Posts Tagged ‘works in progress’

Works In Progress 2013-14 Finished!

Monday, January 20th, 2014

WIP Miles 2014

We had our last Works In Progress concert of the season last Saturday night at the Miles Memorial Playhouse and have a ton of people to thank. First of all a huge thank you goes out to Justin for allowing us to use his amazing theater. We always enjoy performing at the Miles. A huge thank you goes out to Kaz, David, Yuta and Jason who performed with us and to Courtney who helps with everything. Also thank you to the large group of taiko peeps that stayed afterwards and helped us load out! Sometimes at On Ensemble I feel like our goal is to have the highest ratio of drums to performer possible so the extra help is always appreciated:

Time lapse video of the set up. (Thank you Kaz for the video!)

Finally a huge thank you goes out to all of our generous FoundatiOn Team donors who helped make all of our Works In Progress concerts possible. In the coming months we’ll be working on all the thank you gifts including the new EP and will be posting our progress here. We are very excited about the new pieces and can’t wait to share them with you! (Thank you Ayano & Kim for the photos!)




Works In Progress at the Miles Memorial Playhouse

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Come join us in the new year for our final Works In Progress concert of the season! We’ll be performing at the Miles Memorial Playhouse on Saturday January 18th at 8:00pm.

Our Works In Progress concerts are the foundation of our creativity. They allow On Ensemble to experiment, to push our boundaries, and deepen our musical exploration. For this final Works In Progress concert we’ll be joined Yuta Kato, David Wells, Kaz Mogi and Jason Osajima and will be featuring some larger ensemble versions of the pieces we’be been working on. Should be a lot of fun and a great way to cap our Works In Progress season.

Work In Progress 2014
Saturday Jan 18th
Miles Memorial Playhouse
1130 Lincoln Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90503

Tickets: $5 students/seniors $10 adults
Reservations: (310) 458-8634 or email name, date, number of tickets and phone number to

Works In Progress ’13

Monday, November 18th, 2013

We are very excited to announce our Works In Progress ’13 concert series! Our Works In Progress concerts are the foundation of our creativity. They allow On Ensemble to experiment, to push our boundaries, and deepen our musical exploration. This practice is particularly important this year as we have gone through some changes in personnel. Kelvin has decided to step away as a full time member to focus more on his family and his own creative endeavors. Kris, still a full member of On Ensemble, will be balancing serious teaching commitments to the Los Angeles Taiko Institute which will limit his participation in upcoming performances. However, On Ensemble will continue moving forward! Joining us in this next chapter of our musical journey will be two new members, Abe Lagrimas Jr. and Eien Hunter-Ishikawa. Maz, Kris, and I hope you’ll be as excited about what Abe and Eien bring to the mix as we are.

Abe Lagrimas Jr.
Abe Lagrimas Jr. is a multi-instrumentalist equally proficient on vibraphone, drum kit and ukulele. Abe has toured throughout the world performing with notable musicians Eric Marienthal, Eric Reed, Azar Lawrence, Bill Mays, Jon Irabagon, Michael Paulo, Lalo Schifrin, Gabe Baltazar, James Morrison, Benny Rietveld, Jake Shimabukuro, James Ingram, Michael Ruff, Valery Ponomarev, Michelle Coltrane and many others. He is a member of Prelude, one of South Korea’s top jazz groups and is an active educator. He has released several albums his latest entitled Solo Ukulele – King of Pop pays tribute to pop king Michael Jackson and was recognized by the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts as the EP Release of the Year

Eien Hunter-Ishikawa
Eien Hunter-Ishikawa is a versatile drummer, percussionist and taiko players with a multifaceted musical background. He earned his Bachelor of Music Education at Central Michigan University where he performed, recorded and toured as a member of the Robert Hohner Percussion Ensemble. He earned his Master of Music at the University of Hawaii Manoa. During his time in Hawaii, Eien performed and toured extensively as a member of the Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble. Currently based in Vancouver, Eien collaborates with shakuhachi artist Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos and has performed with a wide variety of musicians from electro acoustic groups Isshin Denshin and Haagen & Ryuzen to dancer Colleen Lanki to bag pipe ensembles, African band Kow Kanda and rock/reggae band Still Creek.

This year we’ve taken an additional step and have extended an open invitation to composers and groups in the taiko community to present a piece at our Work In Progress concert series. We intend to turn this concert series into a creative foundation not only for On Ensemble but for the larger taiko community! Look out for more special guests at these concerts!

Support Works In Progress by joining the FoundatiOn Teanm!
The FoundatiOn Team is our core group of supporters that has continuously empowered On Ensemble to create new pieces that deepen and expand our musical exploration. This year the FoundatiOn Team donations will fund three Works In Progress concerts and a new recording project: EP6! FoundatiOn Team fundraising letters are in the mail now so if you’ve gotten your letter and would like to make your donation online simply use the button below. If you’d like to join the FoundatiOn Team send me an email at: shoji at and I’ll send you a FoundatiOn Team letter!


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Bizarre Heroes

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Ever since we collaborated with Patrick on “…Strikes 13” a few years back I’ve been wanting to write a song in 13/8.  For last year’s FoundatiOn Team Ep I tried a couple and came up with the basic groove and baseline for this song then Maz and I went into the studio and recorded all of this guitar feedback and the beginnings of Bizarre Heroes was born.

Russel and Kaoru really tore it up Saturday night! Listening to them together is like holding two seemingly incompatible truths in your mind simultaneously…  it’s a complete mind #$%#^ but somehow it all makes perfect sense.  Enjoy the track:

Bizarre Heroes – Russel Baba: Alto Sax, Kaoru Watanabe: Fue, Kelvin Underwood: Drums, Masato Baba: Bass, Kristofer Bergstrom: taiko, Shoji Kameda: laptop

Full WIP cast in LA… only 17 tickets left!

Friday, December 11th, 2009


Russel, Jeanne, and Kaoru are all now in town in preparation for Works in Progress! We spent about 10 hours practicing yesterday and things are coming together!

Ticket sales are going well and it looks like we might sell out… just 17 tickets remain. If you haven’t yet reserved your seat, please do so today!

Thank you everyone… we’re REALLY excited about this concert!

Update on David Wells’ new piece for Works in Progress ’09

Thursday, November 26th, 2009


On Ensemble met with friend and fellow taiko fanatic, David Wells, to learn the brand-new piece he has composed for our upcoming concert!  So far, it’s an all-accoustic, drum-focused piece with a mellow groove and jazz-ensemble-style arrangement. It’s going to be great!  Thank you David for your work on the piece and for collaborating with us for its grand debut!

Work in Progress: Engine Room

Friday, November 6th, 2009

One of the pieces I’m working on for our upcoming Works in Progress concert is called “Engine Room”. It’s a piece for two people and it’s played on special drum pads affixed with contact microphones.

I’ve been building prototypes of the pads and I met with On Ensemble’s good friend and all-around-amazing-gentleman, Charlie Campagna, recently to get his input. We tried applying a number of electronic and acoustic effects. Charlie was really helpful and I’m excited about the sound we’re getting. Check it out!

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