Hidaka at International Dinner 2019

Reviews, Live Shows

220213 Breathing Forests by Gabriella Smith (world premier)

Sobbing beneath our masks

211203 "Seven Pillars" premier at Emerald City Music

Inspiring composition, mind-blowing performance

210911 Sylvan Esso at The Greek

Standard production, amazing music

210911 Tune Yards at Ford Amphitheater

Low expectations, high reward!

210129 Cinematic Orchestra at Royal Albert Hall livestream

Monochromatic, but enjoyable.

201201 Sylvan Esso "With Love" streaming

Heartfelt performance by one of my favorites

201010 NDT2: Dare to Say

Proving that streamed dance performances can move

201010 NDT: Endlessly Free

The Other You is my favorite choreography ever.

201010 Kaoru Watanabe: Haruka and Akira

"Kibou no Hikari" made me cry

200411 Arugakki at JCCC Montreal

First steps: shaky, exciting

200322 Nederlans Dans Theater at Place des Artes

Vladimir is mind-blowing

200221 DRUM Tao at Jorgensen Center

pina colada cotton candy

191116 Sylvan Esso at Walt Disney Concert Hall

Moving music, delightful dancing, incredible sound

191115 Ohmme at Teragram Ballroom

Fantastically quirky

191025 Hiatus Kaiyote at Novo

Amazing music, over my head

191023 Frances Cone and Delta Rae at Bootleg

Introspective, thoughtful music vs showboating

191017 Cosmo Sheldrake at Echoplex

Great samples, less-inspiring looping

191013 Oregon Symphony premier of Andy Akiho Percussion Concerto

My new favorite piece of classical music.

191009 GoGo Penguin's Koyaanisqatsi at Regent Theater

A worthwhile addition to an iconic movie

190925 Cornelius at Echoplex

Bright lights, big music.

190726 New Original Works Festival 2019 at REDCAT

Craving a "composition"

190717 Mitski at Hollywood Palladium

How to make pop songs performative?

190614 Imogen Heap at Greek Theatre

Hide and Seek and not much else

190601 Snarky Puppy at Orpheum

So Snarky!

190319 Monterey Symphony: Sound Waves Concert IV

A drifting concert. Water Concerto anchored by Chris Lamb

190316 Miyamoto is Black Enough, at Wallis

Holy shit this was a good show!

190127 Hidaka at International Dinner 2019

Go Hidaka Taiko!

190116 Third Coast Percussion with Hubbard Street Dance

Unsure why I was unmoved

181120 Dermot Kennedy at Fonda

Solid show to adoring fans

181108 Birdtalker at Hotel Cafe

A special band, early in their career

180623 Olafur Arnalds at Cathedral Sanctuary

The power of sweet/sad melody!

180614 Dirty Projectors at El Rey Theater

Amazing quirk-pop!

180310 Miyake x UnitOne

UnitOne shines!

180224 Batare at La Mirada Theater

Laudably ambitious but scattered.

180223 QuiltCon 2018

Inspiring works, inspiring community.

180131 Kagami Kai at Asian Art Museum

Amazing mochi-making skills, frustrating calligraphy, and take-home encouragement

170416 Sigur Rós with LA Phil

Amazing concert with a few missed opportunities.

170115 A Seed: Ichi-Ryu Manbai

Overwrought concept, thin music, tragic flowers

160927 Sigur Rós at Hollywood Bowl

Amazing sound needs mixed set-list

160918 Road to Kumano: Taiko Project with Chieko Kojima

Ambitious new work!

160409 Locations and Dislocations: An Ecomusicological Conversation

thought-provoking, inspiring, exhausting

130514 Stuck Elevator was fantastic

Powerfully uneventful ending

081012 Byron's Bottled Water Operas

Welcome. Stay and think.

Hidaka at International Dinner 2019

Congratulations, Hidaka Taiko!  You should be very proud of your performance this evening and what you've accomplished.  In a remarkably short time, Hidaka has become a serious player in collegiate taiko.  And new members... you rock!

I took a few notes as I was watching the performance but before I give them, there is something more important.  Keep your focus on inspiring passion and love amongst yourselves.  Your impressive current skill level is due simply to the number of hours you have dedicated to the music.  Taking things to the next level requires more time, and the way to do that is to foster a love for taiko and for each other.

Now for the nit-picking!


  • set up drums during emcee
  • shout intro only works if going directly into strong taiko
  • when shouting, emote "energy" without "anger"


  • phrase that ends "RL" would be more satisfying as "LR"
  • if possible, no "teketeke" for re-entrances during cut outs.  Follow stage right front player for sudden entrance.


  • Elias, take a full stance before starting.


  • tonally flat - jiuchi should change between phrases or sections (drop shaker, drop kane, etc)
  • weird to cutout with rising shout and dramatic pose, then go to quiet rim
  • jiuchi covers soloist.  nagado jiuchi should be sparser, or non-skin tone.


  • no noodling!  Great chops... use them musically.  Focus on drums and music.


  • kane could play between nagado hits for one or more sections
  • higher shime would better showcase player's skill


  • no noodling!  Early section needs direction.  "Suga" oroshi can be cleaner.
  • build is currently achieved only through dynamics.  How could rhythm / tone be used?


  • pet peeve: hitting multiple drums but tone is always the same
    - instead of "additive" section, where each player joins, have each player play alone
    - find other moments to feature drum tones
  • shime bachi are too heavy for that skin
  • is everyone okay with binary-gendered costumes?  A "spectrum" might be cool.
  • women kneeling while men play powerful odaiko suggests subservience

<final bow>

  • run out for bow