This last Saturday, we joined UCSD’s Asayake for a joint practice hosted by CSUN’s Jishin. Unlike the joint practices I’ve been to where all the groups takes turns teaching then each group performs at the end, we were invited as guests to an actual Jishin practice!
The highlight of the evening was learning Jishin’s version of Matsuri, an open-source song available to the taiko community. Many groups play a variation of this song, which includes a series of rhythms along with individual solos. What was most interesting and notable was how they used a swing ji instead of the usual straight ji. Using swing ji definitely enhanced the happy, energetic mood. Also, we experienced what they call the “San Fernando Valley ji,” a funky, accented swing ji, which started off the song.
When Jishin’s members demonstrated their Matsuri before we began learning, I was reminded of how they carry such enthusiasm and play with so much strength and power. I am always taken aback whenever I watch Jishin perform.
Once we finished learning, we input the individual solos for an almost hour-long Matsuri with 26 different solos! Then we ended the practice after a more formal run-through.
I thoroughly enjoyed the new experience of being part of a different collegiate group’s practice. It was refreshing to play taiko in an unfamiliar but comfortable setting. I think I can speak for everyone when I say we all had a fun time learning a different version of Matsuri! I was intrigued to see everyone’s distinct playing styles, especially during their solos; I was in awe of how such a large group of diverse people from different groups can be unified through taiko. On top of that, it was great seeing old, and meeting new, friends!
Thank you Jishin for your wonderful hospitality and we hope to see you and Asayake again soon!…