Posts Tagged ‘kaDON’

Minneapolis and Chicago Update

Friday, May 8th, 2015

I spent the last week in Minneapolis working with Mu Daiko and then Chicago working with Ho Etsu Taiko. Last year Ho Etsu Taiko was the first group I taught Lion Chant to outside of On Ensemble. Working with them was instrumental in developing the piece for other taiko groups and they helped me debut Lion Chant at the World Taiko Gathering last summer. This year they are bringing On Ensemble to Chicago in the fall for a series of concerts and we are using the work we did together last year as a foundation for developing new pieces and putting together a truly collaborative concert series.

With Mu Daiko I started teaching them Lion Chant, worked on Ready Set kaDON and material for another collaborative concert in the fall! I was amazed at how much we got accomplished over the weekend. The artistic director Jennifer Weir had been using the kaDON courses to prepare her group for our workshop time together very well. The result was that we got so much further with each of the pieces than we would’ve if I had just come to teach the pieces. Usually in a weekend of workshops I would be happy to teach the basic kecak part of Lion Chant and the exercises to get those parts nice and solid without worrying about the arrangement. Instead because of the prep work Jennifer and Mu Daiko did we were able to get through all of Ready Set kaDON, Lion Chant and part of another song in a weekend of working together.

It is really exciting to see how kaDON resources are being used in the community and SO EXCITING to realize just how much more can be accomplished in short periods of time working with a group using kaDON. As a workshop leader I’ve often felt the limitations of teaching within the workshop format. You have to keep what you teach very simple and it is hard to get to the deeper and more involved aspects of the art form. It often feels like I’m just scratching the surface. The depth can come from working with the same people repeatedly over a longer period of time and it is super exciting to be able to get to that depth much more quickly because people are using kaDON as a resource. It is very inspiring and inspires me to keep working on making kaDON the best resource it can be for the taiko community!

Online Taiko and Fue Lessons at kaDON!

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

eBanner04

For the past year I’ve been working with Kenny Endo, Kaoru Watanabe and Miyamoto Unosuke Shoten to on a new online taiko teaching resource called kaDON! I’m very excited about this venture as I feel that we are at an important moment in the growth of taiko as an art form. There has a been an incredible growth of taiko groups throughout the world. This past month the World Taiko Gathering held here in Los Angeles brought taiko groups from throughout the United States, Japan, UK, Belgium, Spain, Brazil and Argentina for an amazing weekend of workshops, networking and concerts. It was so inspiring to be around all of these people from around the world that shared the same passion for the taiko. It’s my sincerest hope that kaDON will help facilitate the further growth and development of taiko throughout the world by providing high quality instruction and repertoire to as many people as possible!

World Taiko Gathering!

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

We had a great weekend at the World Taiko Festival. Or I should say Kris and I had a great weekend and Maz almost killed himself from overwork and exhaustion. I’d like to personally thank Bryan Yamami, Masato Baba, David Wells, Courtney Deguchi, Tomomi Hongo, Jen Baik, Jenny Maki Mimura, Brian Yamagata, Darren Endo, Yumi Saito, Elizabeth Ishida, Andrew ‘Chensy’ Chen, Keiko Harada, Doug Sakamoto, Kelvin Lee, Blaine O’Brien, Rachel Mock, Audrey Tu, Janelle You, Dan Porter and all of the WTG volunteers for all of their work and dedication to putting together an amazing weekend of taiko magic. Also thank you Lucas for coining the best taiko word ever.

I’d also like to thank Jason, Emily, Dana, Alexa, Donny, Tiana, Jenny, Tomomi, Jen, Maz, David, Blaine, Lisa Margie, Helen and Stacey for joining me in the massive Lion Chant that was performed to launch kaDON! I’ll be posting more about kaDON soon but in case you are interested head over to the website and see what it’s about.

Besides launching a new online taiko teaching venture I taught two workshops, was a panelist for a discussion session and performed at the opening ceremony and gave a speech at the closing session. My first workshop was for the youth program on “Imagination and Improvisation” and the other for one of the core concepts of Lion Chant. I was very happy with both workshops as I’m think I’ve finally found a way of teaching improvisation in a workshop that will give students the tools needed for improvisation. The Lion Chant workshop I was also very happy with as I’m finally starting to find ways to work within the context of a 2.5 hour workshop to teach something substantial with some depth. Part of this ties into the launching of kaDON as I feel freed from just teaching a line or a section of a song and can instead focus on a deeper understanding of the core concepts of a piece in the short time we have in a workshop.

I also performed in the three Taiko Nation concerts. I had a small part but it was just an honor to be a part of such a great concert. I’m really having fun playing more straight kumidaiko again and am fully inspired to explore more possibilities within a kumidaiko context.

However the absolute best part of of the World Taiko Gathering was seeing old friends and meeting new friends from around the world. Michelle and Isabel both said something at the closing ceremony that has stuck with me they both said to remember taiko is about people and the more I progress in this art form the more I see this is true. It really is about people and the wonderful connection we share because of this drum. The taiko community real is a special place.

On Ensemble is proudly powered by WordPress
Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).