Composition Residency: Denver Taiko

Composition Residency: Denver Taiko

Sun, 2020-01-19 13:30 to Thu, 2020-01-23 21:00
Ticket price: 

Denver Buddhist Temple
1947 Lawrence St
Denver CO 80202



5-day residency creating new naname choreography and electronic music for Denver Taiko.


Wrap up: 

All videos:
Download videos, music, and notation:

by Kristofer Bergstrom
Released copyleft under Creative Commons BY-SA Int. 4.0
Jan 23 2020

In the electronic backing tracks I've made previously, the live taiko parts sometimes feel anxillary.  Is it possible to make electronic music that only feels complete with the taiko?  "Lacuna" tries to accomplish this by creating space both rhythmically and tonally.  The snare sounds of the backing track and the taiko hits are rarely simultaneous, pushed to different locations within the bar.  The backing track also uses samples meant to live below and above the sound of taiko in frequency.  Instead of a plucky, percussive bass, the synth low end is a squarewave drone that starts and stops in sharp blocks for a tone that I hope allows for the punch of the live taiko.

The taiko phrases mix glitchy rhythms with slow and fast movements.  The slow movements use the "Zeno Achilles paradox" (movements slow but never stop) to maintain energy through long pauses.  Rhythmically, the hits avoid the "2/4" locations used by the backing track.  Movements attempt to take advantage of a wide dynamic range and limb independence, inspired by the dance of Les Twins.


arrangement-Related folder
- example draft arrangement

electronic-Music-Related folder
- draft backing track at two tempi (.mp3, .wav)
- audio files for remixing (samples, stems, Octatrack project)

taiko-Related folder
- slow-motion videos
- teaching videos
- workshop videos





Taiko Community Alliance - composition grant
Arugakki Collaborator Fund - travel grant
Denver Taiko - residency host

Thank you also to Aiko and Yuji Kimura, and Minh Nguyen.


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