Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Talking Taiko

A while back I came across a blog that I can't stop going back to. Talking Taiko brings the thoughts of New York University Department of Music graduate student, and current taiko player with Soh Daiko, Wynn Yamami.

He doesn't talk about the specifics of his taiko practice, rather, his thoughtful entries are more on the philosophical and analytical side, pushing you to consider specific topics and apply them to taiko. For example, the most recent post focuses on toes, how they relate to taiko, balance, and our bodies.

As a dancer with a degree in cultural anthropology, I am very intrigued by movement theory and this blog presents plenty to think about. Wynn poses interesting questions, supports his ideas with references (that I then promptly decide to read), and chooses topics that directly relate to Japanese and Japanese American culture and performance.

If you're looking to further consider taiko as a performance art and a discipline, its role within our culture and its culture of origin, and gain a bit of a window into the world of Soh Daiko, I recommend Talking Taiko. Let me know what you think.

Here's Wynn Yamami's bio from the NYU website:

Wynn Yamami (piano, accordion, percussion, taiko) has performed with a wide variety of musicians including Arturo O’Farrill and the Lincoln Center Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Badal Roy, Giovanni Hidalgo, Jason Kao Hwang, Daniel Levin, Rob Brown, and Korn at such venues as Galapagos, Issue Project Room, Birdland, Merkin Concert Hall, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and MTV Unplugged. He leads two groups (theJapanese street music band HAPPYFUNSMILE and the experimental trio KIOKU) and performs with SOH DAIKO and the TACHIBANA DANCE GROUP. He has taught at New YorkUniversity, Queensborough Community College, RutgersUniversity, and Westminster Choir College, and has researched various topics in American music, philosophy, popular culture, and Asian American music.


  1. thanks for the link. very instructional. I like the article about injuries, as I got my own knee surgery years ago...

  2. You're welcome, Eric. Glad you found it useful.