Archive for June, 2014

Recent book reviews — June 2014

Saturday, June 21st, 2014


Matsuri Crashers battle structure videos now available!

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Matsuri Crashers Battle Structures <-- Check it out!

Here’s a sample

In preparation for our battle on July 20 at World Taiko Gathering, we’ve created a series of videos demonstrating each of the Matsuri Crashers battle structures. I’ve added the videos to the Matsuri Crashers Battle Structures page. I hope they are helpful!

Pick a structure, practice, and join us on July 20!
RSVP today!

DIY toilet paper roll holder

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

UPDATE — the “holder” is now a “dispenser”!

DIY 13-roll toilet paper holder from Kristofer Bergstrom on Vimeo.

Hiro and I just finished a fun woodworking project… a DIY toilet paper roll holder. One can obviously purchase a ready-made holder for just a few dollars, but our toilet paper roll holder has one key feature:

It holds all 12 rolls in a new pack, plus a 13th “buffer” roll!

The initial design had a kink in the middle to provide a shelf for bathroom reading materials, but initial testing proved toilet paper is reluctant to roll through bends. So we went with a long, straight design. It looks a bit like a skyscraper birdhouse. The holder hangs on a wall hook and can be easily removed for refilling. I made the holder from scrap bamboo plywood on hand and we left it unfinished. It works wonderfully and freed up a lot of space under the bathroom sink!

Up next: Japan and UK Taiko Festival

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

I’m extremely excited about an upcoming trip to Japan for shamisen lessons and England to teach and perform at the UK Taiko Festival!

Shima no Senzai
Last year I mentioned to my shamisen teacher, Kineya Katsuyukie, that I’d like to learn the tsuzumi/shamisen duet piece, Shima no Senzai, with the hopes one day of playing it with Kenny Endo. Katsuyukie Sensei has arranged a lesson for me with the great tsuzumi player, Katada Shinjyuro, and a singer from Hakodate, Nachi-san. This is going to be scary and fun!

In one of my workshops I’ll be debuting a new composition! I need to get a lot better before the grooves feel really good but I think it has potential. Here’s a sample!

Radiddlepa sample, work in progress from Kristofer Bergstrom on Vimeo.

Jack Bazaar and collaborations with Kagemusha and Mizuho Zako
I’ll be performing Jack Bazaar with Oliver Kirby on jiuchi, sitting in on one of Kagemusha’s pieces, Kindred Spirit, and trying to pull together a short bon-taiko collaboration with Mizuho Zako (Oedo Sukeroku Daiko). It will be an honor to work with these wonderful people!

Up Next: Elements

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

I’ll be performing with the Angel City Chorale at their Elements Concerts this weekend. Angel City Chorale was featured on Christopher Tin’s new album “The Drop that Contained the Sea” and we’ll be making the West Coast debut of the 10 movement song cycle. Should be a lot of fun!

Angel City Chorale’s West Coast Premier of
Christopher Tin’s ‘The Drop that Contained the Sea’

Saturday, June 7, 2014 – 7 PM
Sunday, June 8, 2014 – 7 PM

Wilshire United Methodist Church
4350 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90010
Between Highland and Wilton.

Yuta’s new courses at LATI starting June 19!

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Yuta has been in Maui for the last month feverishly preparing for another amazing concert with the rocking taiko kids of Zenshin Daiko. Shoji and I had the pleasure of joining them last year. This year the concert will feature Eiichi Saito and Chieko Kojima of Kodo, doing their own pieces as well as collaborative work with Yuta and the kids. Go Yuta! Go Zenshin!

Yuta’s new set of courses starts June 19, with a week-long series of free primer classes immediately prior. If you know a taiko player or aspiring taiko player who’d like to try the amazing instruments, let us know! Stage One success!

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014


Jason Alexander came to see the production of “Paradise Lost” that On Ensemble was in a few years back. He seemed to me to be truly a lover of the arts and a all-around community-minded fellow. Here’s his submission to the MayDay cause!

Yahoo! Lawrence Lessig and thousands of like-minded individuals have succeeded in raising one million dollars toward a SuperPAC to end all SuperPACs. Lessig has now had these donations matched for a total of two million dollars, blazing into Stage Two of the drive, with a goal of raising five million, and getting that matched again. I have high hopes Lessig might be able to change things for the better in our democracy. If you agree, please contribute!

MAYDAY.US Stage Two: Join the Experiment to Reclaim Our Democracy from lessig on Vimeo.

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