Phoenix tour wrap-up

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!!!

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