Composition residency: Taiko Tides

Composition residency: Taiko Tides

Mon, 2020-02-24 09:00 to Sat, 2020-02-29 20:00
Ticket price: 

Stony Brook University
Stony Brook New York


Third composition residency of the Arugakki 2020 tour.  Minh and I spend one week on campus with Taiko Tides, teaching, composing, and choreographing.


Set List: 

Hurdle technique workshop
Hurdle teaching workshop <this page>


Wrap up: 

- 4 taiko sections with increasing emphasis on movement
- electronic music backing track inspired by "institutional" sounds

Teaching videos:


Download all videos, music, and notation:

by Kristofer Bergstrom
Released copyleft under Creative Commons BY-SA Int. 4.0
Feb 29 2020

This first iteration of "Hurdle" is four sections of four lines each.  The sections feature increasing amounts of movement while maintaining the accents of section 1.

Section 1 is rhythm-focused, intended to sound like drumset with jazzy, constantly-changing patterns.  Section 2 introduces right arm swings.  Section 3 introduces steps with the feet, pushing the player to new locations to reach new sounds and techniques.  Section 4 features large movements.

The backing track is built on "institutional" sounds.  Stony Brook Taiko Tides members struggle to get the support they need from the University, and I heard terms like "red tape" and "rules" frequently.  The administrator of the Tabler Arts center was angry we were bringing equipment into his building without asking permission and I wrote the taiko parts while staring at a sign that said, "No drums in practice rooms!"  Despite obstacles such as these, Taiko Tides maintains an optimistic attitude, holding practices twice a week and creating new material.

The metalic sounds of the backing track were recorded from parking barriers, fences, and sign posts.  The vocal parts are from a jail PA announcement sample I found at




Taiko Community Alliance - composition grant
Arugakki Collaborator Fund - travel grant
Stony Brook Taiko Tides - residency host

Thank you also to Eva Nagase, Joe Dvorak, and Minh Nguyen.


Audience size: 
Other Participants: