Jonathan Kirby’s workshops in Swansea

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.screenshot-2016-11-30-22-32-08This 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.

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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…

screenshot-2016-11-30-22-51-46We 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.screenshot-2016-11-30-22-53-32Thanks 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.

Taiko Workshops with Johnathan Kirby for kids and adults

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”

2nd beginner’s course

Happy to announce that we are opening our second adult beginner’s course. In this course we will concentrate on the basics of taiko through drills and phrases from our own repertoire and from traditional Japanese festival music. We will try to pass on the joy that comes from playing together and helping each other overcome small difficulties on the way to learning a new rhythm.

We will also incorporate some other percussion instruments such as atarigane and chappa.

The course will run for 6 weeks starting Monday 31st October, 7-8pm. (Halloween Costumes optional)

Venue: Bishop Gore Canteen (map)
Price: £30 per person for 6 sessions (£5 per session) to be paid in advance.

Drop us a line if you would like to take the course and for more information – there will be a maximum of 8 places.

Miyake Taiko Day

Ah, what a wonderful day we had! Pete Goodman taught us the ins and outs of the original Miyake style. Theme, Ji-uchi, change overs. We learnt also the ka-gu-re which is the intro to the piece.  We were happy to welcome 2 kagemusha / Tano taiko players from Exeter who drove all the way down here to study with Pete. And we have a couple of new enthusiasts who are totally hooked. The children’s session was full house!! and some of them are also hooked we believe. Thanks so much Pete! you are truly inspirational and a great teacher.

The day was also marked with a lovely collaborative spirit – which is a must where taiko is concerned as we all had to pitch in with getting the drums in place, welcoming people in, helping each other with the counting and the rhythms. Markedly two of us – Sarah and Ari – made the Miyake stands without which this day wouldn’t have been such a success. Sam took care of sanding the dowel tips and surprised us with a wonderful banner.  Wigmore High School provided two drums and stands. Ursula from TMD provided us with another drum / stand. Leanne Clulee took photos of the children’s  session and shared them with uspetes-kids-miyake-workshop

After the formal day finished we headed down the beach for a last bash. How lucky we were today with the sunshine.20160917_180200 20160917_175639

This day would not have come to life without funding from the Arts Council of Wales, to whom we are very grateful.


Miyake Workshop with Pete Goodman 17th Sep 2016

Our next ‘Swansea Year of Taiko’ day is a Miyake day. Throughout the day there will be workshops for children and adults, with the assumption that everyone is a beginner. Please contact us for booking and payment, details are on the flyer below.

Pete Goodman, who studied taiko in general and Miyake taiko specifically between 3 to 5 times a week over 4 years in Japan will teach it to us.

Miyake taiko originates from Miyake-jima, an island south of Tokyo. It is played primarily on miya-daikos (temple drums) that are positioned horizontally. It radiates raw power and its relatively simplistic patterns will get everyone, players and audience alike, involved and captivated by the rhythm.

Miyake is said to take a few hours to pick up, but a lifetime to master (much like taiko itself – the journey is more important than the final destination). Due to the connections that Pete’s group teacher and taiko master Asamoto-Sensei made during his time with KODO, they were fortunate to be able to be taught several times a year by the Tsumura Sensei and his three sons. The Tsumura family are the grand masters of Miyake Taiko in Japan and have taught several groups in Japan.

Pete's Workshop Swansea Sep-2016

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