We had so much fun and satisfaction from organising, collaborating and playing in our “Swansea Year of Taiko” concert at the beginning of 2017, that very soon after we decided to create another concert. To this second concert of ours we invited two taiko duos to play with us: 2taiko and SFTD•Resonance. We have been studying with both groups in the past year. They have helped us to improve our technique, inspired us and worked with us on our repertoire. We are hugely thankful and indebted to them and we are very happy and proud to share the stage with them.
We were invited by the Ospreys to support them in their high profile game against the Scarlets. You can imagine the levels of excitement in our group, especially as one of us happens to be very avid Ospreys fan!! We were to play a gig before the start at the entrance to the stadium, and then during the match, get the fans clapping and singing, get the motivation going.
The Japan Day in Bath was organised by the Bath and Beppu association in support of the tsunami disaster at the Museum of East Asian Art (MEAA). One of the organisers, Mamiko, was looking for a taiko group to play at the festival and contacted us. We were so happy to have been found! One of the highlights at this festival was a bon odori song/dance called Tanko Bushi. We got the music from Mamiko, Thomas created a double version and we all set to practice it – in Swansea we practiced the rhythm and in Bath they practiced the dance.
The outdoors events started with a drum roll (oroshi) by Yasmin, a kendo demonstration and then we played for half an hour in the sweltering sun (28 degrees!!). There were many people who came to support the day and we had lots of fun. Although we did feel a bit weak at the break between our two performances…For the second performance we took to the shade and it was much easier. And then when the music started, we positioned ourselves in the centre facing outwards towards the dancers and played the drums to the music. Some of us took to the dancing this time. Everybody looked so happy to dance.
We felt honoured to share our taiko with the Japanese community in Bath.
A lot of organisation goes into a gig such as this. Find out who is available on the day; who can drive? which drums go in which car? which songs shall we play that can fit into our time slot? how to arrange the set list? what to say between songs? who will compere? (is there a PA system?) how will the drums be arranged on the day for maximum effectiveness and symmetry?
Occasions like this one push us to practice more; and its not only our taiko playing that improves. Our organisational capacity grows, and with it our friendship.
Our volunteers, including the Lord Mayor and Mayoress of Dinas a Sir Abertawe – City and County of Swansea had a great time collecting for our Great Daffodil Appeal in Swansea city centre at the weekend. We were also joined by the Aber Taiko Japanese Drumming group, who performed in aid of Marie Curie and drew quite a crowd! Thank you for your support.This weekend, Carmarthen collectors will be out in force as part of the Daffodils and Dragons festival – which will be followed with a special event on Wednesday, March 1 at St. Catherine's Walk / Rhodfa Santes Catrin.Can you help the Great Daffodil Appeal? Sign up here: https://www.mariecurie.org.uk/daffodil