Taikoza played a free (yes, free! What a treat!) concert at Sonoma State. It was in a small theater in Ives Hall, which I’d never been in before, we sat up near the front. Great show, wonderful energy, about 90 minutes straight through, no intermission. Five members: four drummers and one who is primarily a dancer. Marco, the founder, and the dancer also played fue on some numbers, and Marco also did some pieces on shakuhachi. I’d actually seen almost all the members perform before, but not in this particular grouping, and some it had been a while, so it was great fun.
The show was a lovely variety of traditional and original works, some of them medleyed together. I recognized some, others seemed familiar but I couldn’t quite come up with the name for. It was wonderful having the variety with the flutes and dancing as well.
In one piece the dancer played a fool character to great comic effect, and they got a few audience members up to try drumming. In another piece the members went out into the audience with the small hand cymbals and some great interactions. That involvement was really neat.
Something else very cool was during one of the songs Tiffany used some really long, flexible sticks with ribbons on the ends. Quite visually captivating. And something I’d never seen before, which was awesome cause sometimes it seems like there can’t possibly be anything new.
There wasn’t a printed program, which distressed my Virgo part a bit, but yes, it was entirely possible to enjoy music without knowing the names of the pieces. Marco did talk a little bit here and there, so I did hear what a few of them were. And a couple of them I knew since we’ve played them, although not quite like that. Also learned (or re-learned) that the shakuhachi only has 5 holes! So all those different tones he can get are made by partially covering holes and/or changing the angle he’s blowing into the flute. Wow! Amazing.