Taiko Voices Journal: In Gratitude

This is the fifth in a series of posts by Heidi Varian, Project Coordinator for Taiko Voices, the 50th Anniversary Song Commission sponsored by TCA.

Taiko Voices Journal: In Gratitude

Made in America: Taiko Voices would like to thank the New Generation Nikkei Fund (supported by the Tides Foundation) for a grant to support this special ongoing special work.

Airi-Derek-FrancoTaiko Voices May rehearsal was different, as it was planned as a departure from the composition workshops. Composer Ryan welcomed a new son into the world and, in order to allow the freedom of time for parental bonding, composer Kate and lead Franco planned to share their rehearsal progress with members of Kinnara Taiko at the Senshin Buddhist Temple in Los Angeles, since the Taiko Voices team had already been able to be inspired by the two Northern California studios of San Jose Taiko and San Francisco Taiko Dojo.

Senshin-Obon-OdoriReverend Mas and Franco were able to have time to dialogue about musical and Buddhist philosophies, Franco being gifted the Reverend’s perspective, unique in the world of taiko. Franco initiated a syncopated jam with Reverend Mas that was, in Kate’s words, “simply amazing to experience.” TCA President Derek Oye and pioneer Qris Yamashita joined the workshop, and Franco and Kate shared movements and patterns from the evolving work. One of the lasting impressions from Derek was about how this odori is being developed from a taiko perspective and represents a large and growing community.

Please Note: Due to unforeseen circumstances, Taiko Voices will not debut at San Francisco Taiko Dojo’s International Taiko Festival on Nov. 2, as reported in the September 12th TCA Beat. We look forward to its premiere in 2020.

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