Archive for October, 2014

Karc / Duet / Jack Bazaar

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Maz, Shoji, Eien, David, and I performed a massive version of Karc / Joan of Arc, the bachi-tossing Duet, and Jack Bazaar with LATI staff and students. Thanks to Katsuji for taking video, and bringing earplugs!

On Ensemble and Maze Daiko: Breaking New Ground

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014


Our next performances will be a joint concert series with Maze Daiko at the Rhythmix Cultural Works on November 14th and 15th in Alameda, CA. It will be our first time performing at Rhymthmix and sharing the stage with Maze Daiko and it will be great to play in the Bay Area again! In addition to the concert we’ll be giving a workshop on Saturday November 15th from 4-6pm.

The workshop will focus on how On Ensemble approaches groove and structured improvisation. Participants will learn how to arrange patterns and timbres to build interesting grooves. An emphasis will also be put on how to use auxiliary instruments to fill out grooves and patterns. Participants will also learn how to use different approaches to arranging parts from more structured to more improvised. This workshop is open to all experience levels and ages.

Rhythmix Island Arts Presents:
On Ensemble and Maze Daiko
Taiko Fusion: Breaking New Ground
On Ensemble

When: Friday, November 14th, & Saturday, November 15th, 8pm

Taiko Workshop: Saturday, November 15th 4pm-6pm

Where: Rhythmix Cultural Works, 2513 Blanding Avenue, Alameda

Concert Only: $20/advance, $25/day of show
Taiko Workshop: $25/advance, $30/door if space is available
Saturday 11/15 Concert + Workshop: $40 (limited tix available)

Info: (510) 865-5060

Taiko Heroes Finished!

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

abe david
kris eien
shoji maz

We had a great couple of performances this past weekend! A huge thank you goes out to Justin and Philip for making our stay at the Miles Memorial Playhouse awesome as always. Thank you to Aya and Jennifer for helping us sell merch and woman the ticket table! And a big thank you to all of you who made it out to the concerts!

Our music is always evolving as we explore different influences, play with new musicians and grow as artists and people. Recently I’ve felt our music has a taken a big step forward thanks to the contributions that Eien, Abe and David have made to the group. They have brought a more jazz inspired sensibility to the group and a whole new level of melody harmonic sophistication. The music has really opened up with new possibilities. We are relying more on our senses and improvising parts and even whole sections of pieces so that every time we perform something new happens. It’s been a lot of fun and even pieces that we’ve been playing for years now feel like they have new life and energy. Looking forward to a lot more music making with these guys!

Eau de Squarepusher this Saturday!

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Thanks to the hard work of Yuta, Kiyoshi, and Ian, we’ll be trying Eau de Squarepusher in the concert this Saturday. Although we’ve been working on it for a few years, we’ve never been satisfied with our performances of it. Considering this last run of rehearsal yesterday, perhaps this Saturday will be the first time we do it justice!

Recent book reviews — October 2014

Sunday, October 19th, 2014


Taiko Tonal Territory workshop video

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

Our friend Margaret McKenty made a video from the workshop I taught at World Taiko Gathering. We had a great time exploring some of the non-standard sounds possible on the taiko.

Thank you, Margaret!

On Ensemble: Taiko Heroes Concert

Friday, October 10th, 2014


The story thus far…
30 years ago two childhood friends picked up the bachi for the first time. Trained by taiko masters in the mountains of Northern California, the islands of Hawai’i and the streets of Tokyo, Shoji and Maz set off into the world to gather their own team of taiko heroes. Many answered the call of the drum. Kris the vegan, bike commuting, namer of phrases was the first join. Then Eien the beer sensei, master of the atarigane and vibraphone answered the call. From the islands of Hawai’i Abe the smiling multi instrumentalist assassin joined the group. Finally David a taiko hero from the next generation emerged to become a member. Their group complete Shoji and Maz set off to create a new sound that would bring together their experiences playing in rock bands, producing electronic music, studying gamelan and traveling around the world learning and performing. They practiced their melodies, odd meter grooves and improvisational skills and their group of taiko heroes became known throughout the land as On Ensemble.

Join us for two nights of great music at the Miles Memorial Playhouse.

On Ensemble: Taiko Heroes Concert
Friday Oct 24th 8:00pm
Saturday Oct 25th 8:00pm

$25 General Admission
Miles Memorial Playhouse
1130 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403

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Taiko at CicLAvia was a success!

Thursday, October 9th, 2014


The taiko trailer worked! Thanks to the strong legs of Hiro, Jason, and Yuta, we rode Alphonse (the recumbent tandem) and the trailer with two drums from Torrance to downtown LA. LATI students met us downtown and we rode a portion of the course playing the Tally Ho! groove. The CicLAvia atmosphere was amazing, as always, with thousands of bikes and smiling faces. And folks loved the taiko!

Thank you to Bent Up Cycles, Henry James Bicycles and Andres Lopez for the fabrication help, Kerry and Yuta for the video and photos, and everyone else who made this possible! Looking forward to the next one!

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