forgotten_aria: (Default)
I got roped into teaching a taiko workshop tonight.

I had so much fun. I miss taiko. It's one of those cases where I really really loved it, but it just doesn't work any more. :( My shoulder already hates me just form the one night, and it's not the only reason.
forgotten_aria: (drums)
Why yes, I know I'm very bad at quiting taiko.

I wrote a taiko song and I kind of like it, but we haven't actually played it start to finish.  We're preforming it next Tuesday.   Whee!

If I like the video, I'll post it here next week.

P.S. I have a new youtube channel for my overwatch videos.  I won't post those here, because it's not really me creating things.  I also tested out doing a twitch.tv "show" today.  Some techinical problems to work out, but I didn't hate watching it back, so that's a win.  (You know how sometimes you can't stand your own recorded voice?) 
forgotten_aria: (nicki window)
Been a little busy with the trip to Pittsburgh to help my mom buy a car and then Black Ships.

Taekwondo is doing well. This weekend I test for "high brown" which means just "deputy black" before black. In a lot of ways I'm really glad the master convinced me to not try to black this year. I means I can be more mellow and I'm forced to come to terms with the "maintenance" part of TKD, which is to say, after high brown, the amount you learn per year goes way down and you are expected to learn things with more accuracy and precision. I am such a passion driven person, though, sometimes I have to remind myself that TKD just makes me feel better and it's completely worth doing just for that reason and the other carrots are just crutches. I'm doing something that improves my quality of life and that's enough.

I put myself on a waiting list for a therapist again. They called back today and I have introductory appointment this Friday. I know it's going to be completely different this time, because I'm in a very different place. My depression, while still existent, is much better than it was. I want to work more on my anxiety and paranoia, which I feel I can get advice on and maybe some more tools in my tool kit, which feels more like something that someone else can help with. But we'll see. There are a lot of horrible therapists out there and the ones that take new patients are more likely to be the ones with high turn over.

Taiko is... odd. I definitely have the "you can't go back there" problem. I really don't feel like I belong any more to the group or to the community, but I'm still quite active and doing many of the income producing jobs. I can't say I want to be doing them, but I still can enjoy them when I have to do them. We're struggling to find students, however, and that's stressing me out. I'm currently teaching pro bono just because I was tired of canceling classes and I like my students.

I made another Overwatch themed music video. I've been slow about posting music videos lately, partly because I've been busy enough and partly because since it's not yet an income source, I want to keep it relaxed and fun. My first overwatch video has done much better than anything else I've posted, which is cool, but still just in the noise as far as income goes. I'm also not that happy with this one. The song didn't quite come out the way I was hoping, but the idea is that I need practice making music and videos. Video. ) I've also been playing a lot of overwatch.

No new instruments. I am getting another USB controller for Ableton tomorrow.

I haven't been able to hit school of honk much lately and I'm having ear inflamation that I think is caused by earplugs, so I might have to skip again. I got some new ear plugs that are cheap self moulded ear plugs and I hope they'll help some, but we'll see.

Been enjoying the AC comfort of the new house. Reminding myself one of the reasons I moved out of 133.
forgotten_aria: (harp)
A friend of mine found me a low pressure solo harp gig so I could practice playing a solo performance. It went ok, better than I feared (which isn't to say I didn't mess up, but I did so without completely choking and making things worse with panic. We played taiko after my set, and it's always amazing just to see how taiko blows people away. There is something about taiko that really speaks to people in a way most other music I perform in doesn't.

video )
forgotten_aria: (nicki window)
I teach taiko to many people, most of which have no musical background at all. It's always interesting getting someone who does have a music background, because it can both help and hinder.

I got to teach this amazing person today who is fellow Young Audiences of Mass. performing and it was a lot of fun, partly because he was so enthusiastic.

I'm still officially semi-retired from taiko, but it's still cool to be getting those new experiences that was always one of the best parts of taiko for me.
forgotten_aria: (chun li kick)
Despite having quit taiko, I drummed for Black Ships. We split it with Shindaiko this year, which is good, since it was super hot. I can't say my body is loving me. I'll also be teaching classes in the fall. I'm hoping I can do that without my body hating me.

I thought I was going to miss this testing, and then I went and talked to my master, which was hard and he said I wasn't kicking high enough. I explained I didn't realize that was what I was doing wrong and I could kick higher. I demonstrated and then he proceeded to test me on everything else, right there, and now I can test, but I'm still feeling like I was too whiny or something. I still have so much work to do on social skills. I am also super nervous about the test, because I want to prove I was ready.

