JACCU presents one of the greatest taiko groups of Europe, the Circle Percussion. Together, we are organising an international livestream concert in March 2022. Make your donation and get your ticket!
Reaching out to the Taiko world and beyond!
A group with a rich history in percussion and taiko would like to humbly ask support from around the world in making possible a livestream performance in March 2022. The donations will go to everyone who is involved in making the livestream possible.
The pandemic and lockdowns hit the taiko world hard all over the world. The governmental restrictions on gatherings and performances was no exception for Circle Percussion based in The Netherlands.
Through the multiple lockdowns, they had been forced to close their taiko school for many months, and their performance opportunities shrank to zero. But now they are rehearsing for a new livestream concert!
Circle Percussion is teaming up with JACCU,
Japanese Art & Culture Centre of Utrecht
Together we will share with you our love for the art of taiko & percussion. The livestream concert will take place in March 2022. We will showcase a newly formed Circle Percussion playing their own repertoire they have been fine tuning over decades. JACCU will support the Circle Percussion to make this livestream a reality. Follow the YouTube channel of JACCU!
Make your donation and get your ticket!
Donating on this page and providing your email address will get you a ticket in the form of the link to the livestream event in November. Depending on the amount, you may get more than just a ticket.
- €10 – €20 a ticket to the live-stream event in March 2022
- €21 – €50 a ticket + a chance to win 1 of 50 DVDs / CDs / posters from Circle Percussion’s history
- €51 – €100 a ticket + a chance to win 1 of 20 bachi pairs signed by the performing members of Circle Percussion
- €101+ a ticket + guaranteed CD/DVD/Poster + signed bachi
Contact details we acquire through GoFundMe will be strictly used for communication about the livestream concert and rewards.
A personal message by Erwin Oudshoorn, the Artistic Director of Circle Percussion
“Ever since I came across the artform of wadaiko, I have been intrigued by the physical and mental aspects needed to create a good sound. As a percussionist, the way of playing a taiko drum was new to me. Over the years, I realized that concepts I had learned from a Western perspective did not apply to the full-body approach of taiko drumming. This motivated me to dive deep into this mysterious instrument, which turned out not to be so mysterious at all, once you feel the logic behind drumming on a taiko.
Having been a stage performer using percussion and taiko for more than 25 years has been a privilege and has brought me great fulfilment. Though a performer at heart, the gap between the audience and the performer remained apparent. We, at Circle Percussion, also set out to form a taiko school to come into direct contact with those who seek out to better themselves in the taiko art. Passing on the knowledge I have accumulated to our students fills me with renewed enthusiasm and passion. These are trying times for both us and our pupils.
Holding a livestream concert is something we, at Circle Percussion, have never done before. But we feel that it will keep us driven to play more concerts, and reconnect us with our audience, the taiko world, our bodies, and our passion. We hope to showcase our passion with a newly formed Circle Percussion. We are looking forward to more fruitful cooperation with other taiko enthusiasts in the future.”
The history of Circle Percussion in a nutshell
Circle Percussion started as ‘Circle Ensemble’, formed by Michael de Roo in 1973. All members were classically trained percussionists from the various conservatories of The Netherlands.
During the late 70’s, they encountered the majestic sound of the taiko drums and the artform of wadaiko through a composer/conductor by the name of Maki Ishii. This fateful meeting led to an adventure of learning and playing his world-renowned pieces ‘Kaguya-Hime’, and ‘Monochrome’.
The introduction of the taiko drum to the consciousness of the Circle Percussion drummers created a fascination that lasted ‘till this day. Over the years and indeed decades, members of Circle would dive deep into the philosophy behind wadaiko. As a result, the Holland Festival of 1983 became the first ever concert where non-Japanese would perform on the Japanese taiko.
The largest taiko drum outside of Japan!
Their great mentors, friends and partners in these endeavors were none other than the members of a young Kodō, the world renowned taiko ensemble founded in 1981. Various tours and training sessions in Japan and elsewhere under the guidance of Kodō throughout the 80s and 90s. This adventure improved Circle Percussion’s taiko skills as well as strengthened their bond with Kodō.
This also led to an early connection with Asano, the oldest taiko producer in Japan. Back then Circle Percussion was able to receive drums from Kodō who used Asano Taiko. A custom okedō-ōdaiko (the largest outside of Japan!) was especially made for Circle Percussion.
This okedō-ōdaiko survived a fire at the local conservatory in 1988, in which all the instruments of Circle Percussion were stored. All of Circle’s instruments were turned into ashes, except for their custom made beast of a taiko! It was rescued by those who acted swiftly on the scene. Luckily, through a fundraising concert and some subsidy, they were able to bring new Asano taiko back into The Netherlands.
Throughout the 90’s and early 00’s, Circle Percussion continued to dazzle audiences both at home and abroad with both small-sized performances and events viewed by millions, as well as with their many concerts and theatre productions.
The addition of the sounds of the taiko into their repertoire became very popular. Therefore, in 2008, a taiko school was opened. There, those who had become enthralled by the taiko could learn to play these instruments just like the members of Circle Percussion had once been taught by Kodō. Passing on knowledge to their students became an important part of their lives.
Taiko, Shiatsu, Idō
Erwin also set up Idō classes in 2014 together with Matthijs van Brakel, a shiatsu therapist. Idō refers to ‘movement’ in Japanese, and the classes focus more on the natural flow of the body, and the awareness of the body whilst playing drums rather than intricate rhythmic techniques.
Erwin made drums similar to taiko drums, specifically for these Idō classes. Mr. Asano from Asano Taiko was impressed by his craftsmanship and gave him advice on how to improve these drums even further.
What makes Circle Percussion so unique within the world of taiko?
- Their early connection with Kodō (one of the pioneers of taiko as a performing art) is going back to the early 80’s.
- One of the first groups outside of Japan to start performing with taiko drums.
- Combining knowledge of the conservatory with taiko philosophy.
- Their ability to incorporate other percussion into their taiko performances.
- The multiple ways in which they have reinvented themselves throughout the years.
- Having made whole theatre productions by themselves.
Circle Percussion has gone through many phases, but since their fateful encounter with the taiko drums, they have never let go of this intriguing instrument. Their vast history is impossible to capture in a few paragraphs, so you can find more of their highlights in the website of Circle Percussion and their YouTube channel.
JACCU thanks to Jim Gubbels for organising this event with Circle Percussion and writing this article.
JACCU is supporting Circle Percussion!
We kindly invite you to make a donation for this amazing group and get a ticket for the live-stream concert in November.
NEWS & EVENTS
Free taiko trial lessons on the 12th of September (Sunday) is happening at the House of Circle’s Dojo in Montfoort.
The Kanji Course with Jim Gubbels will start on the 5th of October and it will last for 8 weeks on Thursday evenings.
Taka’s online Japanese cooking class to help you brush up on your kitchen skills. Sign up for his second cooking class in September now!
Join us for an hour online to participate in a fun quiz about Japan that won’t be only about geisha’s and samurai’s!
日本芸術文化 センター ユトレヒト
Stichting Japanese Art & Culture Centre of Utrecht