Hiryu Sandan Gaeshi ● Isami Goma
Two compositions by Grandmaster Daihachi Oguchi, the father of modern taiko, arranged by Grandmaster Seichii Tanaka, founder of San Francisco Taiko Dojo.
The first part, ‘The dragon god descends 3 times’ is based on rhythms played in the Suwa shrine (Nagano) for centuries and inspired by a common belief that everyone has 3 chances in life to change their luck from bad to good.
The second part, ‘Galloping horses’ is also a classic piece. It is said that this is the song for the horses which were raised by herd-boys as war-horses to show their regret at parting and to give a prayer for doing sufficient work at war when they sent them to the old capital, Kyoto. So this was the deeply felt song with joys and sorrows for the horses launching into the war by herd-boys. It is said that this song was played at the closing ceremony of the Nagano Olympic Games in 1998.
We learnt this arrangement from Ting-Chi Li and Xun Dong, (SFTD in London). From time to time we will also play Daihachi Oguchi’s original versions of these songs, separately.
The first song Aber Taiko played as a group. 55 miles is the distance between Swansea and Crickhowell, the home of our big sister taiko group – Taiko Mynydd Du (TMD). Written by Ursula Frank (TMD) and Yasmin Friedmann. The arrangement of the song is continually evolving alongside Aber Taiko.
Written in 2008 by Shingo Karube for the final performances of the UK’s first traditional taiko group, Akatsuki Daiko, before disbanding. With additional musical arrangement ideas from Mr Keisuke Moriya, James Barrow and Aber Taiko.
A lighthearted, fun song written in 2007 by Chabo-San, long time artistic director of Shidara. Played on drums and accompanied by fue/recorder (or is it the other way round?). Choreography arranged by Aber Taiko and changes from time to time depending on number of players and space available.
Kore Kara これから
A song written in 2005 by Michelle Fuji and Walter Clarke and given to the taiko community. Translated from Japanese as “From Now On”, it is meant to honour the teachings of the original creators of wadaiko and look forward to the new and exciting directions that the art form may take.
Buchi Awase 斑合わせ太鼓
Originally played during a festival of Hainan Shrine at the tip of the Miura Peninsula. Fishermen pray for big fish for each village, compete with each other and hit drums. For those who won, there was a promise of the big fish of that year.
Currents cross and flow together, from Fukui on the west coast of Japan, via Pontycymer and Abertawe, where our own rhythms join in. Composed by Alison Roe and Aber Taiko.
Yuta no Gezan
This is a working title for an open source arrangement written by Yuta Sumiyoshi, who is currently one the lead players with the world famous KODO drummers. He based his arrangement on the backing rhythm of a well known traditional piece called “Gezan Bayashi” which literally means “music for descending the mountains”, in this case following a pilgrimage to the sacred Mt Iwaki in Aomori prefecture. The origins of the pilgrimage, also known as Oyama-sankei, dates back to the Genroku era (17th-18th century). Yuta generously offered to share his interesting and challenging arrangements to the UK taiko community through a series of masterclass workshops in London in recent years. We learnt this piece from James Barrow, and we arrange the song in different ways depending on drums and stands available.