On the 15th July we headed out to High Street with our drums to take part in the ‘Trouble Makers’ festival. We won a commission to create a disruption in the street!
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.
One sunny Saturday we headed down to Swansea city centre to help fundraise for the Marie Curie Nurses organisation.
It was another opportunity to share our love of Taiko and improve our performance skills:
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
Posted by Marie Curie – Wales on Friday, 24 February 2017
Our “Swansea Year of Taiko” project is nearing its end – one last day of adult and family workshops to go…
We have learnt so much this year and we love playing taiko even more. We want to celebrate this feeling, celebrate the things we learnt and the new people we met, the new connections we made and the effort we have all put in.
And what better way to celebrate than to simply play the drums? So we decided to show what we have learnt so far in a concert. We chose the Volcano Theatre as our venue: it is a rugged and friendly place, fit for a community group at the start of our way.
We have invited some of our friends to play with us. They are our friends, our teachers, our collaborators. James Barrow, Taiko Mynydd Du and Alison Roe. The concert will feature many of the elements of taiko that we have learnt from our guest teachers this year. It will contain traditional pieces such as Miyake and Buchi Awase. We will also play more modern pieces inspired by different styles of taiko whose origins are in different parts of Japan such as Hokuriku, Hachijo and Hiroshima. There will also be some original pieces written here in Wales.
This concert is also partly funded by the Arts Council of Wales.
We performed on Sunday the 5th of June at 360 Café Bar in Swansea, the weather was being very kind 🙂
The gig started at 1:00 and was free for all. It was part of the initiative called ‘Wake Up Drums‘ initiated by Tsunagari taiko centre in Paris.
We started with three strong beats, played at 100% energy, to wake people up to improve their lives:
We then carried on to play all of our songs, and some of our younglings were brave enough to perform a song brought to us all the way from Sado Island by James Barrow: