Wake Up Drums

Every year at the beginning of June there is a lovely event organised by Tsunagari Taiko centre in Paris. Taiko groups from around the world are invited to strike 3 times, strongly, on their drums. And while doing this, spread a vision of connectedness, wake people up , move people to change their lives for the better. Here are our three beats for a better world, together with TMD and other participants in James Barrow’s workshop day. Many groups and individuals participated – from Paris, Tokyo, Germany, Hungary, Australia, Spain… so nice to be part of a global community of beautiful people.  You can find their diverse  3 beats here !

Workshop with James Barrow

James demonstrating the main rhythm of Eclipse, his open source piece.

5 of us went up to  Glangrwyney for a whole day of Taiko tuition with James Barrow. The day was organised by Ursula Frank from TMD. People came from as far as Oxford and Birmingham. James taught us his piece ‘Eclipse’. After his first demonstration it sounded so complex, but he broke it down to very short phrases and we had it in the first 2 hours. It is a great piece, with accents on left and right hands, on the on and off beats, a real brain teaser. We started out on upright stands but had a chance, throughout the day, to try playing the magnificent Odaiko,  give katsugi okedo a go, and also some Yatai style. And another very useful tool – play the same piece with different musical intention. So we started out with thinking of a happy, floating moment and played Eclipse light heartedly. We then descended into a chaotic and creative few minutes where

Odaiko at the back, yatai in the middle, James on the shime, leading.

everyone just made all kinds of rhythms and sounds. Out of that darkness we were pulled out by a sombre mitsu-uchi on the Odaiko, and played it again with a more grounded, powerful feel.

And as always with Taiko – we all were supporting each other with shouts, smiles, eye contact and body language that conveyed our utter happiness to be there at that moment in time, playing together.

James made ‘Eclipse’ open source and we will definitely use it to improve so many skills – left right coordination and dexterity, musicality and creativity.