A lot of Taiko has happened in the last few months. We have continued to practice every week as we do, with more emphasis on drills and learning new repertoire with our new members. Yes, we have grown! and the different levels in the group mean we need to take it slower and differently.
But hey, going back to basics is good for everyone – and practice is the place to do so. Reflect on our form, movements, efficiency, power and musicality.
Miyake and Odaiko practice are also going on separately once a month.
And a new style has been added to our journey – Yatai Bayashi. We enjoyed a whole day of teaching from Tsuchigumo‘s Martin and Shonagh.
With Shonagh and Martin we also had a session on small percussion: the chappa (small cymbals) and chanchiki (handheld metal plate), on shime, movement, and interlocking rhythms. The Tsuchis, as we like to call them fondly, are great taiko players and excellent teachers. They gave us lots of input and so generously.
And a special mention goes to Miyuki Williams, co-founder of Mugenkyo who generously spared almost 2 hours prior to their Swansea gig to teach us some of her philosophy on playing and some Fukui rhythms which we love. She is the source and inspiration to much of the UK taiko scene.
And if we are on the subject of Fukui, we are continuing to learn from Alison Roe, which we all really cherish.
The more we play, the more we have to learn! And we are grateful to each and every one of our teachers who are so generous with their knowledge and time and energy.
We were also quite busy in the gig front – a repeat invitation from the Ospreys got us into the Liberty stadium again. We played for the Swansea Chinese new year’s celebration in the waterfront museum – and gave workshops to the public – and to the mayor himself! and a special gig for us was at Sam’s 7th thank you gig where we helped raise funds for Morrison Hospital’s cancer ward.