I've been missing school of honk a fair amount, but it's been excellent when I make it. I recommend it if you're in the Somerville area and feel like playing loud music.

I'm starting to be less careful about dairy, which isn't a good thing. I miss it.

documenting some things I said in FB )
forgotten_aria: (hole)
Brief update.

I bought a super expensive lawn mower. I also bought a "better" gas can (which isn't here yet.)

I have successfully failed at quiting taiko (more to come later on that.) Though part of it is I will be playing Black Ships again. Time will also tell on what that actually means.

I've started the doodles back up again (should be an update soon.)

I switched to soprano sax in school of honk (skipped last week, though) and got the sax repaired (the guy was supposed to give me a quote, but just did the work, so I spent more than I wanted.) I'm still struggling with the sax some. I will be selling my marching quints, which is sad. If they could only be lighter!

I made a "musical doodle" which was also an experiment in making a track and then syncing the video to the track. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2e3hNYKFhvw

I reinstalled my laptop from 32-bit to 64-bit so I can run the android studio. I wanted to treat myself to a slick new laptop, but couldn't find any indication if ubuntu would work on it or not.

I ran out of steam for experimenting with dairy free ice cream flavors. This may mean that "empty pasture" flavor may never come to be.

In early June I had a very bad (and first) koto gig that made me reevaluate the difference between what I want and what I can get. I am waffling on selling my harp.

And for no reason, here is a video of a bird screaming into a cup. (it's cuter than it sounds.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRsfOGJ5lZg
forgotten_aria: (koto bridges)
So here's my delema.

Taekwondo:
  • is good for me physically: I'm feeling less pain and more ease of movement

  • makes me happy: I look forward to it and usually come home feeling good

  • costs money


Taiko:
  • was physically damaging: both my arm issue and hearing loss

  • was causing me tons of stress: I still watch them not getting enough help from people, the group is struggling for new members as well

  • paid money: I could officially call myself a professional musician

  • had a great community: both the people I saw every week and the people who I saw once every two years. I'm still missing a community like that.

  • let me perform: I'm still performing with them some, but no where near as much as I'd like to, though me rejoining wouldn't completely fix hat


Taiko and Taekwondo are both evening things and cannot be reasonably done together.

My other musical/artistic pursuits are not panning out. It is extremely hard being a solo act and also trying to learn an instrument and do something different with it. I really want to be performing on a regular basis.

My ability to deprogram myself to be ok with no income still hasn't crossed the tipping point. I really want to be doing something that brings in money, even if it's only a little bit of money.

Logic says that I shouldn't go back to taiko, but my heart wants me to damn it all and just return.
forgotten_aria: (chun li kick)
I feel I should post an update, because it's been a while an many things have been happening.

My mother finally went home after her 2-weeks-turning-into-9?-months visit ended. She spent the last week with me. When she got here it was still warm enough to kayak on the pond.

TKD turns out to be very good for me. It gives me several of the things I was hoping it would. It seems to be a better workout than taiko ever was and my body is feeling BETTER for it, which isn't usually the case with me and exercise. In specific, my knees are stronger (though still have to be careful), my back is more flexible and my neck is a lot happier. My mother bought me, after much waffling on my part, a water weighted kicking bag. So now I can kick things at home. My 6 months of searching for a school and my 10 years of taiko seem to have prepared me fairly well. So far I have been ready for every available belt test, though I'm definitely less prepared for this belt test than I have been for others. I'm still only doing simple forms, too. There's a blackbelt form that I've already fallen in love with and is the first real desire to get a black belt, just so I can do that poomsae. My Korean sucks, however, so that's been the most difficult part.

I'm still fairly involved in taiko despite having "quit." I've decided to add myself to the group as a "Guest artist" playing shinbue (Japanese flute.) I'm doing most of their non-YA gigs. Which is a great compromise for me, since I still get to perform, without all the stress of being in the group and trying to rebuild it to what I wanted it to be and the physical and hearing stress of drumming. Their building where they practice had some roof damage from the snow, so they've been practicing in a basement for the past few months and classes were suspended. They're back in the building (which has been shored up, but not fixed,) so I hope they get classes going again soon. I came back and guest taught the advance class because they were having some trouble with a line from the song I had last taught. Sadly every time I do drum for one reason or another (YA fill in, teaching) my neck and shoulder already kind of warn that, yes, this is a bad thing.

