Friday, August 7, 2009

Make it Your Own, STI Day 3

Time has flown by so quickly! STI is over and we're moving, full-force, into a jam-packed NATC weekend. Hopefully I'll snag some time to keep writing!

Yesterday was the final day of the 2009 Summer Taiko Institute. I was sad to see it go... There's really something great about gathering with a group of people who've never played together before, learning with them, getting challenged by and with them, and bringing it all together with a performance. (okay, it was more like a "showing".)

The song we learned, like Omiyage, is meant to be shared with the taiko community--anyone can perform it. In Shoji's opinion Omiyage, which has been released under a free art license failed to take shape has he hoped, so yesterday morning he spoke to us about how he really wishes this new song to be used by the taiko community.

On Ensemble really embraces differences in people. There's no one way to play taiko--this was communicated loud and clear. But, in addition to that, it's also important to explore and discover what works for you. What is taiko? You must experiment and discover that for yourself. If you want to really say something when you're on the stage, you must take ownership of what you're playing.

Keeping this in mind, Shoji went on to explain that if you use this new song, he hopes you'll make it your own. Take it, pull it apart, put it back together, experiment, share it. Don't say this song is "by Shoji Kameda" because when you use it, it should be yours.

Take a look at one of our final rehearsals of the song below. Be sure to visit my YouTube page for more videos from the week! (I'll continue to post videos in the coming weeks.)

1 comment:

  1. I applaud On Ensemble's goal of teaching and encouraging public domain pieces. But yeah, most of those pieces just aren't really getting out there. The groups that are already writing a lot of pieces are the ones I wind up seeing play them (On Ensemble, Taikoproject, Portland, etc.) which makes them more visible to other groups, but the question now should be "how do we get the rest of y'alls to take and tinker with these?"

    It's not easy to compose, and it's even harder sometimes to do that with someone else's work - either out of imagined respect or just not being familiar enough with it since it didn't come out of your head to begin with. We'll see what happens, I guess...