News 14/02/17 Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Report Completed

So I have been locked away for the last few months working away on a number of different things. One of these things was the written part of my Fellowship report from the research I conducted in April and May in 2017.

Well after hours spent pouring over my keyboard and numerous revisions it is finally completed. Once I get the nod from the WCMT and all other groups involved it will be released for free via the WCMT website as part of their archive.

(Photo of Mono Lake California USA, Missing Wolf)

The WCMT

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust fund British citizens to travel abroad to research and learn from the top professionals and organisations in their specified field. With funding from the arts and science, through crafts, sustainability, and social topics the WCMT really do fund a lot of very passionate people to head out there for the benefit of the UK.

The Moto ‘travel to learn return to inspire’ sums this mission up well.

Learning to Hear The Call of The Wild

The wild: a state of nature; neither tamed or domesticated.

(dictionary.com 2017) The wild: mysterious, beautiful, frightening, vibrant, a place of death, and a place of life, unbroken. It is fierce and it speaks. To explore its voice, to understand its messages, what it expresses about the natural world, about us, our ancestry and our connection with it: for this we have soundscape ecology and an organisation dedicated to researching and archiving wild soundscapes, to creating art and music in order to express the voice of the wild. This organisation, named Wild Sanctuary, is where I travelled to as a Winston Churchill Fellow to work alongside Dr Bernie Krause in Northern California, USA, to better understand how soundscape ecology may be used for the benefit of the people and ecology of the United Kingdom. I met with specialists affiliated with Wild Sanctuary involved with soundscape ecology, field recording, state park management, ecological research, and community science projects. To develop the skills first-hand that are necessary to conduct soundscape surveys, I also undertook expeditions into the wild, through forests, deserts, over mountains, and into deep caves. In conjunction, Dr Krause instructed me in the protocols and methods deployed in the field as well as techniques that are used in the studio to record and perceive the voice of the natural wild. What I found was compelling and startling and, in the very least, through the lens of soundscape ecology the way we hear the world around us may change forever. This Fellowship looks to establish soundscape studies, art, and music as part of the implementation of soundscape ecology in the United Kingdom, extending the reach of the Fellowship and the benefits that it may yield.

News 17/08/17 Nikkei Memory Project

The Nikkei Memory Project is a trans-national oral history collaboration exploring the stories of Japanese Canadians in Southern Alberta after the second world war. Project is lead by Dr Darren Aoki from Plymouth University UK, and Dr Carly Adams of Lefbridge University, Canada,

 

Following the story of Nancy Nakamura, through the lens of Dr Aoki’s interview I was taken to create a piece that could help bring Nancy’s story to life. Over 100 hours later that is what we managed to achieve.

 

The out come , ‘What Is Written in The Sky Of Your Mind’, which is a combustion of Hopi dance rattles, drums, Mongolian Morin Huur, and the mystical voice of Sabrina Margarete Sauer. In addition with the use of wild soundscapes from across the North American Continent, and cornwall, and the voice of Nancy Nakamura, her powerful laughter and reflections on her life, we have created something quite unique.

Responses from the Project leads

 

“The response was very touching, it was a pleasure to work on the project and in collaboration with Dr Aoki, who worked very closely with me to extract the material from the interview. Darren also placed his trust in me to create the piece and supported the vision and ideas behind it all the way.” Missing Wolf 2017

 

“This is…wow. I’m speechless. Really. This is a phenomenal piece of art… I had shivers within seconds. At times I felt so unsettled, almost sick to my stomach. By the end I was shaking. This is so raw and powerful. Although she doesn’t say a lot, what she does say has so much meaning. The sounds and music are so carefully chosen, so provocative. It is haunting in parts. It really pulled at me, pulled me in. The end asks the listener to think not just about Nancy but about themselves…How is my name part of my identity, my story, how does it symbolize the way I embody my world, my past, present and future and represent myself to other people.” Dr Carly Adams 2017

 

“For me it was like a classical symphony.  There are times wheh you just stop a sound, and its like being physically moved or jolted. It’s harsh sometimes and then the voice comes in and suddenly there is a soothing without getting sentimental.  But, the ending – I know this sounds corny – I was holding my breath, and you end it just on Nancy: you hit it home so powerfully.  You’ve layered her voice increasinly over the course of the piece, and to me she comes across as so multi-layered.” Dr Darren Aoki 2017

 

 

News 02/05/17 New Hydrophone Soundscape for Lake Sutton Field, California

Droping a hydrophone in the water, all of a sudden, an environment full of life being expressed by the vocalizations of many different insect and larvae was revealed.

