Taiko Composition: Taiko Source Interview
It’s a tremendous honor to be featured on Taiko Source! In this interview, I talk about the creative process of writing “Rei.” Rei is a taiko composition commissioned by Asano Taiko US. It premiered at North American Taiko Conference 2015 Taiko Jam. Check out the performance video!
About the Composition
The word Rei literally means “thanks” or “gratitude.” These were the emotions I felt when writing a piece inspired by my 25+ year journey as a member of Tokyo-based taiko ensemble Amanojaku. This journey eventually brought me to Berklee College of Music.
It’s a tremendous privilege to be entrusted to write music for an organization like Asano Taiko US. I felt truly grateful for the opportunity.
Throughout my career in taiko and in music, I’ve been helped countless times. Part of being a musician is repaying these people through music and the way we live. To me, Rei isn’t just about saying “thank you.” It’s about integrity. It’s about being sincere in who you are as a musician and as a human being.
The Creative Process
Here are some behind-the-scenes photos taken at rehearsal. I tried to give the performers enough structure. I want them to know what to do. But I also want to give them enough breathing room to be themselves. In the Taiko Source interview, I talk about the importance of giving the performers ownership of the music.
The more a piece of music gets played, the stronger it becomes. The members of UnitOne added their own creativity and color to the piece. Through countless hours of rehearsals, they really made it their own.
I’ll be the first to admit I’m still growing, and Rei is still evolving. I’m really looking forward to what it will become down the road. Composing Rei has been a proud page of my career.