This makes me sad, because I do miss the awesome community and I miss taiko and I miss traveling everywhere and sharing it with people. TKD does not give me the performing I crave and, even though the people at the dojang are quite nice, doesn't give me the community. That might get a little better once I can attend demo team practices, but from what I've seen from those practices, I'm not getting my hopes up.

So I'm still seeking a new community of people working together to create something. I think I have to abandon any serious attempt at light spinning, because the community sets my teeth a little on edge. The fact that they're insensitive to using the word poi incorrectly and the fact that the stereotype seems to be either crunchy granola or raver. I realize I'm being picky by going by stereotype, but I've already been burned by finding an amazing community and then finding out that I didn't really belong as much as I thought. And since I'm unwilling to spin fire, which seems to be what the "cool" kids do, then I don't think it's the right direction for me. That being said, image poi still rock my world, so I might get them and then maybe learn TKD staff or even use them as nuchaku if I get good enough that I won't risk damaging them. (My TKD school teaches nuchaku as the first weapon.)

I've also been thinking a lot about anti-fatshaming advocacy. There is this very frustrating narrative on the Internet that normal weight == healthy, overweight == not healthy. This makes arguments very frustrating because there is a large part of the population that just believe that your weight is the important thing and you simply cannot be healthy and overweight. It's impossible to discuss anything with them, because in their brain overweight IS a disease. I want to make youtube videos that explain some of my logic, the most important being that fat-shaming, no matter what you believe, doesn't help people get healthy or lose weight. But it's such a rats nest of belligerent people, I'm not sure if I'll find the courage, especially since when I think I have a nice solid argument, even among my friends, I often find out I wasn't as clear as I thought I was. My brain and language have a weird relationship.

I'm still working on my harp. I keep getting delayed by various things, but I want to work up enough material for an open mic.

P.S. My birthmonth was weird for a bunch of reasons, including that I am now older than my dad ever was, but the party surprised me. So many amazing people showed up and I felt very lucky. It was likely one of the best birthmonth parties I've had.
forgotten_aria: (nicki window)
Taught my last taiko class today. I'll write more about that later.

Also signed up for 6 months of TKD at Kian TKD in Salem, NH.
forgotten_aria: (taiko reimei)
Taekwondo

My current trial for TKD is going very well. I'm extremely happy with how this school is balancing "it's ok to not be perfect" with "but if you want to be perfect, you need to fix that." The black belts are very knowledgeable, the school has a good energy, the master is good at the why of TKD, the fundamentals and the exercise aspects. Mondays he likes to make people sweat, but sometimes he runs out of time, so he lets anyone who can stay late and work out. It's Kian Taekwondo in Salem, NH. I'm in the 3rd week of my 4 week trial and I'm looking forward to handing over my 6 mo. check next week!

Some people like to say that people don't change, but entering into this, I know I've changed a lot. I'm still very in my head, but I can let go and just do things when I need to now. I know the difference between the practice mind set and the performance mind set and how you have to let go of the mistakes in order to perform.

----
Marching Tenors

Inspired by Honk (and because of my ongoing addiction to buying musical instruments), I took a chance on an exceptionally cheap set of marching tenors (quints, toms). They're making me quite happy. Now I just need to translate taiko into marching drumming.

picture )

----

It's about a year since I officially decided I needed to quit taiko. I have three more weeks of teaching classes and I hope to still perform as a shinobue (flute) player over the coming year. In some ways I already miss it horribly. I LOVED being a gigging musician. I loved going all these different people and sharing taiko, which has a magic of its own and leaving the audience happy and thrilled. I loved the people and teamwork and loved moving and making big booming sounds. But on the other hand I am so much less stressed now. I was breaking, mentally and physically. My hearing is also still reminding me that it wasn't so happy with me either. We did a HUGE block of school shows in October (17 shows in 11 days for the whole group, I personally did 11 of those shows and had to get up at 7am, which for me is painful) which also reminded me of both what I love and what I can't really do any more.

So looking ahead... I so want to get back to taiko, but right now it's not looking like a good thing. The reasons I've quit still exist for the most part. The group is still reduced the amount of performances it does and my physical issues aren't great and I'm still not that resistant when it comes to stress. But every time I think "no, really, this can't be the end of that wonderful chapter in my life. I had so many of the things I've wanted for so long and still want."

I'm hoping that TKD can help with some of that. There are a few people at Kian who are as driven and passionate as I like to get about things. I just hope I can find healthy place there as I get good enough to contribute.

