Last week I went to Indy for my step mother’s funeral. Fortunately, I had an opportunity to go up there the end of July to spend some time with her and process it. I will probably save another post about that for later but – I was ready to get back to Atlanta the following Saturday. I did want to get back because we had our drum recital on Sunday. After taking Taiko lessons for almost 3 months I didn’t want to miss the finale.
Once we were there we ran through our (3) songs and then the regular group came in to play. We’d only heard them play this one song so when they started to play all these other songs we hadn’t heard we were blown away. I was kinda like, Yeah we suck. But later the group assured us that they have been playing together for over 2 years (which, by Japanese standards is an infantile amount of time to hone the craft of Taiko drumming).
This is a video I took of them:
I really didn’t think anyone would show up for our recital but then Emil, LB and Benji’s new gf from out of town showed up. Charlie was really nervous but I wasn’t that bad. Afterwards, we went next door for post recital libations.
Tonight, we’re going to our first real rehearsal since the recital. We were asked to join the group afterwards by Peter our instructor. Apparently, according to Ginny in the group not everyone who takes the class is asked the join. By no means do I think we were asked the join because of our Taiko prowess but for the fact that we’re fun and we get along with the group – which, is primarily all women except for two men. I had already decided if this one meth head guy that was in our class joined that I wasn’t going to join because every time he was in class I wanted to throw my stick at him. He was the most annoying guy EVER. Frequently, in our sessions he would be back there dicking around playing his drum when Peter was trying to talk to us about something. This guy toted that he was a “drummer” and knew how to drum already. (So was I but I wasn’t saying anything). Constantly he was asking about the music and how to play a certain part we were working on. There were only a few of us – myself included – who could read music but Peter would put words above the notes to read so it would be a natural beat. Charlie caught on quite well and so did the rest of us except this guy who SAID he was a “drummer”. (And, most musicians I know who play drums call themselves percussionists not drummers) Fortunately, our last class Peter announced that “Kip-dip”was no longer going to join us because he was pursuing an opportunity and had to go out of town. Great – go cook your meth in Telluride, mf-er, I thought.
I think Peter was a little sad to lose another guy but I really don’t think he would have been asked to join as we later learned most of the other’s in our class didn’t like this guy either. Peter wants more men in the group but he says a lot of men who take the class want to be able to perfect it in just a few sessions and frequently get frustrated and quit. I just remember being in band and practicing the same numbers over and over again for shows. We practiced those songs daily, sometimes on the weekends -or- at band camp. We memorized everything, too. So, from only practicing once a week I would think there will need to be a lot of at home practice to get up to speed to perform shows –which is what we’ll eventually do. Right now we’re so green that we’ll need to practice with the group for a while before we do a show with them. Charlie and I scored some Congo drums from her son and we’re going to start practicing on those. I need to get us some felt tipped mallets so we won’t ruin the heads. Taiko drums are INSANELY expensive or else we would have a couple already to practice on. Peter has a whole video on youtube on how to make a drum out of an old tire (I’m actually surprised that Charlie hasn’t started this project yet) we have a lot going on right now – we may have her youngest and his gf up this weekend from Florida. They have been without power all week and are over it but gasoline shortage is still a problem down there. Benji’s gf that came up to get away from the storm said it took her 12 hours to get back to Jacksonville yesterday. Charlie’s parents are coming up next week to visit and fortunately the Taiko group is performing on The Beltline so we’re going to take them to that and support our new group.
Friday we have our friends doing a backyard concert again – the first of this year. Saturday we have the neighbors coming up to make post-hurricane drinks and I’m sure we’ll have a bunch of food. If I don’t talk to y’all have a great weekend! Cheers!