This recording tittled ‘The Edge of Greatness’ allows you to dive under the water to perceive the voice of creatures that you may not even know exist. But here they are undeniably living, and vocalizing in their own unique song.

We may not be aware of the many voices sounding in their own complex sonic habitat. What astounded me was that the different niches that appear in the larger habitats appear in the same way in these microcosms, each puddle forming a space where complex relationships are played about between insects, larvae, amphibians, fish, and more.

Turn your ear to more soundscapes: http://www.missingwolf.com/soundscapes/

Thanks to Bernie Krause I have had my ears opened to the hidden life that can be found within each puddle, pond, lake, reservoir, river, and ocean.

To see that in this microcosm the same sonic niches that we can observe across large habitats like forests can be observed to have the same complex structure in the water. Each puddle to the next with it’s own unique voice, it’s own sonic signature.

The detail in the world, the depths to which things run is incredible. Once again my I find myself witness to the incredible nature of our world.

 

WCMT Fellowship 19/04/17 A Question?

What is Soundscape ecology? This is a question that has been on my mind for a while, and you might wonder why seeing as there are a growing number of people working in the field producing material around the subject including; Prof. Almo Farina, Prof. Nadia Pieretti, Dr. Stuart Gage, and of course Dr. Bernie Krause.

This is a complex question, and although I don’t intend to answer it I would like to discuss it.

Soundscape ecology can be defined in simple terms; as the study of all sound emanating from any given habitat. However the ramifications and the exact nature of the field itself can be  elusive.

Don’t worry I am going somewhere with this and I believe I can demonstrate why the question (what is Soundscape Ecology?) is not quite as straight forward as it may seem…

 

 

The many facets

 

There are a multitude of disciplines that Soundscape ecology intersects with. Dr Bernie Krause has made an initial list which includes; Biology, Bioacoustics, Computational mathematics, Physics (Acoustics), Anthropology, Natural history, Medicine, Sociology, Psychology, Architecture, Philosophy, and of course Music, just to name a few.
The very fact that this field has so many ways in which it can be approached can make it quite difficult to initially define as there are so many angles in which ideas can follow. However this is also one of it’s greatest qualities as Soundscape ecology can inform, and be informed, by subsequent disciplines contributing to the development of each field in turn. A possible result of this could be the creation of an atmosphere for collaboration and truly interdisciplinary work.

 

Intersection through Sound

 

Soundscape ecology and music share a much more intrinsic and symbiotic relationship. This goes beyond the fact that the latter has it roots in natural soundscapes, phenomenal as that is, as I believe there are also many skills required for music that find a home in the process, as well as in the development, of this emerging field. This includes ability to critically listen, familiarity with recording equipment and audio editing software, and a passion for the sonic world. By approaching Soundscape ecology as an  interdisciplinary mix of music and science we enter an exciting frame of opportunity for innovative ways of research and creation. To think outside of the box sometimes takes many boxes so collaboration and hybrid practitioners may be an important component to the development of Soundscape ecology.

 

Every Hour

 

This may not sound all to complex yet but add the fact that Soundscape ecology is in it’s infancy, an emerging science changing hour by hour as new ideas and approaches are deployed, new technologies created, with the equivalent art and music rediscovering it’s roots running in parallel. The world of Soundscape ecology is moving fast, reaching out, and intersecting with people from many diverse disciplines and interests. There is a huge body of work laid down by the forerunners of Soundscape ecology but where the work goes now is really anyone guess. What we do know is that this is a time sensitive issue with the voice of the wild seemingly changing or falling silent in ways we are only just comprehending. Is it the time to find out why and how to stop that trend? Is it a time for creative innovation through our re-connection to the soundscapes of the natural world? What more will we learn about our neighbors on Earth and ourselves? Didn’t someone say that questions are more exciting then answers?

