Sunday, December 02, 2007
taiko taiko and more taiko
Today I drummed for five hours with Odaiko Sonora at the Tucson Marathon, mile 24.5. The day began early with the set up of the various taiko behind the Basha's in Catalina. The sky had cleared after a few rain stormy days, so we had beautiful sunny dry weather. At around 7:00am, with bachi in hand, we began to roll.
Our task was to cheer on the marathon runners and walkers with our exuberant drumming, smiles, and cheers. Seeing the marathon participants' appreciative smiles as they ran by was really heart-warming. And for me, a beginner with Odaiko Sonora and with taiko, drumming for such a concentrated period of time gave me the opportunity to practice taiko songs, drills, and the jiuchi over and over with my more accomplished senpai. Now I'll have a new store of body memories from which to draw on the next time I play. I noticed today that when I stand and play to the right side of another player, imitating her or him with my gaze toward the left, it is easier to pick up the rhythms and beat than if I'm viewing from my right side. I want to develop my right viewing/learning transfer-ability, too.
I had so much fun the entire day and hardly felt tired at all. I like the challenge of learning how to play taiko by playing taiko, by making mistakes and just keeping on going. The camaraderie is really fun, too. There's a lot of depth to taiko: the history, the drums, the actual playing and voicing, the aesthetics, and being a part of the very wonderful taiko-za, Odaiko Sonora.