Thursday, October 20, 2016

NA Taiko focus on musicality

image credit:

After seeing many conferences, gatherings, videos, Facebook posts, workshops, and classes online, it seems that the trend in North American taiko lately seems to be working on the musicality of the art.

Is that bad?  Not at all, just an observation.  It does seem to be a Western-oriented direction, though, more about playing multiple drums and complex patterns, increasing speed of playing and understanding theory.

In the past there were slight surges of interest towards areas like narimono (hand percussion) and Japanese music/songs, areas that still garner interest but don't have the same "buzz" that they used to.  There was definitely a surge in interest towards the song Matsuri with the whole "Matsuri Crashers" movement, one that's still popular.

I'm curious if or when there will be a swing in a different direction, such as towards movement, or something like stagecraft/emoting?  Or maybe it'll be something that bursts onto the scene that we don't have yet, like some form of technology that can be incorporated into a performance?  Maybe it'll be towards something that's already there, when someone re-invents a style or comes up with something novel about something fairly "mundane" in the taiko world.

Mind you, you might not feel like there's a movement towards musicality, based on your experiences.  That's valid.  I could be wrong!  But when I see videos being posted by taiko players, see the workshops being offered, see the interest from people at the group and NATC level, this is the trend that I see.  Again, it's not a bad thing at all.  Observing without judgement is a very good skill to cultivate.

Is there a taiko trend you'd like to see?  Something that you'd like to see more classes on, more workshops in?  Or are you just happy that there's so much out there already, and more is better?

No comments:

Post a Comment