Archive for December, 2009

Thank you FoundatiOn Team donors!

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Thank you to the following contributors who helped push us over the top!

Chris Tin
Dardy Chang
Deborah Laux and Claire Lee
Elaine Ishida
Eric Chang
Johnny Mori
Juni Kobayashi
Leslie Siegel
Louis Laudermilk
Patrick McCabe and Sue Minor
Nicki Bergstrom and Dan Noel
Sharon Sato Dow
Tosh and Teresa Kameda

We did it! YOU did it!

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Thanks to the generous contributions of 102 donors, the FoundatiOn Team has reached our 2009 goal of $10,000! We had an inspiring spurt toward the end, along with some of our largest donations ever, pushing the grand total to $11,445.51!  We did it!  YOU did it!

Thank you, thank you, thank you everyone!

You made Works in Progress, and eight, brand-new taiko compositions possible!

You have also brought taiko to dozens of public school students! As promised, On Ensemble will be providing 10 hands-on taiko workshops, free of charge to Glassell Park Elementary School!  For the past few months, we have been working with the principle to structure the program to provide maximum benefit to the 4th and 5th grade classes.  On Ensemble is extremely excited to help bring more arts education to public schools.  Did you know that California elementary students receive 35% less music and visual arts instruction than the national average?!  Thank you to the FoundatiOn Team for helping us do something about it!

From me personally also… thank you, thank you.  I am extremely moved by the incredible support On Ensemble receives.  Multiple times during the fund drive I found myself choked up, totally inspired by your generosity.  It means the world to me that so many of you value On Ensemble’s music, our efforts in the taiko world, and our work in the larger community.  Thank you, thank you.

6-Month Practice Review – Dec 09

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Today marks six months of closely tracking my taiko practice time.  Here’s a status report and some thank you’s!..



Saturday, December 19th, 2009

It’s been a week since our “Works In Progress ’09” concert.  I think that was the most fun I’ve had in a long time and what a better way to spend it with some of my favorite people in the world creating great and crazy music.

The name “Falling” came to me as I started composing the melody.  I don’t really know what it feels like to fall in an abyss, but while I was playing this song, I almost imagined myself falling into an abyss just like Ziyi Zhang’s character, Jen Yu, did at the end of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon“.  I’d like to thank the On guys for helping me come up with the rhythm section and the koto part.  Kelvin was working pretty hard in this concert!  Thank you to my parents who helped this piece come alive.

Falling – Kelvin Underwood: koto, Shoji Kameda: chappa and shaker, Kris Bergstrom: taiko and shaker, Jeanne Mercer: percussion, Russel Baba: percussion, Masato Baba: fue.

Thank you FoundatiOn Team donors!

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

Oh my gosh, we’re only $489 away from our $10000 goal! Thank you to our newest FoundatiOn Team members! Thank you, thank you!

Chris and Dan Kubo
Chris Huyhn
Debra Kajiyama
Shane Tzen

Howto: install a contact mic in a melodica (or anything!)

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

I recently installed a contact microphone in On Ensemble’s melodica. Here are some photos and a few things I learned along the way.  You can hear the finished product in Gamelgong, at 1:30.

melodica_orig contact_mics


Thank you FoundatiOn Team donors!

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

Oh my gosh, this is so exciting! We’ve raised $9371.51 toward our goal of $10000! We’re so close! Thank you to the following donors!

David Ishimaru
Eriko Miura
Gareth Greenaway
Jon Bailey
Yuri Yoshida

Only $628.49 to go to meet our 2009 goal and a tenth taiko workshop for Glassell Park Elementary!


Friday, December 18th, 2009

Back in February I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of four fellows for a month long residency in Yogyakarta Indonesia.  I’ve been interested in the music of Indonesia for some time and during my time there I bought a set of bonang to bring back.  While we were working on the piece I jokingly started calling it “Gamelgong” as a place holder thinking that I’d come up with a proper name when the piece is finished.  I tried to rename it but now it’s stuck in my mind as “Gamelgong” so here it is:

Gamelgong – Kristofer Bergstrom: bonang & melodica, Masato Baba: fue & taiko, David Wells: taiko, Kelvin Underwood: drums, Shoji Kameda: fue & chappa.

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