 

So What?

 

It is an exciting time, no? Well what I may conclude is that Soundscape ecology is in flux, evolving, the shifting nature of the field making it resistant to one simple definition. This is all part of the potential for Soundscape ecology. The paradigm shift from studying single organisms to whole habitats has demonstrated it’s worth, and inspired many people to be attentive and listen. The ground work has been laid out and many good practices defined by those with the vision of to establish Soundscape ecology in the first instance. Where that vision goes next, well what do you think?

WCMT Fellowship 10/04/17 Muscial Roots in the Wild

As I sit writing this nine Turkey Buzzards soar overhead in the mid-day sky helping to define my sense of place. The first week of my Fellowship has been a very fascinating introduction to many of the facets that bought me to the West Coast of the US and it is time to start talking about a few of them.

As a composer it seems a good place to start to throw ideas out there concerning music. Philosophically, and actually in my belief, the natural or wild world around us holds the key to where our music making comes from. It is also my assertion that soundscapes and the vocalisations found within do not just highlight our past but also path the way for new and innovative possibilities concerning music and our perception of sound…

The Niche Hypotheses

 

Through recording of natural soundscapes and then producing a spectrogram for each given recording Dr Bernie Krause has discovered that each and every creature produces sound signatures in their own acoustic niche.

As you can see, in this example kindly given to me by Dr Krause, is that the bats, insects, and birds all vocalise in their own part of the frequency spectrum.

 

 

This means that each and every creature can be heard as the sound can propagate without being masked by other geological or biological sounds. This relates directly to how we as human beings structure our own music, think of an orchestra with each sections playing its part, filling it’s own niche. This structure and relationship between natural soundscapes and our music making has direct coloration. In parts of the world were people are more connected to their natural environment we see this relationship intensify and become more evident. More you listen to music and natural soundscapes with that relationship in mind the clearer it becomes. Natural soundscapes appear to be formed with such complexity, and dynamism that if translated into music, be it in our perception and ability to hear these complex relationships or as a source for inspiration, potential for real musical innovation becomes apparent. I know that since listening to and recording the natural wild my own music has shifted, hopefully as part of an developing artistic evolution, and for that I am more aware then ever before of subtle relationships between sounds across time (rhythm), and frequency (pitch). You can read more about the niche hypothesis and the roots of music in the wild in Dr Krause book ‘The great Animal Orchestra’ here, and check out the symphony which is well worth a listen: http://thegreatanimalorchestrasymphony.com/buy/

Fortune, fate, and sound

There are many philosophical ways in approaching music, many of which come from all over the globe be it ‘God’s beat’ and the space in between beats that can be found in Ghana, or the focus on perfecting the single strike of Taiko. The philosophical approach to perceiving sound named ‘Reduced listening’ focuses not on the identification of a sound source, be it biological, mechanical, or anthropological, it is hard to resist that impulse to put a source to the sound. On the other hand ‘Reduced listening’ hones in on the quality of a sound rather then the source. This focus on sonic quality allows for exploration that opens the sonic world up to all manner of sounds. It is with this approach that when sitting with Dr Krause in this studio listening to the call of a hyranx (google it, the cousin of the elephant if you can believe it), the songs of whales, calls of birds, and chorusing frogs. Using some very cool tools such as Adobe Audition we were able to single out different voices from the soundscape. By doing this the individual sonic quality of each sound signature becomes clear, sounds that are so unique that to manufacture similar audio could take hours. There is a rich material ready to be used and worked with from the wild world all around us.

It dawned on me when listening to these sounds that all sound we make on some level is derived from the wild. The discourse I would like to engage with here is that if our sonic world has evolved from the wild world around us then it is possible that all sounds that we may create are preempted by those of the natural wild. For such a possibly controversial statement I point you towards a set of tongue and cheek piece of music by Dr Krause titled ‘Gorillas In the Mix’. Originally intended to for use in schools to demonstrate the very the very notion that humans have their musical roots in the natural world.

Would you believe that all the percussion are fish and the distorted, DISTORTED! electric guitar comes from whale? Although may be a bit outmoded this is a startling example of very recent, and even electrical instrumental sonic qualities.

