Spring has creeped up on us with consecutive days of rain, mugginess and just a little too much dampness than I’d like. It wasn’t the best day to be outdoors but I was invited to attend my friend’s Taiko class. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s a Japanese drum. They use to be made from tree stumps (now they’re made with wine barrels). The weight on the drum is important for sound quality. A large Taiko drum requires wood from a tree that has grown for minimum of two hundred years and after cutting the tree it must cure for 25 to 50 years. With the proper care Taiko drums can last for hundreds of years. Those are some amazing facts – traditions are a dwindling practice these days and I don’t know about you, but it makes me a bit sad to see old traditions slowly disappearing. Coming from a Chinese family that holds lots of traditions and as much as it’s a pain in the you know what a lot of times, it’s a part of me and my family. Without the traditions, the stories and the history behind it, we wouldn’t even be here. But anyway, enough of my ranting.
I had the privilege of meeting a real Taiko Master, Koji Nakamura and listening to the sounds of taiko drums in practice.
This is what a Taiko music sheet looks like.
They ended the lesson with a performance by my friend’s Taiko group. You can check out what a Taiko ensemble sounds like here. And to top it off her Taiko group will be performing on Sunday, April 18th 1:30pm -3:00pm at the P.S. 134 auditorium located at 293 East Broadway (& Grand St). This is their annual FREE concert in NYC – so grab a friend and experience it! There will also be Japanese Koto music as well. Oh and since it’s a FREE concert, donations will be welcomed at the door.
The following are courtesy of my PIC – I love how he finds unique angles for the photos.