Saturday, June 30, 2007

Drumming Up A Little Something

Remember that big ol' bag of fortune cookies I brought home last weekend from Chinatown? Well, I got this one on my way out the door to my Adult School class in Taiko Drumming.

Now, how often have you found a fortune cookie to be accurate? Really?

Being the dork that I am - I was the first student to arrive. That gave me a chance to snap some pics before anyone could identify me as some random middle aged chick gathering "material" for her blog.

Cool drums, eh?

And, as I found out later, they are really loud!

Don't you love the backdrop of the world map?

I truly wasn't sure what to in the drum laden cafeteria.

People trickled in. A few Berkeley types - a diggeridoo guy and a hula dancer. A handful of people way older than me (thank God) and a very small Chinese woman. Later, a hipster gal came up to me and introduced herself as a drummer who hoped this class would help improve her syncopation. Whoa, seriously?...and you want to chat with me?? Cool!

Once everyone arrived, we went around the room to share "why" we were "there" for the class. Lots of stories of hearing Taiko drumming at ball games and other events were shared. A love of the Japanese culture and all that.


Nope, I didn't hesitate in telling everyone that I'm in the middle of a frustrating wait to adopt a child from China. And that I felt that banging on a drum might just do me some sort of good.

The instructor, who looks a little something like Sting from behind (from the front, not-so-much, b/c he's missing a few teeth), told me that while he didn't exactly recommend the class for stress reduction...somehow it did seem to have that effect.


Once I had my bachi (drumming sticks) in hand, I was given a passport to another world. I loved banging on those drums and following the group beat. It was serious, vibrating electric wonder. Once the group began a loud line-dancing-drum-banging routine...I was in pure heaven. Honest. Pure Heaven. I got the beat, I got the steps...and the instructor treated me as one of the leaders. It felt less like a victory and more of a natural pulling of energy. I wanted to move forward with the drumming energy and wanted to pull others with me.

God was it great. So energizing and connecting. Wonderful

Maybe someday I'll look as cool as these guys:

I truly hope that this little video connects here on the blog. It is not the group that I am practicing with - just a cool sampling of the incredible Taiko Energy that I have begun to embrace.


Good times!


kris said...

Oh. Oh. Speechless due to jealousy.
Want to drum. Need drum. Miss drums. Druuuummmmmm. I mean, it's better than any candy on the planet.

kris said...

Watched video. GOOSEBUMPS. And that feeling in the center of you where the whole... universe just pulls at you. Hard to sit still in front of my computer. Beautiful. It speaks to something so much deeper than words or syntax. It's like poetry put into action.

a&mg said...

I've been a drummer since third grade, and there is NO better stress reliever than banging on those skins. I haven't had my own set to play on in a while, so I'm looking forward to access to the school set when we get back to Alaska.

Mamacita said...

I swear your post made me tear up. That is just so cool of you to go for it. We all need to go for it more, don't we?

Stacy said...

Oh My Goodness!!!! That is AWESOME!!

I will admit I thought you were doing the Phil Collins type of drum class. I had no idea. I am so impressed. Not that I wouldn't have been impressed by the other, but I think those drummers are AMAZING. Wow!

Joannah said...

I've seen Taiko drummers at a holiday party once. My BIL works for Toyota, and they hired a group as part of the entertainment that evening. It was amazing. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much. So, is this a one-time thing, or does the class continue to meet?

walternatives said...

"Given a passport to another world... Pure heaven..." I am SO HAPPY for you! You - my music muse - deserve this kind of music energy joy. I'm thrilled that you found it. Have you seen the movie "Touch the Sound"? It's a documentary about a percussionist that you might enjoy. And can I offer a suggestion, only because I care about you? If the class is truly that loud, may be you should think about ear protection. I'd hate for your hearing to be diminished, even a teensy bit. So glad you've found a new soul haven!

Barb said...

Way cool, my friend. And what hipster wouldn't want to chat with you?
Again, way cool - It's rare and amazing to find things that will transport you the way the drumming class seemed to. Carry on!

SBird said...

So glad this is making you so happy. That's what it's all about.

C.J. said...

How cool is that?!?! You come up with the greatest ideas and that's one of 'em

That would be some great stress relief.

Anonymous said...

Taiko drums are awesome. We have several DVDs of performances since Tim loves all drumming. I am glad you are doing this. It will keep your soul happy. I did African dance a few years back in Albq. I cant dance very well but it was so freeing.

Beth and Shayna said...

How funny, there was a special segment on TV last night on the drumming. Maybe we will see you someday in the spotlight. Have fun with the class, it sounds like fun.

cavatica said...

Wow! I've thought of taking African drumming. You've rejuvinated my interest. Drumming is transforming!

jk said...

I want to drum! Maybe I will just go into my kitchen and grab a pot and a spoon - that will do the trick for now . . .

Debra Sue said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time, and according to B, drumming is an excellent way to de-stress. It's aggressive and physical, and sometimes that's exactly what we need in order to get out the frustration. Plus, you're learning a new skill!

On a sidenote ~

My fortune came true! On 6/12/98 I opened a fortune that said, "You'll be married in one year." I laughed, jotted the date on it, and put it in my desk drawer with a cavalier, "Yeah right!" attitude.

B and I had our first date 7/16/98 and were married 6/1/99. My fortune didn't lie, and it was the best one I've received yet!

tundrachica said...

LOVE IT! Just like Miss Cleo, I too did African dance years ago..loved it...why? DRUMS!
The video is awesome and I think it is super GROOVY that you're diggin' it.

Headmeister said...

Love, love LOVE it - I'm going to go look this group up NOW. And, I totally understand the pull you felt while playing. When I get into a musical groove like that, there is no comparison :)

BTW - GO READ A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS RIGHT NOW... stop staring at it and pick it, you won't be disappointed :)

Kristin said...

I love Taiko... what a great idea to take some lessons... keep us posted!

Shannon S said...

What an amazing experience! You are too cool (per usual!)The fortune cookie was very freaky...

secret agent said...

I've been pounding on my new piano but it's not working
maybe time to take up drums.

That is very cool

new girl said...

So cool! So glad you have found this and shared the video so we get the idea.

My sister has taken African drumming and even went to Africa at least in part to buy drums. I, on the other hand, am not nearly so cool!