I don’t think I will be making samba out of fish, or raping gorillas, nevertheless the intrinsic link between our music and the wild is there to be explored, creatively and for kinship with the wild world.

However I leave you to listen to rapping gorillas in the mix.

 

 

News 27/03/17 Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship 2017

Well where do I start with this one? In the closing months of 2016 I spent considerable time putting together an application for the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust’s Traveling Fellowship, thank you to everyone who took part in that endeavor.

My aim, to travel to the USA to work along side experts in the field of Soundscape Ecology, namely at Wild Sanctuary with Dr Bernie Krause and his wife Katherine, to to develop my own skills so that I am able to disseminate what I learn with others for benefit of the United Kingdom. A long story short I have the funding and the support of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (WCMT)!!

In the words of the WCMT ‘Travel to learn, return to Inspire”….

Who and What is the WCMT?

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust was established on death of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965, with his full knowledge, and has funded traveling Fellowships ever since.

Each year more than 100 Fellowships are awarded for a wide range of projects. The Fellowships provide a unique opportunity for British citizens to travel overseas to bring back fresh ideas and new solutions to today’s issues, for the benefit of others in the UK. This allows them to maximise what they can achieve in their lifetime, both as leaders and role models to inspire others, but also in personal development terms. These opportunities are offered to people of any age, gender, ethnicity or religion, with or without educational qualifications, and in any occupation or none.

On Thursday 16th March I was invited to a seminar for all Fellows of 2017. I was struck by the passion, expertise, and openness of all the other fellows. Each and every person that I met were as impressive as the next, but not because of accolades, awards or social standing, but because of the enthusiasm and drive each and everyone had within. Further to this the staff at WCMT were present and all were incredibly friendly, and have also been very supportive. With all that in mind I am honored to be a Fellows of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.

To find out more about the Traveling Fellowships and to apply for 2018 please follow this link: http://www.wcmt.org.uk/

 

Listening to the voices in the Wild, WCMT fellowship 2017

Why?

 

I will be spending six weeks on my Fellowship on the West Cost of The United States of America, in California and Washington State.

So why am I traveling there? Back in 2013 I was performing at WOMAD festival in the West Country of the UK. I had only just arrived and ditching all my gear rushed across the arena to catch the talk by Soundscape Ecologist Dr Bernie Krause titled ‘The Great Animal Orchestra’, which I had not actually read at the time. The talk sparked my interest with the title ‘Finding the Origins of Music in The Worlds Wild Places’. Since that day I have unrelenting pursued Dr Krause and his wife Katherine with the intention of researching, training skills, and contributing to the global effort to preserve the voice of the natural world, and the worlds wild places.

Here is that very talk:

 

Who?

 

 

I will be working with Dr Bernie Krause and his wife Katherine at the HQ of their organization Wild Sanctuary in California. The focus at Wild Sanctuary is to develop and researched skills involved the field of Soundscape Ecology, including archiving audio recordings, and analysis of recordings, species ID, creating sonic installations, and more. The second objective is to set up the Soundscape Support Team (SST) which will be a non-profit organisation that will work under the umbrella of Wild Sanctuary supporting them in their many roles, in the field and beyond. The SST will also be able to act as a wider network to create collaboration, and connect people around the globe all with the aim of understanding and preserving the wild.

My time at Wild Sanctuary will be the main focus of my fellowship but I will also head to Seattle to join Martyn Stewart’s intensive workshop on field recording techniques. Further to this I am also attending a course in wilderness medicine which is imperative for anyone wanting to work in the field for extended periods of time.

 

My Aims

 

The over arching purpose of the Fellowship is to disseminate the information gathered, as well as to create collaboration for the benefits of the environment and people of the United Kingdom.

1. To develop practical skills in Field Recording, critical listening and ability to interpret Soundscapes.

2 To develop process in handling data, archiving, and methods for research in the field and otherwise.

3.To deepen my knowledge of Soundscape Ecology as a subject.

4.Work to establish the Soundscape Support Team.

5. Build connections with experts in field recording, ecology, bioacoustics, Soundscape Ecology,  and artists.

6. Engage with the everyday running of Wild Sanctuary to gain a working knowledge of what it takes to run such an organisation.

