Monday, June 11, 2007

Taiko lessons and Dad bonding

So my dad is a drummer. He just can't help it; it's in him and you just can't stop his constant beat. But I wouldn't want to kinda helps make Dad, well, Dad. He plays all sorts of other instruments, as well - some he's even made, but, sadly the music making genes did not get passed on to me. He's given me many other things, like my love for photography, my need for my own (power) tools (because he taught me everything I know :) ), my thirst for adventure, my insatiable curiosity, and though I have a deep appreciation for a variety of music genres thanks to him, I've really been wanting to be able to create something musical, too. Sometimes, when I'm in the "zone" as a visual artist, I feel the energy of other artists - it's like a common electrical current. Somehow with the drumming, I hope to maybe tap into my dad's "beat" - even though I'm on the other side of the world in his tomorrow.
So, I've decided to study taiko drumming. I've been able to attend two workshops at a nearby university, but we're hoping to find a right proper, more regular practice space. These are my teachers giving a performance at the end of one practice, and here I am in a most difficult playing position (of course it's much easier when you're looking at the drum and not mugging for the camera). I just realized I've not been putting up a lot of photos of me - sorry - I'm just usually the photographer, and I've also been vain and mourning the loss of my long hair - it's really best not to have things "get lost in the translation" at the hair dressers...ah, well, shikatta ga nai, yo!
So, tonight I faked enough Japanese to get myself an old motorcycle tire from the Suzuki guy down the street...and now all I need is a couple of decent dowels/drum sticks and I'm in business with my practice instrument.
I can already see Mom now, looking down, grinning and shaking her head -
(well, Mom, since singing counts twice as much as praying, ask The Boss there how much does drumming count for?)



Gina said...

Looks like a lot of fun!!

Note: If you bring one of those things home for Berns, he is living with you. :)

Boots said...

Your Hair! What the hell? Good thing it grows back.

Tracey Petruff said...


You have NO idea...I felt like I was in a cartoon with the hair dresser in a flurry of "snip snip snipping" going on, and then (whip away the apron and swivel the chair around and) - OHMIGOSH! WHERE'S MY HAIR???!!! I had no idea I'd feel a physical loss like that...I kept trying to tell myself if was just a new, cool undercover identity that I was assuming for a while, but I WANT MY HAIR BACK, ALREADY! I just don't feel myself. And Japan does a number on a gaijin female's self esteem as it is!
It's nice that the kids here generally can't get enough of it, though. :)

Fortunately, I found an awesome guy in Fukuoka who had a salon in Manhattan for 8 years. His shop here is also full of cool old antique-y things, like I used to have in my house. He's expensive (plus the 5,000 yen train ticket!), but, IT'S MY HAIR.
And I'm worth it, ne!

You out for summer?

Tracey Petruff said...


If I bring one of "those things" home, it's going to be for ME...or maybe Dad :)
So, no worries, dear - I wouldn't do that to you :)

I've first got to see if I can bang out a beat on an old no one needs to get all excited now, anyway!


papa san said...

I want one of those drums!!! I've got enought to lug around now but they really do look and sound cool. T, are you using that article i sent you about making the drum from the tire or are you just beating up on the tire?? I'll bet if i tried to get your kind of volume from my djembe, I'd have bloody hands in no time.

Gina said...

Whew! Huge relief here...

But, if you look reaaaaallllly closely at my profile pic you will see...



We got the beat.

(Thanks, now I have a Go Gos song stuck in my head.)

papa san said...

Tomorrow night (6/16) is mu last night at Sushi Rock (the best Sushi bar in far) but taiko, only the djembe and doumbek, but I'll make do.

Mr. W. said...

Shades of Fushu Daiko! I missed the Hatsume Fair this year, unfortunately. However, I did listen to my cd again.

More to come...