Archive for January, 2013

Slant Drum Basics Before and After Videos — Pittsburgh Taiko

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Thank you for the fun workshop, Pittsburgh Taiko! I felt really good about the workshop and hope you guys did too.

Next time, I’ll try to align the end-point questions better with what we focused on in the workshop. I’m impressed that so many people showed improvement in “strikes look efficient”, for example, even though we didn’t talk about that at all. Nice work, everyone!

Pittsburgh Taiko — Slant Basics Before and After Videos workshop

Teaching notes for next time:
Continue to show players starting point video and give each person a personalized goal for the day.
Timing corrections made most dramatic improvement.
Make all comments to someone in particular.
Try to find time to talk about upper body rotation and left arm extension.

Up Next: Cuyahoga Community College

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

We are headed back to Ohio! This time for a full concert perform at the Cuyahoga Community College this Saturday January 26th at 7:00pm. Tickets are only $20.

On Ensemble in Concert
Cuyahoga Community College
Tri-C East Theatre
(216) 987-4444

On Ensemble Workshops: Worth Every Penny

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

(The following is a post by guest blogger, Urie. Thanks, amigo!)

As a music student in some form or another for the past decade, I’ve been exposed to a number of different teachers and teaching styles. Based on these experiences, I feel confident in saying that the members of On Ensemble are among the best educators I’ve had the pleasure of working with. The atmosphere is very laid-back, which really encourages participants to adjust their technique and try something different. I was particularly impressed by how quickly the drills helped improve our taiko group’s approach to improvisation–not an easy concept to unpack for an audience with very different experiences in music and dance.

On an individual level, I thoroughly enjoyed Kris Bergstrom’s “30 Days to a Better Shime” program. As a drummer, many of the concepts came across as a review, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. You’re never so good that you can’t revisit the basic. The pacing of the exercises and the explanation of the mechanics are perfectly suited to someone approaching wrist-centric drumming for the first time.

The diverse backgrounds, skills and perspectives of On Ensemble do, in fact, lead to a group without equal. If you find yourself with an opportunity to learn from these amazing individuals, do yourself a favor and take it.

Monster of the Sky Kickstarter Campaign

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Our good friend and uber talented puppeteer and director Sam Koji Hale has just launched a Kickstarter Campaign for his newest short film “Monster of the Sky”. Sam directed the short film “Yamasong” that featured our track of the same name and his newest project features music from my electronic project Stereo Alchemy.

Sam has a unique style and artistic vision. He meticulously handcrafts puppets then shoots them against a green screen to put them into fantastic digital environments. Check out his Kickstarter video then fund the project and get some great swag along the way.

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Here’s the link to the Kickstarter page where Sam has posted more picks and info.

Up Next: On Ensemble and Patrick Graham in Montreal

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Our next performance will be a Workshop and Mini-concert/Video Shoot at Timpano Percussion with multi percussionist Patrick Graham in Montreal!

Workshop : 3-5:30pm
Mini-concert/Video Shoot : 7pm

Workshop and Concert – $40 | Concert only – $5

Info: (514) 528-9535

Timpano Percussion
2525 Rachel East, Montréal, QC, Canada

Slant Drum Basics Before and After Videos — St Louis Osuwa Daiko

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

Thank you, St Louis Osuwa Daiko for the fun workshop yesterday. We hope you found the concepts useful. Here are the results of our before and after videos.

Commentary on the results coming soon. St Louis members, feel free to comment below!

St Louis Osuwa Daiko – Slant Basics Before and After Videos workshop

Left-side video taken before workshop. Right-side video taken at end of workshop.
Question 1: Player hits confidently.
Question 2: No unnecessary tension.
Question 3: No unnecessary movement.
Question 4: Player looks “beautiful”.
Question 5: Player looks “strong”.
Question 6: Player looks “focused”.
Question 7: Player looks “graceful”.
Question 8: Player has “huge” stage presence.
Question 9: Right-hand hits consistently.
Question 10: All dons are consistent.
Question 11: Player hits center of drum for “don” and same spot on rim for “ka”.
Question 12: Player is “stable” (no “swaying” or “bobbing”).
Question 13: Player is maximizing distance from drum (stance).
Question 14: Tip of batchi reaches great distance from drum in preparation for strike.
Question 15: Batchi moves along “drum line”.
Question 16: Timing of hits align with metronome.

Here is my first attempt at a “direct comparison overlay” of each player with my playing of M1. Some aspects of our form are difficult to see but foot position and arm pull-up timing differences are clear.

St Louis Osuwa Daiko – direct comparison overlay Kris vs All

On Ensemble and Patrick Graham in Montreal

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

We’re just about to begin a cross-country tour of workshops and performances. Along the way we’ll be visiting our great collaborator and friend, Patrick Graham, in Montreal. Here’s the flyer for the event (in English and French versions… cool!)


Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

Happy New Year On Ensemble fans! We had a great 2012 and are looking forward to an even better 2013. We have several big tours coming up and will be completing a new album this year! Happy New Year!

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