Archive for June, 2010

Three-day taiko/oboe collaboration

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

Stanford Taiko member Brady Fukumoto joined me for three days of practice and experimentation and we had a great time! We worked on betta and slant form, discussed taiko philosophy, and explored a new composition. Brady is a great oboe player and I’m hoping we can put together a new piece for On Ensemble’s next Works in Progress concert. Thanks, Brady!

You can tell from the t-shirts that we're a good pair

Up Next: Nakanaka

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

Maz and Shoji will be performing in the East Village tonight at DROM with some really great guest artists: Yuka Yamamoto, Shanir Blumenkranz, Barbara Merjan and Kaoru Watanabe! Should be a fun performance come check it out if you are in NY.

Saturday June 19th, 9pm
General admission: $10
DROM
85 Ave A (b/w 5th & 6th)
212 777-1157

Spending time with two pieces of art

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

I spent a large part of the day wandering through the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  My strongest memory of the last time I visited the Met was being completely overwhelmed by the sheer volume and variety of the art displayed.  Complete sensory and intellectual stimulation overload.  So this time I had a different strategy.  I didn’t worry about seeing everything in the museum.  My plan was to just wander around lost until I came to something that caught my attention and then spend some time with that piece and see what happened.  (more…)

Lost in New York

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Wow now I can say I performed at Carnegie Hall and I wouldn’t even be lying.  The concert version of Eric Whitacre’s Paradise Lost : Shadows and Wings was quite an event.  The choir was massive, the beats were massive, the soloist were amazing and much fun was had.

Yesterday I taught a workshop to Kaoru’s taiko center and we rehearsed for our upcoming gig at DROM.  I’m planning on spending the next couple of days seeing as much music and eating as much good food as I can.  Kaoru and his wife Mari have also got me hooked on Lost.  Though they are at the end of season 5  and I can’t really imagine anything being more confusing than starting to watch this show from this point.  I spend every episode confused beyond imagination but find the whole experience oddly compelling.

Paradise Lost Rehearsal

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Holy moly!  Shoji and I got into New York Saturday night and it’s been a bit of a whirlwind since.  The night we got in, we had and awesome dinner at Chevella’s with our awesome hosts and good friends, Kaoru and Mari.

The next day, we sat down and wrote out our scores for Paradise Lost.  I taught an Omiyage workshop at Kaoru’s school, the Kaoru Watanabe Taiko Center.  Shoji will be back at the school on Wednesday to fine tune the song.

Today, we had a rehearsal for Eric Whitacre’s Paradise Lost in which we perform in tomorrow at Carnegie Hall!  We didn’t really know what to expect, but today’s rehearsal was amazing.  There are over 400 singers in the choir, seven lead singers, Eric (the creator and conductor), Greg (musical director and DJ), Fang Fang (cello virtuoso), the narrator, and us.  I was overwhelmed by the power of 400 singers.  It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve heard.  Amazing…

Video doesn’t really do it justice, but here is a clip:  PLChoir

The musicians, Greg, Eric, the narrator, and the leads!  Come check out the concert tomorrow if you’re in NYC!

Taikoforum.com is live!

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Fellow taiko player and friend Carrie Carter has been working to start taikoforum.com, intended to bring together taiko players for discussion and sharing. I’m the site’s first guest moderator and am starting off the discussion with questions on basic form. Please help us discover new approaches (and old barriers) to improving basic kata!

Yamasong the movie nominated for two awards

Saturday, June 12th, 2010

Yamasong the movie had it’s premiere at the Florida Film Festival and has been accepted to several other festivals including: “Plastic Paper” Festival of Animation & Puppetry in Winnipeg, Canada, the World Festival of Puppet Art in Prague, Czech Republic, the San Francisco United Film Festival, the Fear No Film Festival in Salt Lake City and the World Music & Independent Film Festival in Washington DC.  We also just received word that Yamasong was nominated for Best Screenplay and Best Original Sound for a short film at the World Music & Independent Film Festival in DC!

Maz and Kris at TaikoProject Rhythmic Relations 2010

Friday, June 4th, 2010

TaikoProject’s big concert of the summer is July 10 and 11 at the Ford Amphitheatre in Los Angeles. If you’re in the area and available, come see my Los Angeles-area TaikoProject debut!

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