Archive for June, 2010

Recent book reviews – June 2010

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Beautiful Evidence, by Edward Tufte
Healing with Whole Foods, by Paul Pitchford
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, by Haruki Murakami


Best bike shop in LA – Bicycle Kitchen!

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

On Monday I took a trip to the fabulous Bicycle Kitchen for a 12-speed tune-up. The Bicycle Kitchen is a not-for-profit organization that hosts a public bike shop and arranges volunteers to help bike lovers repair their own bikes. You make an appointment, show up with your ride, and the Bicycle Kitchen has helping hands, tools, and spare parts to get you set up. Ken helped me adjust my rear derailleur which has been giving me issues. Thank you Bicycle Kitchen!

Phoenix tour wrap-up

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Shoji gave a great workshop on Omiyage to members of Fushicho Daiko in Phoenix. They did a fantastic job learning the core of the piece, with its complicated rhythms and movements. Emma even made vegan chocolate cake so we all had a treat after the workout. Thank you Fushicho!

The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) was a wonderful treat! We got to see the drums that MIM commissioned from drum-maker and On-Ensemble-friend, Mark Miyoshi. In the image below, Maz is talking with him on the phone.

Mark’s drums are located in the “North America” section of the museum. As I was walking around the museum a staff member approached, recognizing me from that morning’s performance. He said, “Can I ask you a question?.. Sometimes people come up to me and complain that these taiko drums are in the North America section, versus Asia. What do you think of our decision to put them here?” I told him On Ensemble was very pleasantly surprised that the Museum had taken the more honest and complicated approach of representing Mark’s instruments as American. I explained how his finger-jointed-stave construction technique is uniquely his own, and how it was a reaction to the challenges of building taiko with the woods available in the US. The staff member said, “I’m so pleased to know how to explain it now… teaching moments!” Go MIM!!!

MIM performance

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

We had a great performance at the Musical Instrument Museum tonight! We’ll be doing some more post performance posts but I just wanted to do a quick one to say thank you to the great staff at MIM! The food was great the museum was amazing and the theater was beautiful. We felt very well taken care of! I also wanted to give a shout out to the Fushicho Daiko and Odaiko Sonora members who helped us load out and took us out to post performance drinks! Taiko people rock!

Paradise Lost : Shadows and Wings photos

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Here’s a link to some photos from Paradise Lost : Shadows and Wings taken by Scott Barnett. These were taken at the main rehearsal before the Carnegie performance and you can kind of get the sense of the epic nature of it all!

12-month practice review – June ’10

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

On June 22, 2009, I started the 10,000 hours of practice project. 365 days into it, here are the stats and some reflections after the break on a year of monitoring my practice.

Hours practiced (June 22, ’09 – June 22, ’10) – 463.59

Average daily hours (June 22, ’09 – June 22, ’10) – 1.27 (1hr 16.2min)

Current total hours (since 1995) – 4681.59

Estimated date of 10000 hours achievementSunday, Dec 5, 2021
(Assuming I maintain this year’s average daily hours.)


End of New York stay

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

We had our last performance of our New York trip today. Maz, Kaoru and I performed a short set at the Saint Marks Taiko Festival. Yesterday we had a great performance at DROM with Kaoru, Yuka Yamamoto, Shanir Blumenkranz, and Barbara Merjan. Yuka and Shanir started the show off with a great couple of songs featuring Yuka’s beautiful and playful voice and instrumental touches backed by Shanir’s great bass playing. Kaoru joined them for a song then the Barbara, Maz and myself joined in and provided a fun groove for their last piece. (more…)

Up Next: Musical Instrument Museum

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

Our next performance is in Phoenix, AZ at the new Musical Instrument Museum. The Musical Instrument Museum ordered a whole set of Miyoshi taiko and we’re excited to see them at the museum. Our performance is this Saturday the 26th. We have a hands-on demonstration at 11:00am and then a full concert performance at 7:30pm. Tickets are $25-$30 and are available at the Musical Instrument Museum’s website or by calling the box office at: (480) 478-6001.

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