playing this type of drum, actually. We do play it in Kaga taiko, but the stance, style and feeling are much different. I, therefore have a lot to learn about playing it. I think I will catch on quickly, but I noticed many problems last night. The music is not difficult, though, and by the end of the 90 minute practice, I think I had about half of the song memorized.

As far as Raion Taiko (that's me and my wife) are concerned, we haven't had many opportunities to practice on our own lately. We can only practice on Sunday afternoons, but for the past month or so, we have had events going on, or one of us was sick, or the children were sick and we couldn't practice. We have been working, though. We are working on writing our first original song. Up till now, we have only attempted to learn traditional taiko pieces, or songs that we could find on the internet, or from taiko books. My wife kept telling me that we have to write our own music and wanted me to try to write something. I tried once a while back, but I couldn't think of more than a few measures of music, and when I put it together, it was rather disappointing. I decided to just wait and as I learned and practiced more and more, I figured writing songs would start to come more easily. Last week inspiration arrived, and we have a strong start to our own original song. It's actually kind of exciting to see it all come together as I think of knew parts. Our goal is to have it done within a couple weeks, and then I will try to ask Yamada-san of Hono Taiko to look at it and give us suggestions.

That's all I have time for today. Hopefully it will not be too long before I can make an update again.

1 comment:

Marlene said...

Heck yes, you have regular readers! It's me, Marlene the Pug!