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.
For the second year now we brought our drums to Swansea bay – to the beach near the 360 café. We drummed in support of the rainbow runners as they completed a 5 km run on the sand. Not only do they get covered in sand, they pass through several paint stations where they get sprayed with paint. They end up tired and very colourful!
The event is done to raise funds for Ty-Hafan, the Welsh children’s Hospice. We couldn’t think of a better cause to help!
Our drumming motivated the runners in the final lap of the trail and we were really inspired by the big effort the runners made to arrive at the finish line.
We played until the last runners arrived at the finish line, a total of 2 hours. We were quite tired but happy at the end of the day. Playing on the beach with the sea and the Mumbles in front of us is one of our favourite things to do!
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
On Saturday 23rd April we set ourselves by the 360 café, on the sand, to encourage Sarah and all the other people who ran or walked the Ty Hafan Rainbow Run on the beach. We drummed for 2 hours, increasing our own stamina and practicing our songs by repeating many times.