Archive for August, 2012

Fun at the Huntington Library

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

Last weekend Maz and I were joined by eight colleagues to perform for one of the Huntington Library’s Summer Evening events. Aki, Ayano, Dan, Derek, Jason, Kerry, and Mike joined us for a slant-drum battle and Jason and Yuri played Jack Bazaar! The battle included lots of new ideas and our first time trying the 110 structure. Jason and Yuri spent weeks learning the the second-half of Jack Bazaar (the first time anyone other than Maz or I has played it) and did a fantastic job!

Thank you to all our collaborators and to Huntington for the opportunity!

Huntington Library Jack Bazaar 120819

Huntington Library Slant Drum Battle 120819

The Brahmin and The Tiger – Closing Weekend!

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

This next weekend is the closing weekend for the wonderful production I’m in called “Brahmin and the Tiger”. This show is directed by long time friend, John Miyasaki, who helped start off TAIKOPROJECT. He’s had a vision of creating a show with folktales from Asia and the Pacific. It’s finally here and he’s asked me to create some live music which includes Jen Baik, David Wells, and myself. I’m very proud to be a part of this production and I strongly encourage you to check it out.

Inner-City Arts
The Rosenthal Theater
720 Kohler Street
Los Angeles, CA 90021
Entrance at 7th and Merchant St

Tickets: $25, Seniors $20, Students $15

Friday, August 24 at 8pm
Saturday, August 25 at 2pm
Saturday, August 25 at 8pm
Sunday, August 26 at 2pm / Closing Performance


Next up: Ohio and Hawaii tours

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

Our next public performances will be in the Columbus area in late October and November. Maz, Shoji, and I will be joined by Kaoru, Eien, and Abe Lagrimas for a two-week series of performances and workshops.

Kelvin will then join Maz, Shoji, and I in Maui, Kona, and Hilo for a series of concerts. Taiko in Hawaii!

Details coming soon!

Live-stream of Curiosity touchdown at Griffith Observatory!

Monday, August 6th, 2012

(Update: More great images here.)

Last night Hiro and I went to Griffith Observatory to watch the live NASA feed during the Curiosity rover’s approach to Mars.

Wow, wow, wow!

Everything about the evening contributed to one of the most intensely suspenseful events I’ve experienced. A noticeable increase in traffic greeted our approach to Griffith Park. After a lucky break finding a parking spot, we joined the steady stream of people hiking up to the observatory. We overheard a mother answering her son’s questions about Mars and teenagers talking about possible science majors. The buzz was infectious.

When we reached the top, however, the Observatory lawn and entry were not particularly crowded. It wasn’t until we reached the underground wing, where the live stream was projected on a large display, that we were faced with hundreds and hundreds (thousands?) of eager watchers. We were told the viewing area was over-capacity, so we joined the throngs on the upper deck straining to catch a view of the screen below. Griffith Observatory staff shouted the updates for us. “If everything has gone well, in 30 seconds we begin EDL, or Entry Descent and Landing, the ‘7 minutes of terror’. … The vehicle makes contact with the Mars atmosphere… Now!” Although we wouldn’t hear from the actual rover for another 14 minutes, we had a play-by-play about what should be happening at that moment on Mars. It was delightful to imagine the events unfolding so far away. The people behind us were translating the announcements into Tagalog and Spanish as we waited eagerly for the first signals from Curiosity.

“News from the rover! Entering the Martian atmosphere at 13,200mph.” Each announcement came with cheers from the crowd. “Rover will miss crater center by 232 meters.” Griffith staff explained this was good news because Gale crater is about the size of Los Angeles. Cheers erupted again. Every stage of the EDL was announced and each time the tension rose. When we heard “24 meters from surface!” the hall got quiet. When the JPL stream announced touchdown, and the scientists on screen started celebrating, the place erupted! I was almost moved to tears by the relief, the excitement, and the sound of hundreds of people so excited.

The 14-minute delay had an amazingly artful effect… We were able to hear the stages announced once, like a practice run, in advance of the actual signals from Curiosity. When the time came for touchdown… we were ready!

The fact that so many folks turned out to cheer on NASA was deeply inspiring. NASA has done an amazing job designing projects that people care about and also explaining them in compelling ways. The event made me love NASA, Griffith Observatory, and my fellow, curious Angelinos.

Congratulations to everyone who worked on Curiosity thus far. We’ll be cheering you on from here!

Thank you Russel, Jeanne, Mario, John, Shinya, and others!

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

ShastaYama was a ton of fun. It is such a privilege each year to be a part of the event. Mario and his whole family worked tirelessly to make things come together. John and Shinya stayed up nights to enable live-streaming of the show. Franco and Rylan learned all of the Jack Bazaar backbeat parts so that Maz and I could perform the piece. Deb gave me a place to stay for 5 nights! About 1000 people came to see the concert!

Thank you to everyone involved. It was an invigorating time in Mt Shasta!

Met Masa in Mt Shasta!

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

I was at Yak’s internet cafe in Mt Shasta and after speaking Japanese with Hiro on the phone, a young man in the cafe introduced himself. His name was Masa and he was hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (over 2500 miles!). He was just over halfway and had profound things to say about walking and endurance. It was an inspiring interaction and I’ll be following Masa’s progress. Go Masa Go!

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