7. To use my research and knowledge gained to influence my creative practice.

8. To contextualise the research and above aims to see how we can focus our efforts in collaboration for the benefit of people and environment through the preservation of the wild.

 

The next stage

 

My Fellowship will commence on the 4th April 2017 for six weeks. I will post news and information on the fellowship on this site as it progresses. If any individuals or organization would like any information on the Fellowship, research, and aims then please feel free to get in touch.

So with all documents in place, equipment organized, and flights booked all that is left is to wish all the WCMT Fellows of 2017 luck on the path!

 

News 25/03/17 The sky of your mind...

I have been approached by Dr Darren Aoki of Plymoth University to collaborate with him on a incredibly interesting, dynamic, and yet challenging project. So far the process has been incredibly insightful and one that I am also very pleased to play a role in.

Talking History

‘You gotta have a little feeling of the song you are singing’, reflected Nancy as she recalled the story of her life in an oral history interview. It is a tumultuous journey that saw a young girl shunted from Rocky Mountain ghost towns to the prairies in Canada’s wartime persecution of its citizens of Japanese descent; that saw her shipped back and forth across the Pacific to and from Japan, separated from her family, and forever haunted by these upheavals. Through it all, she sang to remember and to forget, songs which give voice to her vulnerability and above all, her resilience…”

 

 

 

Landscape, soundscape, memory

Nancy’s story is, above all, one to hear. This ‘sonic film’, working title ‘What is Written In The Sky of Your Mind’ makes her stories audible. It presents an ‘memoryscape’ in sound. In its aims to represent the feelings and impressions of Nancy’s experiences, within a context of inexorable historical forces, the ‘sonic film’ explores the interpretive and narrative capacities of historical digital storytelling. It is a collaborative effort between narrator, artist, and researcher who, in all the aesthetic, scholarly, and ethical decisions made, recognise the paramount importance on the integrity of narrator’s voice, stories, and identity. In this story-telling experiment, the narrative force of words is displaced; sound – natural, edited, manipulated – instead drives communication and shapes engagement with the audience.

This ‘sonic film’ emerges out of the Southern Alberta Nikkei Oral History Project, a pilot initiative of ‘talking’ history which aims to tell the stories of Nikkei – people of Japanese descent – in one of North America’s least understood yet significant communities, southern Alberta. The focus of the Project is distinctive because it seeks to hear the little treated story of what happened after the Second World War by asking the very people whose memories narrate these stories. It employs an innovative range of interview and story-telling approaches to open Nikkei history. The Project is led by Dr. Darren Aoki of Plymouth University (United Kingdom). It includes partnerships with key local heritage and cultural organisations including the Nikka Yūkō Gardens, Galt Museum, and Nikkei Cultural Society of Lethbridge and Area. Special thanks go to Plymouth University Humanities and Performing Arts Research Impact Seed Funding which makes this ‘sonic film’ possible.

 

A little bit about Dr Aoki

Dr. Aoki is Lecturer in World History. His research interests include gender and sexuality in twentieth century Japan and East Asia. More recently, he has worked on the history of trans-national migrations and encounter, with a specialisation in oral history and digital storytelling methodology. The incitement, recording, and preservation of memory is at the heart of his research, teaching, and public heritage activities. In his collaborative partnership with the Centre for Oral History and Tradition (University of Lethbridge, Canada), he is exploring the postwar history of Canadians of Japanese descent in a new initiative, the Nikkei Memory Capture Project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

News 26/02/17 Recording amongst the Crags, The Lake District

February, a month quite a number of people would rather skip, for me it is actually the month of my birth and often a chance to head out into the wild to record the sounds of the winter.

I had never been to the Lake District before but had always had it on my list of places to explore. What I found was actually one of the most spectacular and magical landscapes I had ever visited…

…with high Pikes, and Crags, wild streams, and tumbling Ghylls, it is truly captivating.
What I love about wild places is the ability to walk, and walk, and walk, traversing water falls, climbing mountains, exploring forests and hardy outcrops of shrubs on the peaks.
The various voices of the birds as sing sin duet with howling winds, and tumbling falls rushing over this harsh and beautiful where you can stand toe to toe with elements. This created some tricky recording situations and a number of deep breaths followed by sitting and enjoying the view as the wind sweeps on by. Sheltering from a storm as it comes in over head, whilst being the closet thing to it on the landscape, or being lost in the thick fog all added to the adventure of The Lake District.
Where the road ends and the landscape stretches before you, these are precious places.

