Kaeru at the Hideout

In 2017, as part of Ho Etsu’s 20th Anniversary celebration,  we performed a concert at the famed HIDEOUT INN along with our friends Shoji Kameda and Masato Baba of On Ensemble.

KAERU, or “to return” in Japanese, was written by Ho Etsu member Emily Harada. Inspired by her physical return to Chicago from school and taiko in Hawaii, Emily sought to create a piece that would capture the feeling of returning home. Joining us for this piece is percussionist, Ken Yasui.

  • Title: KAERU
  • Composed by: Emily Harada
  • Venue: The Hideout
  • Date: November 5, 2017
  • Guest Artist: Ken Yasui
  • Filmed by: Mike Chu & Joseph Lim
  • Sound Engineer: Ben Standage
  • Editor: Joseph Lim

Low Commotion at the Hideout

In 2017, as part of Ho Etsu’s 20th Anniversary celebration,  we performed a concert at the famed HIDEOUT INN along with our friends Shoji Kameda and Masato Baba of On Ensemble.

LOW COMMOTION was first envisioned by Ho Etsu artistic director Jason Matsumoto as a composition for Eugene Sun Park‘s “Self Deportation”, an experimental film exploring the often invisible nature of the Asian American experience. The composition was re-arranged for live performance and has become a signature Ho Etsu piece.

  • Title: LOW COMMOTION
  • Composed by: Jason Matsumoto
  • Venue: The Hideout
  • Date: November 5, 2017
  • Filmed by: Mike Chu & Joseph Lim
  • Sound Engineer: Ben Standage
  • Editor: Mike Chu & Joseph Lim

Parallax at the Hideout

In 2017, as part of Ho Etsu’s 20th Anniversary celebration,  we performed a concert at the famed HIDEOUT INN along with our friends Shoji Kameda and Masato Baba of On Ensemble.

PARALLAX was written by Jason Matsumoto and Shoji Kameda for the first collaborative presentation by Ho Etsu (Chicago) and On Ensemble (Los Angeles) in 2015 at Chicago’s Athenaeum Theatre. “Parallax”, or ‘the distance between two stars’, explores space and balance between melodic instrumentation and the strong identity of the taiko. Written originally for marimba, shinobue (bamboo flute) taiko and English-lyric vocals, this has become one of our favorite songs to perform with musicians from a diverse range of disciplines.

  • Title: PARALLAX
  • Composed by: Shoji Kameda & Jason Matsumoto
  • Lyrics by: Tiana Pyer-Pereira
  • Venue: The Hideout
  • Date: November 5, 2017
  • On Ensemble: Shoji Kameda & Masato Baba
  • Filmed by: Mike Chu & Joseph Lim
  • Sound Engineer: Ben Standage
  • Editor: Joseph Lim

Swimming in the space between
starlit traces
all the worlds we built in dreams
frozen places

falling fire grows cold and dense –
drowsing ember
did we speak in future tense?
can’t remember

Falling fire
Falling higher

Swimming in the space between
starlit traces
all the worlds we built in dreams
frozen places

Swimming in the space between
starstruck oceans
all it was and once it seemed
sweet slow motion

Falling fire
Falling higher

our Edo Bayashi Journey

April 2018. Ho Etsu held a 7-day residency with master Japanese musician and dancer Kyosuke Suzuki of the acclaimed Tokyo-based troupe Wakayama Shachu. Suzuki held group workshops as well as one-on-one lessons, sharing 300 year old traditional Tokyo festival music (Edo Matsuri Bayashi) as well as the music and movements of his troupe’s lion dance (Edo Kotobukijishi, or “Shishimai”). The rare opportunity to work with Suzuki-sensei was made possible by musician and long-time Suzuki-sensei student Eien Hunter-Ishikawa. Ho Etsu was honored to perform alongside Suzuki-sensei and Hunter-Ishikawa in a sold out culminating performance at Chicago’s Midwest Buddhist Temple.

