Wow, it's been a crazy two-year stretch.
First there was Kasa Mix, where I got to see the world, experience Kodo, meet and be touched by the apprentices and so many other people. Then there was Arashi, with whom I've been learning and growng. There was the forced separation from my two best friends when they became apprentices and I didn't. There was coming back to Montreal and feeling abolutely lost in my life. Hint: it gets better.
There were shows with Komachi, some of which went well and some less well. Hint: you learn.
There was trips to Toronto to see Nagata Shachu (falling in love with taiko all over again). A few taiko shows with Inazuma, East Coast Taiko Conference, practices with Ignatius.
For a few months last year I had Monday evenings off. Oh and sometimes Sunday evenings too.
Then there was the second trip to Japan. To close the chapter, to revisit the places that touched me and meet the people who transformed me, again. I had no expectations so it probably ended up being the best trip of my life. It was a taiko trip. It wasn't about taiko any more than Kasa Mix was.
Then there was Wa, working backstage and planning for the Arashi concert in the Fall. There was a trip to New York at the Kaoru Watanabe Taiko Center for a weekend intensive with Kenny Endo, who, unexpectedly, is the one instructor I've met in my taiko experience so far I'd follow and study with extensively, by choice.
Then there was Taiko Baka, which for me was a very frustrating experience, and which I'm probably still digesting, months later. And then another East Coast Taiko Conference, where my highlight was learning Ei Ja Nai Ka; putting together the second Wa, then doing the show at Botanical Gardens, and then meeting all the people and performing at Percussions Festival, more shows with Komachi, more shows with Inazuma... Chieko Kojima intensive at LATI, World Taiko Gathering in LA, Matsuri...
And now what? I have projects, plans, ideas... possibilities... dreams. Which one should I follow? (Hint: these things are only clear when you've already walked the path and look behind you...)