Some images from my time in the lakes…

News 06/01/17 Brushing Off The Dust - One

Well 2016 was over in the beat of your heart and I wish to get the news flowing of all the work and projects that will bridge the last year to the new.

Back in 2014, working in collaboration with composer Joseph Brook, saw the creation of a vocal piece based on the close harmonies of Bulgarian vocal music. With the aim to express a voice for those who can not be heard alone, the voices we can not hear, be it the trees in the forest, or the voice of the river, to those people who have not the rank or privilege to be recognised as equals.

After a lengthy writing process that stretched over half the year, and auditions for vocalists, the project stalled just as we were about to kick off our first rehearsal.

However in 2016 with a renewed cast, full of passion, and dedication, we have brushed of the dust and once again ‘One’ will glimmer in the light of the moon.

Read more to find out how things are going and what you can expect to come!

From MIDI, to Score, to life

 

It has been our fortune to have the opportunity to work with vocalist Sabrina  Margareta Sauer, a veteran collaborator of both mine and Joe’s, as well as three new faces, the soulful Muz McDermott Long, the incredibly skilled Rose Jamieson, and the creative flash that is Amy Green.

We have been in the early stages going through the piece part by part, working out any errors created at the hands of the composers, which there were not many, and working with the vocalists to develop the piece with live, breathing, people.

It was a personally touching moment to hear ‘One’ being sung for the first time since its incarnation in 2014. The transition between an idea and reality is often the real test in creating. The more time we spend working through the piece the more I begin to realise the potential that ‘One’ has, which way we will go, and where we will end up, well only time will tell.

Keep your ears peeled as ‘One’ emerges into 2017!

Missing Wolf

News 08/11/16 Choice Radio Review Dojoji 2016

The depiction of a Japanese tale performed largely by a group of drummers may not seem the obvious Sunday night entertainment for Malvern but it was something which certainly hit the mark at the Forum.

We are half way through the ‘Legdend of Dojoji” 2016 tour and we have been some very beautiful and interesting places, meeting many new faces. Here is the review of the show on the 6th November at the Malvern Forum by choice radio.

The Legend Of Dojoji, performed by Taiko Meantime, was explained in full by the Rev Shunjo Ono (pictured during the talk, he is the quietly-spoken unassuming Head Priest of the 1,300 year old Dojoji Temple who, on his first visit to the UK, was clearly enjoying the Worcestershire countryside and had also a good grasp of the British sense of humour!) in a pre-show talk using two scolls with words and images before the real event of the evening got under way…

The depiction of a Japanese tale performed largely by a group of drummers may not seem the obvious Sunday night entertainment for Malvern but it was something which certainly hit the mark at the Forum.

The Legend Of Dojoji, performed by Taiko Meantime, was explained in full by the Rev Shunjo Ono (pictured during the talk, he is the quietly-spoken unassuming Head Priest of the 1,300 year old Dojoji Temple who, on his first visit to the UK, was clearly enjoying the Worcestershire countryside and had also a good grasp of the British sense of humour!) in a pre-show talk using two scolls with words and images before the real event of the evening got under way. Made up of a mix of Japanese and British performers on various instruments (mainly drums but also flute and the three-stringed tsugaru shamisen), the tale is of an innocent, naïve inn-keeper’s daughter Kiyohime (Chieko Kojima) falling for a young monk, Anchin (Mark Alcock) on his pilgrimage to the temple.

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, however, and when her dreams of love are shattered, anger transforms her into a raging serpent with dire consequences for them both…

The drumming sequences which portrayed the story were incredible to watch – long, complex pieces which retained the attention throughout as the interplay between the different players, often with  the drums horizontally to use both ends and swapping places to use a different drum, really made you wonder how they managed to successfully manage to choreograph and then enact such complicated rhythmic set pieces.  And yet they did, magnificently. There was, in all of this, a few moments of levity, when four members of the troupe took to hand cymbals with an imaginary device being thrown from one to another and caught – this was done in a cheeky style which was very funny to watch and was executed, as was the rest of the show, perfectly.

