the right hand plays the do/don/ka and the left plays the ko/kon/ra. each of the sounds are distinctive and powerful. not like the flying stick trick i did during yesterday’s first, of two, performances.
in my practices i have been learning how to best hold the sticks. i have been told to hold them not too tight, and i had evidence for about a week of how hard i had been holding them. i had many blisters. in any event, during one of the first songs i hit the other one and it went flying through the air. i said sorry as many times as my teacher can play 16th notes in a single measure.
and, speaking of music, my teacher gave me the opportunity to play a solo. for both performances. after a short introduction which included details of my japanese past (job, family, etc) and why i was in japan now (culture, history, and taiko study……………and to visit friends and family:) i was asked to play. the first time and second time i made mistakes, but i did not show them. i have to remember my first instrument is trumpet. it gave me heaps and bounds of confidence, not pride, but a belief that i could achieve these dreams i have been living. i am 35 and i have a long story thus far.
during the break after the first show the taiko players had a delicious meal and during this time i gave out more omiyage. the girls absolutely loved the silly bands. i gave the wait staff some american candy.
after many picture taking moments i talked to my friend about the songs and who does what part and when. i was told that my assumption was correct: i and the kids were to play a song. i thought this meant me and the youngest and newest players. SO, i sat down by myself, and not to bother anyone, went over one of the songs. i then went back and talked to the same friend and she assured me she would play with me, too:)
i have found 3 traits of my drumming ability. 1: i can read the music and know which hand and what sound is wanted (but the songs have to memorized) 2: i play performances best when i do not worry too much (even though i make many mistakes as to which hand and hand position). 3: there are many songs that i have in my head.
in short, the performances went well. my teacher wanted me to have a nice time since it was created on my behalf. i smiled a lot. a smile is universal, you know. i had fun. i even did not feel shy or embarrassed (sp?) . little by little i will become even better, but by then i will have these moments only in my dreams because i will be back home…………dreaming.