Smooth Jazz Taiko Experiment: Hiroshima “One Wish”
This project would not be complete without a tribute to Hiroshima. Hiroshima is one of the first (if not the first) successful band to feature Japanese instruments such as koto and taiko. Thank you for the music.
Hiroshima is an American jazz fusion/smooth jazz/Asian-American jazz band formed in 1974 by Sansei Japanese American Dan Kuramoto (wind instruments and band leader), Peter Hata (guitar), June Kuramoto (koto), Johnny Mori (percussion and taiko), Dave Iwataki (keyboards) and Danny Yamamoto (drums). Named for the Japanese city of Hiroshima, the band is best known for the fusing of Japanese music and other forms of world music into its playing. Its early jazz-pop R&B Funk sound gave the group a huge following among the African American community and they are regarded as musical pioneers among the Asian American and Japanese American community. Wikipedia – Hiroshima (band)
In some of the previous videos, I’ve alluded to Bon Daiko (Beyoncé “Countdown”) or Tsugaru Jongara Bushi (Monkey Majik & Yoshida Brothers “Change”). For this particular video, I wanted to reference a uniquely American taiko experience and pay tribute to the grandfather of North American Taiko. If you’re a taiko drummer, you’ll notice I allude quite heavily to “Soko Bayashi” by Seiichi Tanaka of San Francisco Taiko Dojo.
Mic Placement of the Overheads
For this particular recording, you’ll notice the overheads are placed much closer to the drums than usual. As I mentioned before, my room is noisy and has a lot of slapback. By placing the mics closer to the drums, I’m hoping to reduce the amount of noise.
However, as a result of putting the overheads closer, you may also notice the drums breathe a little less. I also found these particular recordings more difficult to work with. It kind of outlines a recurring theme throughout this project. You may try deviating from the standard, but often times you’ll end up going back to it.
I hope this project has been useful in tackling some of the problems related to recording taiko. If you’re one of the 10 other people that are interested in recording taiko, please reach out! I would love to talk more, exchange ideas, and try to improve my sound.