Kaga Taiko Recital Videos

It's Christmas Eve Day here, in Japan and we are sure busy. You see, Christmas is not a holiday in Japan and most people have to work today and tomorrow and the next day. Thus, for those who wish to celebrate Christmas in a major way, like in Europe or the States, it is a challenge to get everything ready because you are often working right up to, and through the holiday. It's rather depressing, actually. At least working at a school, the winter holidays cover the Christmas holidays so I have never had to work on a Christmas in all my years of working in Japan (well, it's only been four years I guess).

Anyhow, before I spend too much time writing, I just wanted to post videos of our most recent taiko recital. This past Sunday we had our Kaga Taiko recital, which was held at an Onsen (Hotel Suiko) in Katayamazu, near Komatsu Japan. Here is a link to the Hotel Suiko website, in case you want to see pictures.

It was much different than last year's Kaga Taiko Recital, and not just because it was in a different location. This year, we had both our children with us and as a result, we were unable to see many of the other performances. A two and half year old can only sit still for so long, even if he does like taiko. Also, last year's recital featured only Kaga and Fukui style taiko (traditional styles, dating back nearly 400 years), but this year there were also groups that would be considered "Sousaku Taiko" (創作太鼓) which is the more modern form of taiko that most of us probably are more familiar with. On personal level, it was also much different because my wife and I felt much more confident in our playing. I don't know that you can see a whole lot of difference between the technical difficulty of what we played this year and what we did last year, but (at least I like to think) our stage presence is slightly more confident than last year.

Anyway, here is where I will post the videos of this year's and last year's recitals, and you can decide for yourselves. (Please feel free to leave your comments, positive or "constructive")

We'll start with me (Brian)
Last year's recital (2007):

This year's recital (2008):

And now Mayumi's...
Last year (2007):

and this year's (2008):

And I'll just say goodbye with a little bonus video. My son, Kenji, seems to really be starting to "feel" taiko and he will pick up bachi (sticks) any chance he gets and start "playing" the couch, cushions, whatever he can find. The interesting thing is that when you watch him, he has a very serious, focused face, and he seems to be doing more than just "hitting". If he is playing a real drum, this is even more apparent. I was telling my mother this the other day, and she said it was the same way with my older brother (who is now a professional musician). He started learning piano at 3 years old, and although he wasn't necessarily playing songs right away, my mum said that what he played, although random notes, it was very musical. Anyway, decide for yourselves. Here is video of my son playing a cushion. You may think that my judgement is clouded by being a parent, but even if that is so, it is still kind of cute to watch...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
From Raion Taiko

1 comment:

Marlene said...

Merry Christmas!

I still have to post the sites to Marlene's blog; I have not forgotten.