I'm trying to catch my breath. Woke up to the radio annoucing that James Taylor would be coming to Montreal as part of the International Jazz Festival this summer and that tickets would be on sale this morning at 10!!! Already scouted the tickets I want. This will be my birthday present from JF ☺ James Taylor was here around 10 years ago and my sister and I went to see the show; he puts on a great show - likes to chat and is sooo good at it. I cried when he sang "Up on the Roof" because that's just the kind of gal I am. Can't wait until July 6th!
These are the folks I spend much of my time with when I'm not in my workshop. We are Arashi Daiko, a Japanese drumming ensemble, and this past Saturday was our first practice this year with all members present (some were travelling). Had a really good practice, everyone was pretty zonked at the end, or at least I was. I'm on the right, second from the back. JF is also on the right, second from the front. You can click on it to see it a little better.
Pretty goofy picture since we were waiting for the camera timer to take the durn picture.
At the beginning of each practice we sit facing each other like this with our drumsticks, or bachi, lined up, to officially open the practice and leave our outside lives behind and focus our energy on our taiko. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!
We end each practice in this position as well, to close the practice session and be thankful for the opportunity to drum. Domo arigato gozaimashita!
(STOPPED BLOGGING FOR A TICKET BUYING BREAK: All set, got our tickets for the James Taylor show, yay! Pretty good seats, although we could've gotten better seats if I hadn't been such a weiner, checking to see other sections of the arena... I'm happy though!)
Now where was I...
This is Calvin, Hisako's son (she's right in front on the right side in the above pic), who could not keep his eyes open after practice. He's got towels around his ears held on by his trusty beaver hat (this is Canada, whaddya expect?) because of the loudness of the taiko. He even sleeps through our playing just like his older sister Kira did!
A couple weeks ago I hit my front tooth while playing; it was these bachi below that made me think I had knocked my tooth loose (turns out all is fine - amazing how hard our teeth are!). The stains on the bottom are actually my blood (we often get blisters or raw patches on our hands which eventually harden and callus over), which I chose to leave on to remind me to play hard. Yes, taiko players are a strange lot who like to suffer.
We have a full roster of performances coming up this summer, and some already on our calendar for spring; you can see that here: http://www.arashidaiko.org/calendar/calendar.htm
Ok, I'm heading to my workshop now, to work on some fresh sushi and other new pieces.
Tomorrow... I've been tagged, so I'll be tagging others!