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.
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 us
After the formal day finished we headed down the beach for a last bash. How lucky we were today with the sunshine.
This day would not have come to life without funding from the Arts Council of Wales, to whom we are very grateful.