Lighted batchi experiments

Yuta was in town this week and asked me to teach a series of intensive workshops on all-things-slant-drum. As part of that series I prepared the following video to explore basic form and strike.

For the last few months, friends and I have been working on the lighted-batchi technique with the hopes it will enable more detailed comparison of one’s right and left-hand strikes, as well as comparisons of different players’ movements.

The video below is excerpts of right vs left hand comparisons and Yuta vs Kris comparisons in both betta and slant-drum position. We tried a two-camera shot, as well as more complicated moves at the end. If nothing else, they’re pretty to look at!

With practice, I hope lighted batchi will be a useful tool in our taiko exploration toolbox!

7 Responses to “Lighted batchi experiments”

  1. Margaret says:

    Wow! Fascinating…not just another pretty-to-look-at! :)

  2. Alex says:

    It just occurred to me 3 years after the fact while watching this video, but lighted batchi would make a great way to analyze our own chu technique similar to the way swimming is taught with underwater cameras.

  3. Alex says:

    I would be very interested to watch the same video but with the lighted batchi held “backwards” so that I could see the tracings of the path taken by your hands. This is all extremely fascinating to me!

    • Thanks for the comments and interest, Alex. We’re experimenting with small LEDs that we can attach to different parts of the arm. Dan Porter is also working on a mathematical model of the strike so we can better understand how the different parts of the system affect the strike.

      If you’re ever in LA, let me know and we’ll do more experiments!

  4. Paul says:

    Amazing! Thanks for sharing this. I’d love to setup something similar so that my group and I could also analyze our swings.

    One technical question – how are you getting the light ‘trace’ effect? Is it just a really slow shutter speed, or some type of filter/effect?

    • kris says:

      Hi Paul! For the “light trace” effect, I’m using the video editing software kdenlive and the Light Graffiti plugin. Both are free software (“free, as in freedom” as they say) and run on gnu/linux and freebsd. Let me know if you need help installing it or setting up gnu/linux!

      For what it’s worth, On Ensemble will be offering a workshop with this technique as we travel around the country. The first of these workshops will probably be in March and I’ll try and post more videos at

      The author of the Light Graffiti effect (Simon Eugster, aka Granjow) has been really helpful, too. Thanks to Simon!

      • Paul says:

        Thanks Kris! Unfortunately, I’m still a slave to the mac video stuff, but this just might help me break ‘free’! (Being from Hawaii, I can’t help buy be intrigued by something called “kdenlive”!)

        Will check it out – thanks for the quick reply!

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