Odaiko Sonora Taiko Drummers

Odaiko Sonora Taiko Drummers

Taiko instructors demonstrating performance techniques. All schools received basic instructions in Taiko and did a performance for their school and community. At some sites the entire community was invited to perform! the Taiko trainings and performances with students were done under the direction of the Odaiko Sonora founders and teachers: Karen Falkenstrom and Rome Hammer.

Taiko is the artistic, powerful, and physically demanding discipline of ensemble drumming.  Taiko first began in ancient Japan as a form of communication. It was also used on the battlefield to coordinate troops and intimidate the enemy. The Japanese also used, and still use, taiko in Kabuki theatre to accompany singers and actors.About four thousand years ago, taiko was used to signal various activities in a village. It is said the boundaries of a village could extend only as far as the taiko could be heard, so a larger drum meant a larger village. Simple beats signaled that the hunters were setting out, or that a storm was coming and people needed to bring in the meat and fruits they had drying.

Taiko Drummers

Today, taiko has developed into a performing art.¬† The word ‘taiko’ refers both to the drums themselves and to the art form. (Taiko is Japanese for “big drum.”) Traditional Japanese taiko range in size from one foot to six feet in diameter and are made of hollowed out tree trunks.

Odaiko Sonora is a performing arts and education agency offering taiko classes, performance, team-building workshops, school residencies, and master level workshops and concerts by internationally acclaimed taiko artists.

SAAA students were able to observe the Odaiko Sonora drummers during the grant period as well as to make their own drums out of automobile tires wrapped in plastic wrap.