Let’s go ahead get right to the point. We are doing toilets all wrong here in Canada! In Tokyo the seats are heated! We’re going to leave the rest of the toilet research up to you, however. We’re here to talk about rhythm and percussion in Asia.
Tokyo is bright, busy, and efficient. We moved through the city with great ease considering it’s population (has everyone had a chance to look at our time-lapse of Shibuya Crossing?) Things are very compact, but it doesn’t seem too, too cramped! Unless, of course, you’re on the worlds most sophisticated subway at rush hour. In that case, it’s a little tight. Along with the state of the art architecture, innovative technologies and gadgets, Tokyo is home to the most noodle joints and Michelin Star Restaurants in the world! Onto the interviewees – but please, don’t forget to look up the fancy toilets!
We had about a week to facilitate four interviews while we were in Japan. Additionally, we payed a visit to the Miyamoto Store and Museum. We would also be filming some additional dialogue and footage through out the city on this visit to Asia.
Our first interview was with Senri Kawaguchi, a 22 year old percussionist from Japan. Gillian gives Senri her highest compliment by saying she is a “beast of a drummer.” Senri picked up the drums quickly, and at a young age. Her father brought home an electric drum to study it’s electrical components. This led to professional drum lessons in her home town in the Mei Prefecture. At age 8, by the recommendation of her teacher, Senri began her mentorship. Under Kozo Sugunama’s tutelage she has blossomed into the successful young percussionist she is today.
Yoyoka is a ball of energy, and highly skilled. She may be short on experience, simply because she is just whispering to ten years old. In any case, this girl stacks up in her field. We visited Yoyoka just before her interview aired on the Ellen Show, causing great excitement in her fledgling career. Gillian helped her set up her mic and the two of them got to it. When Yoyoka began to play we all felt our smiles begin to creep across our faces. This girl is knocking rock-classics out of the park left and right, and we’re here for it! Didn’t Madame Gandhi tell us the future is female?
Our third guest in Japan was with Tamburi Mundi Alumni, Takashi Tajima. Takashi speaks his passion through rhythm. He is a skilled artist in many forms. Known for his work building, playing, and moving with the tambourine Tajima was a delight to interview!
Our final interviewee in Tokyo was Ikuo Kakehashi. Ikuo found his love for music in high school when his brother purchased a drum set. After discovering his skill and passion he chose to stick with the traditions of his family and pursue university. University of Music, that is! His studies branched out from technical skills and performance art to studies of ethnic music. We were happy to have Ikuo wrap up our interviews in Japan with a stellar session.
We’ll certainly be back to Asia, and before too long! February has a few shorter trips for our crew! Gimme the Beat has feet in Haiti as we speak!