Music of Japan

3 weeks ago

On Friday 28 April, during first period, Toshi (a taiko player) and Anne (a taiko and shakuhachi player) came and performed in the CM Wood Performance Centre at Tintern. They performed in front of the Year 7 and 8 girls and boys and the IB students as a part of a World Music unit, which we are currently studying in music.

Toshi and Anne played many different pieces using the Taiko, Shakuhachi, Chappas (small cymbals) Kane (small gong) and Sasara (a rattling wooden instrument). They were energetic and had a lot of fun on stage. They had both been playing Taiko for 31 years but only met and started working together 20 years ago. When they were introducing themselves, they were nothing but smiles and that continued throughout the entire performance, which made it so much more entertaining because they were enjoying themselves, so it made the audience happy and interested in what they were going to do next.

Toshi and Anne started to come down to where the audience was sitting and pointing to people, telling them to go on stage and stand or sit behind a drum. I remember I was sitting anxiously not really wanting to go up on stage in front of all those people, but before I knew it, Anne was dragging my hand and pulling me up onto the stage telling me to stand behind one of the bigger drums which was called an okedaiko. My face turned as red as a tomato as I picked up the bachi (Japanese for drumsticks). Toshi started to play a rhythm on his drum and we had to copy him. As I got into it, my fear dissolved and it was so much fun playing up on stage with other students, alongside Toshi and Anne.

I really enjoyed this performance and I would love to watch them perform again. They did a really good job of introducing Japanese music and made me intrigued and wanting to listen to more taiko.

by Sarah Thompson, Year 8