Thursday, 18 February 2016

Thunder in my ears

It's been quite a while since I had the time to attend a sunset concert.
Yes, it was time, so I took a little time for "me" yesterday evening.
My week had been choc a bloc with work and I needed an evening to relax for myself.
In the morning I arranged to collect the tickets as requested and hurried downtown to do so, but as usual there is never a parking spot to be found near the Frank Collymore Hall.
I asked the friendly parking attendant "to give me break" to park Beast for 5 minutes while I collected my tickets...he said yes and allowed me to park.
Since my girlfriend could no longer attend the show and I had requested two tickets I asked him if he would be interested in attending and he said yes.
Rushing inside to the office I collected my two prized tickets to "Taiko Masala - The Thunder Drummers."
Emerging in less than 5 minutes the attendant was all smiles as I handed him a ticket...I told him to enjoy the show....he smiled even more as he thanked me.  Sometimes you meet some really nice people.

I have attended a Japanese drummer concert before and enjoyed it.  I love to experience various cultures from around the world and I was therefore looking forward to the evening's performance.
The event was staged to celebrate the new Embassy of Japan in Barbados.
The Embassy of Japan was opened on January 1, 2016.
After the national anthems of both countries and the formal Opening Remarks by both the Ambassador to The Embassy of Japan, His Excellency Mitsuhiko Okada and The Honourable Stephen Lashley M.P. Minister of Culture, Sports & Youth, it was time for the show to begin.
 Image respectfully borrowed from Google images
Four performers came on to the stage and settled themselves by their drums, standing with feet apart and drumsticks in hand.
I can't begin to explain how the music of drums alone can be so soothing but it was.
Loud bangs and booms followed so intoxicating it was almost hypnotic...reminded me of the many Kung Fu movies that I used to watch.
Oh yes there was a big gong and a flute included too.
The performers, Hiro Kurashima (Founder), Yoko Nakahashi, James Perry and Igor Omelchenko made the "Taiko" drumming come alive.
The large drums when sounded gave off  thundering booms.
With the players standing in a demi-plié position and flexing their muscles to hit the drums I could see that all four of them were getting a very good workout.
I wish I could post a small video here but as is customary at these events no photos or videos are allowed.
"Taiko" is a style of drumming born in Japan.  The word "taiko" refers both to the drums and to the musical art form itself. 
The drums are made from hollowed out tree trunks with skins of leather.
The drums range from very large (car size)  to smaller versions like a beach ball.
The origins of 'taiko" can be traced back to ancient Japan where the drums were used as a form of communication.
Also performing on the programme was one of the local drumming groups "The Israel Lovell Foundation."  They also did a very good job with their musical arrangements.
The surprise finale was a collaboration of both groups and it was really good especially since they only practiced for an
Another wonderful evening...I hope I will get to enjoy many many more this year.

I found a video on Youtube which will give you an idea here.

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