I have seen Uzume Taiko perform with one bagpiper before. When we were creating the CBC “Gung Haggis Fat Choy” television performance special, one of my ideas was to have a helicopter shoot of Burnaby Mountain with the SFU Bagpipe Band playing with the Uzume Taiko band. But the show had a small budget, and the producer decided to keep the cultural fusion between Chinese and Scottish musicians. So, our culture-clash-fusion happened in the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Gardens where Chinese flute player Jian Ming Pan bumped into the celtic band The Paperboys, accompanied by bagpiper Tim Fanning.
Uzume Taiko & Mearingstone's performance together should be a musically adventurous evening. I am looking forward to it. There is a long history of Japanese-Canadians and Scottish-Canadians mixing in Vancouver. I have seen a picture of a little Japanese girl dressed up in kilt circa 1923. Ron Macleod, Chair of SFU Scottish Studies program, tells me that he knew many Japanese-Canadians growing up in Tofino. But then they disappeared in the 1942 internment.
Taiko drums and bagpipes? Very Vancouver!
Group Society presentation:
November 23, 2007 / 8:00pm
Norman Rothstein Theatre, 950 West 41st Avenue
On Friday, November 23, two
amazing musical ensembles, Mearingstone and Uzume Taiko,
and guest shakuhachi and didgeridoo musician Alcvin Ramos, come
together in this concert at the Rothstein to perform individually and
collaboratively. This spectacular program, featuring highland pipes,
taiko drums, percussion, melodic instruments and choreographed movement,
will make for a mesmerizing evening played with passion and grace
guaranteed to stir emotions!
Mearingstone, a Vancouver-based ensemble of four highland pipers,
concocts an intense, formally intricate music, a world music analogue of
the Philip Glass Ensemble or Bang On a Can’s explorations of musical
density, variation, time, and ecstasy. Formed in 1988 to perform Michael
O’Neill’s Ur Og and Aji, Mearingstone is often augmented by other
instruments such as Japanese taiko and shakuhachi, Indian tabla, bass
clarinet, or even…pipe band drums. Mearingstone members are Sylvia
DeTar, Micah Babinski, Damien Burleigh, and Michael O'Neill.
Together, within the apparently restricted expressive range of the
bagpipes, they bring forth a wide variety of moods the results of a
passionate response to the unrealized potential of a deep tradition.
“…sheer sonic power of the four bagpipes …” Georgia
Since 1988, Uzume Taiko (Bonnie Soon, Jason Overy, Boyd Seiichi
Grealy, Naomi Kajiwara, all on taiko and percussion) has enthralled
audiences at festivals, schools, concerts and special events across
Canada, the United States, Europe and Japan with its dynamic synthesis of
music, movement and theatre. Using a diverse collection of percussive and
melodic instruments as well as taiko drums, Uzume Taiko has developed a
dynamic fusion of old and new styles of drumming bringing a vibrant,
contemporary sensibility to an ancient art. With the choreographed
physicality of martial arts, the heart-stopping pulse of the O-Daiko and
the rhythmic sensitivity of a jazz ensemble, the drummers of Uzume Taiko
create an exhilarating sensual experience.
[Uzume Taiko is] One of the most remarkable percussion ensembles ever to
hit the UK …
hugely inventive, ingenious and dangerously mesmerizing. Press and
Diane Kadota Arts Management
tel: 604.683.8240 / fax: 604.683.7911
Suite 310 – 425 Carrall Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 6E3
Suite 310 – 23 West Pender Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 1R3