Taiko at the Tanabata Festival in Cardiff National Museum

Tanko Bushi – lots of people joined in to this miner’s summer dance
cross-hands en-route

The Tanabata festival was one of those very special events where a taiko performance is a natural and a central part of the goings on. For us it was a perfect opportunity to fully enjoy what we do and to spread the spirit of taiko playing. We had as much floor space as we wanted, we were given the freedom to do it our way, and ample time for setting up, playing, teaching workshops and facilitating the ‘Tanko Bushi’ dance. We are very thankful to the national museum of Cardiff and specifically to Victoria for having us and making everything so smooth and easy.

precision!
Confluence
Family workshop – one of about 12 we ran during the weekend
some down-time in Cardiff bay

 

Spirit of the Dragon – the concert that was

Months and months of preparation from all of us: practice, design and sowing of new costumes, planning the song order, drum formations and drum movements, creating a PR video, posting on social media, practicing, creating projections for the different songs, designing and building bespoke banners, planning of lights, designing posters and flyers, practicing, singing, skipping, learning new styles, coordinating people’s activities on the days before and on the day itself, dreaming, being excited, new t-shirts, new logo, being terrified, a bit of stress, more practice, pulling together… and finally playing on stage and enjoying every minute!

Ting-Chi Li reciting the Norito for “Hiryu San Dan Gaeshi” at the opening of the concert

And maybe most of all – the strong connections which we have  re-forged with Ting-Chi Li, Xun Dong, Yumi Célia and Alison Roe.

SFTD· 共鳴   playing “Gongming 2018”

Ting-Chi Li and Xun Dong, a.k.a. SFTD· 共鳴  (San Francisco Taiko Dojo – Resonance) style is strong, powerful, thoughtful and elegant – with every piece they played they gave every ounce of energy they had. Their collaborative spirit showed as they were perfectly in tune and in sync even though most of the time could not actually see each other.

Yumi Célia and Alison Roe, playing “Two Taiko”

Yumi Célia and Alison Roe, a.k.a  2taiko style is quite different – soft and flowy movements, sometimes very fast and sometimes slow, with lots of bachi twirls. This softness of movement does not take from the powerful strikes of the drum, which are almost unexpected!

“Nidan” – common roots are what enabled these 4 to play together having never played together before!

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Practice day for Spring concert

Ting-chi and Xun came to teach us once more. What a pleasure! we improved leaps and bounds. We got Hiryuu up to a very high energetic level and could hear the dragon flapping its wings as we flew in the air to meet it.

Our own repertoire got a shiny gloss – every song needs some maintenance from time to time, doesn’t it? we cracked a few problematic phrases and found the beauty in them. Can’t wait to get practicing and perform at our spring concert. See you there?

“Spirit of the Dragon” – Taiko Concert

Experience the spirit of Taiko drumming though this dynamic, powerful and inspirational concert.

Echoing drumming styles of Tokyo, Fukui, San Francisco, Scotland and Wales, Spirit of the Dragon will reveal the musicality, grace, spirituality and raw power of Taiko drumming.

For tickets visit Taliesin Box Office, or call 01792 602060.

Spirit of the dragon Taiko Concert featuring Aber Taiko, 2taikos, and SFTD-Resonance.

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Visit to Carmarthen Explorer Scouts

We were invited to visit the Explorer Scouts in Carmarthen by their leader Siriol Butterworth, as she thought that “Taiko drumming would be an activity that our Explorers would really enjoy”. Wow, was she correct!!

Five of us arrived, with a van full of drums which the Explorer Scouts willingly helped us take into the hall. After setting up the drums, Sarah gave a brief explanation of the background of Taiko drumming, including naming the different drums we had brought, after which we performed three pieces from our repertoire.

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