Yatai Bayashi weekend workshop

Ian Cleworth – Taikoz Artistic Director
Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 June
in Launceston
Cost – $150 including morning and afternoon tea on both days.
(Participants responsible for all other meals)
Can you please let us know asap if you wish to go and if you need to be billeted.
Here is a few words from Ian about Yatai and the workshop –

Hi Tassie Taiko Tribe,

I’m looking forward to coming to Launceston to share my love, knowledge and skill about Yataibayashi with you all.

Yataibayashi is something of a “touchstone” for me (and Taikoz, too). I first learnt a version of “Yatai” when I was living and playing in Japan back in the 1980s, and so when I met Riley, who performed Yataibayashi countless times as a member of the legendary Ondekoza in the 1970s, this music – naturally enough – was the first thing we set ourselves to learn when we created Taikoz in 1997. It’s been a staple of our repertoire ever since, and underpins so much of our original music. I even had the thrill & privilege of performing Yataibayashi with members of Kodo (including one of my taiko heroes, Yoshikazu Fujimoto) back in 2009. So you get the idea… I love this music!

Yataibayashi contains everything you need to know about the taiko! (This is probably a bit of hyperbole, but you know what I mean). Big taiko playing long, pounding themes; small taiko playing fast intricate rhythms; a fascinating and almost impossible to achieve lilting ji-bayashi; a beautiful microtonal shinobue melody; driving atarigane; classic “jo-ha-kyu” structure; movement and stillness all in one; intense focus; elaborate preparatory movements… Yatai has got it all! In fact it’s so layered and deep that you can never master this piece… its hard, its challenging and its fun!

I’m honoured that Suzanne has invited me to teach Yataibayashi. Over the course of the two days, we will cover Taikoz’s version of the main theme, the ji-bayashi, Taikoz’s performing arrangement (which is based on Ondekoza’s), technique and sound, shimedaiko tamaire (Taikoz version), “round robin” style playing to develop endurance and strength, and if we have time, the various elaborate preparatory movements.

For inspiration, check out a few youtube videos from the original Chichibu players…

this one features Mr Takano of Chichibu – his father taught Ondekoza in the 1970s…


This one demonstrates the beautiful – and elusive (for non Chichibu-ers) – lilting ji-bayashi …


and inside the actual yatai (cart) …


Hope to see you and your students on the June 10-11 weekend.