Archive for May, 2009

Tinman’s blog

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

Our good friend and super talented composer Christopher Tin gave “Ume in the Middle” a nice write up on his blog.

It’s pretty fantastic work. The On Ensemble is a neo-taiko (or taiko fusion, if you will) ensemble; they blend traditional Japanese taiko drumming with electronic beats, turntables, beat-boxing, Tuvan throat singing, and other fantastic sonic tricks.

Kris and I played taiko with Chris at Stanford and even back then he a reputation of being scary talented.  He’s gone on to compose movie and video game soundtracks and is currently working on an album of twelve songs in twelve  different languages called  “Calling All Dawns”.  On Ensemble will be featured on “Madokara Mieru” and I haven’t heard from Chris when the album might be out but what I’ve heard sounds amazing.

“Ume in the Middle” CMJ debut

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

A number of stations added “Ume in the Middle” this week including KBSU in Boise ID, WRBU in Peoria IL ,KRCX in Denver CO, and WBRS in Waltham, MA.  KEXP in Seattle spun “Yamasong”, KSYM in San Antonio played “After Rain” and lots of support from WXDU in Durham who played “After Rain”, “Waiting”, “Yamasong” and “Hiroya vs. Miniboss”.  We’ve had a substantial increase in radio airplay this week with more stations giving “Ume in the Middle” light and medium airplay.  We’re getting medium ariplay from KRUA Anchorage, WSDP Canton, WGTB Washington, WPTS Pittsburgh, WUAG Greensboro, XTSR Townson, WPMD  Norwalk and KNDS Fargo.  We’re getting light airplay from over twenty stations across the country including WCSB and WRUW Cleveland, WIIT Chicago, KEXP Seattle, WMBR Cambridge and KSYM San Antonio. We made the New World charts at several stations inlcuding: WCCS (#22), CJAM (#5), WXDU (#5), WMPG (#4) and WITR (#8), this was all enough to have “Ume in the Middle” debut at #40 on the CMJ New World Chart this week! (more…) outage

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Sorry if you had trouble seeing the website yesterday. The main hub of our ISP, Cyberonic, (a Covad reseller) was down for most of the day. Things seem to be back up and humming again. Sorry for the inconvenience!

Unfortunately, my room has the faint smell of dying electronics.  I wonder if one of the computers is about to give up the ghost… if it’s not one thing, it’s another…

2009 Collegiate Taiko Invitational was great!

Monday, May 25th, 2009

Thank you to UC Irvine Jodaiko for putting together a *fantastic* 2009 Collegiate Taiko Invitational!!!  Over 200 players attended from 14 collegiate taiko groups around the country.  Jodaiko fed, housed, and entertained us all weekend.  Maz and I were there teaching workshops along with Kenny Endo, Russel and Jeanne, Yoshikazu and  Yoko Fujimoto, San Jose Taiko, Taiko Project, Michelle Fujii and many others.

Thank you also to all the volunteers who helped things run smoothly, preparing food and getting drums where they needed to be.  It was an amazing weekend!

Great job Jodaiko!!!

Shime workshop #3 participants (click for larger ver)

Shime workshop #3 participants (click for larger ver)

On Ensemble at the Oregon Bach Festival

Thursday, May 21st, 2009


This June we’re very excited to be performing in Eugene, OR at the Oregon Bach Festival!

Since 1970, the Oregon Bach Festival celebrates the music and legacy of J.S. Bach in an unequaled environment of performance, discovery, and community, in the refreshing early summer of the Pacific Northwest. Perhaps the most expansive and critically acclaimed platform for Bach’s music in America, the Festival forges connections between people through a love of great music.

I’m still not sure quite how we were picked to be a part of the OBF but it’ll be an absolute honor to be among the amazing artists at this year’s festival!

On Thursday June 25th, we’ll be performing at 6:00pm at the Jordon Schnitzer Museum of Art for the public reception of the World Harmony Project.

On Saturday June 27th we have a kids show “Taiko Together” at 11:00am and a full concert at 7:30pm at the Soreng Concert Hall.

Check out the Oregon Bach Festival website for the full schedule of events.

On Ensemble on the radio

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

More radio stations continue to add and play “Ume in the Middle”.  Here’s the latest list of station that have added “Ume in the Middle” to their play lists: (more…)

Professional taiko player = Tetris master?

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Being on tour is a lot of packing and unpacking.  During this last trip we gradually figured out a way to fit everything and leave the passengers a bit of wiggle room.  Here is a montage of our first pack.  Hope I remember the final version!


Somei Yoshino Concert – TEN

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009


Our good friends of the Somei Yoshino Taiko Ensemble have poured their hearts and souls into preparing a big show called “TEN”, May 22nd and 23rd.  Somei Yoshino is the group we collaborated with in 2007 for “Taiko X 2” at the Cerritos Center.

For “TEN”, Somei Yoshino is collaborating with Native American drummer and vocalist Jane De Cuir and taiko players Debby Kajiyama and Yuki Takaishi.  We’re sure it’s going to be a great show and tickets are selling fast.  Check it out if you’re in the Bay Area!  We’d love to have a guest-blogger post a review of the concert here too!

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