  • Title: Master Japanese Artist Kyosuke Suzuki visits Ho Etsu Taiko
  • Filmed by: Joe Lim and Sean Shibata
  • Artists: Kyosuke Suzuki, Eien Hunter-Ishikawa, and Ho Etsu Taiko
  • Sound Engineer: Ben Standage
  • Editor: Joseph Lim

LION CHANT

In 2017, Ho Etsu celebrated our 20th anniversary with an intimate show at The Hideout, a legendary Chicago music venue. Our long-time music mentors Shoji Kameda and Mas Baba of On Ensemble joined us onstage, along with guest artist Ken Yasui. This is the video of our live performance of Lion Chant, an original composition by Shoji Kameda.

  • Title: LION CHANT
  • Composed by: Shoji Kameda
  • Venue: The Hideout
  • Filmed by: Mike Chu & Joseph Lim
  • Sound Engineer: Ben Standage
  • Editor: Joseph Lim

parallax

Shoji Kameda of On Ensemble and Jason Matsumoto created the music and Tiana Pyer-Pereira provided the lyrics resulting in PARALLAX. This video captured our first performance of Parallax during our ROTATIONS concert in 2015.

  • Title: PARALLAX
  • Composed by: Shoji Kameda & Jason Matsumoto
  • Lyrics by: Tiana Pyer-Pereira
  • Venue: The Athenaeum Theater
  • Videography: Full Spectrum Features
  • Sound Engineer: Ben Standage
  • Editor: Tracy Pitts
  • Lighting Design: Sarah Ayako

Swimming in the space between
starlit traces
all the worlds we built in dreams
frozen places

falling fire grows cold and dense –
drowsing ember
did we speak in future tense?
can’t remember

Falling fire
Falling higher

Swimming in the space between
starlit traces
all the worlds we built in dreams
frozen places

Swimming in the space between
starstruck oceans
all it was and once it seemed
sweet slow motion

Falling fire
Falling higher

Rotations Concert Recap

In October 2015 Ho Etsu collaborated with On Ensemble to produce ROTATIONS – a Taiko concert featuring pieces composed by members of both groups. We  performed Rotations at the historic Antheneaum Theater and this video captures excerpts from our two shows.

  • Title: ROTATIONS – A Cinematic Recap
  • Compositions by: members of Ho Etsu Taiko & On Ensemble
  • Venue: The Antheneaum Theater
  • Filmed by: Full Spectrum Features
  • Sound Engineer: Ben Standage
  • Editor: Tracy Pitts
  • Lighting Design: Sarah Ayako

Rotations Promotion Video

Promotional video for our October 2015 concert: ROTATIONS.

About Rotations

Shoji Kameda and Jason Matsumoto speak about the preparations for and the significance of the ROTATIONS concert.

Y-Portraits: Awakening

“Y-PORTRAITS: Awakening” is a collaboration of three unique art forms; classical harp, taiko and interpretive dance. The collaboration was made under the direction of MOZAWA – a Chicago-based incubator advancing collaborative art and artists.​

  • Title: Y-PORTRAITS: Awakening
  • Director: Matthew Ozawa
  • Performed by: Chicago Harp Quartest, Mozawa, Ho Etsu Taiko
  • Venue: Midwest Buddhist Temple
  • Filmed by: Julia Fuller, Eugene Sun Park, Fred Frederiksen
  • Sound: Kayla Ginsburg, Fred Frederiksen
  • Editor: Julia Fuller

Collaboration with Irish Musicians

In 2015 we collaborated with Irish musicians for a benefit performance. It was exciting to see how the lyrical music of Paddy Homan, Dennis Cahill and Teresa Shine would mesh with the rhythms of Taiko. This video captures several rehearsal sessions leading up to the performance.

Hanabi

In July 2012 Ho Etsu Taiko celebrated its 15th anniversary by self-producing a concert entitled HANABI. We were honored to have Nagata Shachu and Kristy Oshiro join us for this special performance. This video captures two original pieces from that performance.

  • Title: ATSUMARI & HO ETSU HA
  • Composed by: Jason Matsumoto (4 lines from Atsumari were shared with Ho Etsu by Taiko Project from Los Angeles)
  • Venue: Logan Center for the Arts

Earth & Sky

For our 2012 concert, HANABI, we were joined on stage by Kristy Oshiro of Sacramento Taiko Dan. This is the video of Kristy’s original composition: EARTH & SKY.

  • Title: EARTH & SKY
  • Composed by: Kristy Oshiro
  • Performed by: Kristy Oshiro, Heidi Chan, Jason Matsumoto
  • Venue: Logan Center for the Arts
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