----
other

I'm still working on the harp. In some ways I love it, it feels very comfortable. I love noodling on it. In some ways I miss the amazing, in your face excitement of taiko. I guess I need to play with my effects pedal more and work on that "in your face" harp sound! I haven't had much chance to play with ableton. Someone asked me recently what I've been doing, and I couldn't quite answer. I haven't been sitting around, but I have been catching up on things that I had been putting off, like dental appointments* and alike.

I am going to enjoy the holidays as best I can. Part of the reason I quit taiko is that I was too stressed and depleted to be able to go up for Christmas last year. After the holidays, I'm going to see about starting to write some android apps and I might check out "The Real School of Music" for vocal lessons and maybe some chances to perform.

----

* I got a white filling in a molar and it has been months and it's still a bit cold sensitive. I didn't realize this was a draw back of white fillings. The dentist says as long as it's getting better... I also got my first dental cleaning in like 25 years. That's the kind of things I've been doing since quiting taiko.
forgotten_aria: (nicki window)
Just some quick notes:

Got booed for the first time while playing taiko.

Bought a camera helicopter to inspect my gutters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewuQHcOxds4

got a peg board for the new house and remembered the joy of peg board organization.

In a little over a week, I am going to Cedar Point for the first time in about 14 years.
And the list continues... )
forgotten_aria: (Default)
Just thought I'd jot some quick notes:

Love the new house. Very glad I moved. I love walking to the store and seeing the pond every time I go to the end of my driveway. I keep forgetting it's there, though, so I should walk out more often. I also need to get my kayak a cart so I use it more often. I'm not being as good as I should be mowing and cleaning.

The elliptical is working out great. Both G and I are using it while watching TV. The season of Dexter is getting more interesting, so much so that I worked out a total of an hour and 10 minutes because I kept wanted to go watch more.

I still haven't found a good video game exercise replacement for DDR. I do like dance masters, but I don't play it enough. I've been using Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012, but it doesn't really inspire me. I wish someone would port eyetoy kinetic to the kinect.

I'm still playing WoW and Mists is coming out Tuesday. I'm looking forward to levelling my panda and pet battles more than I am looking forward to levelling Cree, sadly. I usually enjoy levelling Cree a whole lot, so I don't know what's up. I am glad to be a cat again. I'm going to even be a flaming cat even though I have a better weapon already.

I've been playing a free to play pvp fps called Blacklight and enjoying it a lot. I haven't really played anything like that since too much CTF Quake about 15ish years ago. I guess that will stop when mists comes out. It's not that fancy, but it's super polished and has some fun in game toys (I love my turret.)

Cats and husband are doing well. I'm also doing so much better than a was a few years ago. I'm lucky that whatever has made me happier has continued to work.

I'm loving teaching taiko. One of the classes didn't run because of not quite enough people. I'm a little sad about that, but it's likely a good thing, since things might be changing soon. I'm also still loving performing at schools.

I've put my koto on hiatus for a few months for my own stress level. I love the instrument still, but I never seem to get around to practising. I'm also very glad that I bought the hapi drum and not a full hang. It sounds very pretty, is very soothing and was so much more affordable.

I have a half finished costume in the sewing room for koto playing. I should get back to that. I also have some stands to make someday soon.

My weight is still going up, which annoys me. I'm trying to figure out new snacking habits.

I got a new 3d monitor and I need to sell the old one.

Netflix broke streaming on my tablet with they're 2.0 app update. They're customer service was friendly and didn't script me too badly, but couldn't help me right away. They said they'd work on it and I should contact lenovo as well, but they require me to have an account.

Life is the good kind of boring.

YA Cast

Mar. 20th, 2012 03:45 pm
forgotten_aria: (taiko reVision shinen)
I've been wanting to post about this for a very long time, but wasn't quite sure what to say about it. Retroactively at the start of this year am officially an independent contractor for Odaiko New England as an instructor and YA cast. I've been teaching classes since last year, but the YA cast is new. Young Audiences (YA) is a program that brings arts programs to public schools. What this means is that I travel around new england and perform for school children on a regular basis. I love this, though it's surprisingly tiring.

Taiko has always been a weird chapter in my life. I look back at all my entries and it has always been this thing that I care deeply about, that love doing, but also something that has always never been quiet what I expect it to be. It has definitely made me a better person, but I think that long winding road that got me here is why I wasn't sure what I wanted to say about this. I think I learned a few years back that I should love the now of taiko, and not worry to much about the future, because if I do, then I get caught up in pressuring myself to be something I'm not sure I can be, instead of just doing the best I can now and seeing where the road goes.

