Taiko at the end of the rainbow
It's the end of July, and in a normal year we would be in full preparation mode for Japanese festivals across the state. We'd be finalizing set lists, checking and repairing equipment, and arranging song transitions. Sadly this year continues to be anything but "normal;" live events have been cancelled or postponed, but we are adapting to the changing circumstances, including smaller group practices and virtual performances.
With the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, it may not be feasible for our ensemble of thirteen to practice together for some time. In order to provide a safe environment, we've reimagined what our group might look like: in come the Barons of Bachi; Masters of Ma; and Warriors of Ki, our tiny but mighty subgroups.
By dividing into much smaller groups, we are able to space our equipment well over six feet apart to help reduce risk even with the physical exertion of taiko. Adding in mask-wearing and a more vigorous cleaning routine, our practices look very different than they did before the pandemic reached St. Louis, but they are no less rewarding.
It's been more than four months since some of our members have played taiko. Long-time performing member Helena remarked she hadn't realized just how much she had been missing it - even the inevitable blisters.
Times continue to be uncertain, and we're grateful to be able to practice together to bring a sense of normalcy during such a difficult situation. We hope you are continuing to stay safe and well, and we can't wait to be with you again!