Archive for October, 2009

Howto: Track your practice with WordPress and gnuplot

Saturday, October 31st, 2009


Here’s how to set up a system with pretty graphs to track your practice time and display it at your WordPress site!  I’m using mine to track the time I spend each day on four different categories of practice, and also show my progress toward the goal of 10,000 hours of total practice.  Every day I add my practice times to a log file and the system generates updated graphs nightly.  When you visit my blog site, the running tally is given in the header (or anywhere else I want it on the website… like here! (5045.95).  And the graphs at my “10,000 hours of taiko” blog post are also automatically updated every night.


Last minute gig

Friday, October 30th, 2009

This came up at the last second, but I’m performing tomorrow with Tarang led by tabla master Abhijit Banerjee tonight at Whittier college.  My good friend and amazing ghatam player Somnath Roy is also in the ensemble.  If you are in the area and want to see me struggle through some crazy fast complicated Indian pieces the concert is at 8pm at the Ruth B. Shannon Center for the Performing Arts.

Khoomei Taiko Ensemble wrap-up

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

khoomei-taiko-4khoomei-taiko-3I just finished up the last leg of the Khoomei Taiko Ensemble tour.  These two great photos of our last concert were taken by Daniel Sheehan a Seattle based photography who specializes in Jazz photography.  He posts photos from every performance at the Earshot Jazz Festival so check out his website for more full size photos of the Khoomei Taiko Ensemble performance and other Earshot Jazz Festival performances.

After New York we flew to Seattle for two concerts and a workshop.  The Seattle Taiko community took great care of us and I’d like to give a shout out to Stan, Linda, Masae and Eric for all of their help! (more…)

Works In Progress ’09

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009


Witness the debut of On Ensemble music!  New instruments join the On Ensemble mix, including gamelan gongs and home-made electronic drums, in never-before-seen compositions by each of the group’s members.  Artistic risk-taking and experimentation lead the way in On Ensemble’s most important performance of the year.  With special guests Russel Baba and Jeanne Mercer (Maz and Shoji’s first teachers) of Shasta Taiko and David Wells!

On Ensemble Presents: Works In Progress ’09
A concert of all new works featuring Russel Baba and Jeanne Mercer

December 12, 2009, 8:00pm
The Miles Memorial Playhouse
1130 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica, CA  90403

Tickets: $25 available online at: Brown Paper Tickets or by phone at: 1-800-838-3006

FoundatiOn Team fund drive now underway! 

Help us reach our goal of $10,000!  Read more here!

10,000 Hours of Taiko

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

A great test of taiko science is now under way!

The book Outliers (review here) proposes the “10,000 hour rule” — mastering anything requires 10,000 hours of practice. As an experiment, I’ve decided to try and track my taiko practice time. I’ve conservatively estimated how many hours completed thus far, and am now carefully recording my daily practice. Watch this site to see when I cross the 10,000 hour mark (probably somewhere between Apr 8, 2017 and Aug 14, 2026) and then we’ll decide if I’ve reached “master” status. :)

Current total:



Graph generated:


Switzerland trip video

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

My dad and I spent about a week in Switzerland. I had a good time playing around with my new camera, a Panasonic GH1. While I hate to contribute to the tragic “vacation video” genre, here is a little something I put together from the trip, using music I saw in Zurich and Lucerne. It was my first time editing video but the fantastic kdenlive program made it fun!

Lessons learned:
Switzerland is incredible
Random dances with your dad are fun
The train depot is a great place to compose at any hour

Downloadable version here. Caution, HUGE file!

New York wrap-up

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

kte_nyWe just finished up the New York leg of our tour and a lot has happened since my last post.  We had quite a few performances in New York that culminated in a great performance at Symphony Space.  We also had a number of workshops for local taiko groups.  Both Tetsuro and I taught a class at Kaoru’s Taiko center and at the Long Island University workshop there was even a group of students that had come all the way from Bowling Green Ohio!

Kaoru, Tetsuro and I had a performance at Drom with our translator Nominjin who is also a great singer in her own right.  Shinetsog sat in with Adam Rudolph’s Go Organic Orchestra and with another gig at a African Restaurant that Kaoru was playing in blowing people away with throat singing and Morin Huur playing.   It was a great couple of day filled with music and some NY site seeing.  We had to say goodbye to Tetsuro yesterday and tomorrow the rest of us head off to Seattle for our last leg of the tour.  More soon!

The Warehouse!

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Hi all!  So, a few months ago, I posted a blog about TAIKOPROJECT looking for a warehouse.  That particular warehouse didn’t work out, BUT Bryan found a new one down in Long Beach and signed the lease!  It’s currently being renovated since it was basically a large space with nothing in it and it needs some work.  That being said, go to TAIKOPROJECT’s website for information about the future Southern California’s only dedicated Taiko studio.  Exciting!!!

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