So is this cool? Definitely. But I will just have to wait and see what tomorrow brings.
forgotten_aria: (taiko)
Taiko conference is, as always, a reminder of just how much my skills are lacking. There's nothing like being in a workshop and having some 10 year old in front of you pick up the rhythms instantly and play them with grace and panache and find yourself still not being able to play them by the end. But this conference to me was a good reminder of what I do have that does hold up to the rest of the community, and that's passion. I have enough skill to share that passion with other people and I think that's the most important thing. I want to share taiko. This is what makes me happy and I'm sure it makes the world a better place. So as I go forward, I know that I will never be a taiko star, but that taiko played and taught from the heart is as strong and as important as stuff fit for Carnegie hall. If I can give people happiness, power, spirit, community, connection and just make them see the world a little differently, then I am serving the taiko community.

It also made me come to realize that there are so many groups out there who are even more sheltered than us at ONE, and that maybe every excuse I've ever given needs to be turned around, so instead of saying, "oh, syncopation is hard for me" I should say, "how can I get better at syncopation?"

It also showed me that we need more foot work. You can windmill your arms until the cows come home, but a simple shuffle back and forth can change the whole staging of the group and the visual and add so much movement, especially as a group. So many groups had really nice footwork which added so much.

As always, I'm amazed at such big hearts the taiko community has. Especially the people who are the stars and the masters and all they want to do is share taiko too.
forgotten_aria: (Default)
I don't normally plug my shows, but this one is 1) going to be T-accessible and in Harvard Square 2) going to feature all sorts of local artists doing their thing, including two new taiko groups playing together with my group on the same stage for the first time. This will actually be my first time getting to see them perform, which is very exciting.

Plus it's all to raise money to help Japanese Disaster Relief Fund and the Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support.

http://sites.google.com/site/artistsforjapanboston2011/
forgotten_aria: (taiko reVision shinen)
I do a lot of gigs these days (which is wonderful) but I thought I'd let people know that I'll be playing at the arboretum during lilac sunday on Mother's day, which is a very lovely day at the arboretum. It's only day they allow picnics. In the past I've seen many of our friends performing morris dancing there as well. Plus since we'll be outside, we'll not be as loud as we can be inside.

We'll be playing at noon. I have no clue where we'll be, though.

I would also love for someone to operate my DSLR since the lighting and background should be lovely for pictures.
forgotten_aria: (Default)
I've not posted as much here lately because facebook seems to mostly fill that gap in announcing news, but I figure a longer post might be a good thing.

Still looking for the dream house. Still hopeful, even if the constraints get harder. I might have to relax my traffic noise restriction a little bit to find something. We'll see what the next season brings.

Taiko is going well. The next year promises to be interesting as Odaiko New England is undergoing some changes and the Boston area is looking at two new taiko groups forming. Taiko also continues to make me do woodworking and web maintenance.

I'm hoping to start up my koto lessons again soon. I still have so far to go on that.

I'm blessed to have a wonderful husband. Kitties are good too.

Still no job and no plans for one.

Still play World of Warcraft. Though I haven't had as much time for this as I used to. The cataclysm changes to old world are kind of awesome and I look forward to doing all the revamped zones again. I didn't like the level 80-85 section as much, but it wasn't bad. Also Stormwind is really pretty from the sky. I'm also happy that I'm continuing to raid with my completely awesome Wrath raid group.

I've been pining for a better DSRL after some nice taiko photos I took. I've also been dabbling in canon hacking to get an intervaolmeter for taking pictures of myself playing taiko.

Well that's all the update I can think of right now.

taiko plug

Dec. 8th, 2010 08:20 pm
forgotten_aria: (taiko reVision shime hamon)
Just a reminder that the Odaiko New England Winter Extravaganza is this weekend. Why is this interesting, you might ask. Well everyone taking classes has the opportunity to perform, which means a lot of the people you know will be up there on the stage. From what I've heard of the rec class's song, a Juni original composition, it's going to be really cool, especially seeing beginners play something to complicated and funky. The styles class will be performing senryu, which was new to everyone in the class and is a ton of fun to play. But the big reason the extravaganza is interesting is...

Mark H is leaving for Washington DC and this is his big send off. As well as being the artistic director, he's the reason that I DO taiko. He's been a very patient, fun and amazing teacher. Emotions will be running high as the reality of him leaving really sinks in.

There will also be a song where I play 3-4 different instruments (depending on how you count.)

It should be a very interesting show.

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