We held a public Taiko workshop on the 11th March, just before our own day-long workshop with Ting-Chi Li.
It was open to everyone aged 9 and up. We had a full house! a few children, a few parents and people who saw us at one of our gigs and wanted to have a go.
We taught the lovely piece called Raku, written by the artistic director of the Japanese group Shidara.
Everyone did extremely well, as could be guessed by seeing the smiles on their faces when we played the song several times from beginning to end, accompanied by the melody on the recorder.
In Aber Taiko we love that piece and always play it at our busks and gigs, usually accompanied by a young and accomplished recorder player, Yarden.
We were asked to open another beginner’s course and we are now considering how and when we can do it. Watch this space!
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.
Liz Walters is one of the UK’s leading taiko artists and performers. Her day of workshops will be the last in our project ‘Swansea Year of Taiko’ kindly funded by the Arts Council of Wales.
The focus of this day will be on the drumming style originating from Hokuriku, which is very lively and powerful and lends itself to self expression within the group.
Now SOLD OUT! If you wish to be added to a waiting list, please contact us.
Continue reading “Swansea Year of Taiko Workshops with Liz Walters 26th November 2016”
A very inspiring day was had with Jonathan, founder of Kagemusha Taiko and Lucy also from Kagemusha, who supported him on the day. We learnt some of Jonathan’s philosophy – that we should take taiko and create with it what is authentic for us here. We are not Japanese and we come from a different background, but that doesn’t mean we are not allowed to enjoy taiko as we see fit!
We then had a session of basic technique – stance, arm movements and group playing.This is always good for even experienced players. But as we had a few complete beginners, this was even more important.
After lunch we had our children’s session. It was end of half term and only 3 children signed up this time. And they had a go at a short version of ‘Shimabayashi‘ – a song written by Jonathan.
When the children left after giving us a little concert, we continued with some more complicated arm movements – here we are, trying to figure out how to put together a diagonal movement in one arm and a circular in the other…
We also learnt how to move around the drums – a very liberating concept for us, being used to being very grounded behind a drum.
This was all just what we needed as a group – an injection of new choreography and movement. Jonathan and Lucy made sure we understood everything and were very encouraging of us to take all that we had learnt and incorporate it into our repertoire and drills. We have already managed to practice some of the new moves with our beginner’s class and we definitely feel more confident in our body while playing.Thanks Jonathan and Lucy!:-)
And thanks to the Arts council of Wales for funding our project. There was one person who told us he was looking for a way to play taiko for a few years and couldn’t find anything. We are so happy that we succeeded in reaching him. Just goes to show how important advertising can be.
Join us for our next Swansea Year of Taiko workshop at St Paul’s Parish Centre, Sketty, on Saturday 29th October with Johnathan Kirby.
Jonathan is based at Kagemusha Taiko near Exeter where he has built a thriving taiko community.
He will teach the three workshops around the theme of ‘freeing yourself from the drum’. While of course there will be plenty of actually hitting the drum, he will also introduce arm movements and moving around the drum which is a feature of many forms of popular Taiko.
Continue reading “Taiko Workshops with Johnathan Kirby for kids and adults”