During the first half, the large drums were the size of beer barrels but brought on stage during the interval were the big guns – or more precisely the biggest of all Taiko drums, the Odaiko – seemingly almost the height of an adult and which certainly had a huge impact to bring the story to its tragic ending (although in this version, the pair were then reunited in the afterlife).

The encore in particular was an absolute joy to watch as all of the players came together performing both collectively and individually on stage, thoroughly enjoying themselves and deserving of the standing ovation they received.

Certainly a very different night’s entertainment for a Sunday and one which will remain in the audience’s minds for a long time to come.

Choice Radio, Gloucestershire

News 01/11/16 We are off on Tour

The time has come and after weeks of preparation with Taiko Meantime and the last few days of tech rehearsals with the whole team, we are finally off to kick off our 2016 Tour of Djojoji.

It is going to be a hectic couple of weeks as we take the show on the road.

Click for more info on the tour and where to see us.

We are starting our Dojoji tour with Chieko Kojima from Kodo 鼓童 this Wednesday! Narrated by Shunjo Ono, the head monk of Dojoji temple, the show will feature 2 hours of taiko drumming and dance, accompanied by flute and shamisen.

If you haven’t bought your tickets yet, we are playing the following dates and venues:

Wed 2nd Nov – Baths Hall, Scunthorpe
Sun 6th Nov – Malvern Theatres, Malvern
Mon 7th Nov – Merlin Theatre, Frome
Wed 9th Nov – Ferneham Hall, Fareham
Fri 11th Nov – The Stables, Milton Keynes
Sun 13th Nov – Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch (London)

Book tickets at the venues box office.

Hope to see you there.

M.Wolf

News 15/10/2016 - "Rememberance Day for Lost Species"

‘Three species are lost to eternity every hour. November 30th annually is a chance to learn and tell their stories, and to renew commitments to those [species]remaining.’ – https://www.lostspeciesday.org/?page_id=25

In the week I was asked to contribute an article to this years Remembrance Day for Lost Species concerning the loss of the Natural Wild, and what can be discovered about human impact when listening to soundscapes of different wild, natural, rural, and urban habitats.

More on that later…

So what is the Remembrance Day for Lost Species…

 

Remembering what we are losing so we may protect what remains.

 

Remembrance Day for Lost Species – November 30th every year – is a chance to learn and tell the stories of lost and disappearing species, and to renew commitments to those remaining..

Since 2011, groups in the UK and internationally have met on the last day of November to hold memorials for extinct species. The memorials have taken many forms from art projects, to processions, individual acts such as lighting a candle, or planting a tree, to whole communities creating art and performance. This day is for anyone and everyone to remind them selves and others of what is happening globally today, even the most solitary and personal actions can lead to change.

You may be wondering why is this relevant? At this time the biosphere, and everything living within it, are facing a global ecological disaster, one that no one living would have experienced. This disaster comes to use via large scale climate change causing forest fires and deforestation, rising acidity of the oceans, the  death of sections of the great barrier reef, and melting of the polar ice caps. However it goes beyond that into what we may call human en-devour. When one witness the destruction of the rain forests in Borneo to plant a palm plantation, or the ecocide of pollinators as we poison our crops it seems like insanity. We ‘humans’ are altering our planet beyond the point in which it will be able to sustain life, at least human life anyway.

However we should not just despair as there are many ways in which we can defend our planet through changing our ‘consumer’ habits, going out and taking political action, re-wilding projects, and deepening our understanding and of course connection with the natural world.

We have seen time and time again the victory that comes when people join together for a common cause, change comes from the bottom up not the top down!

The Remembrance Day for Lost Species is chance to act, to take a step towards protecting what we know to be intrinsically valuable, what we may call deep and true. It is my privilege to have been asked to contribute an article for this day, what will your contribution be?

 

Official website for Remembrance of Lost Species Day:

www.lostspeciesday.org

Reflection 20/09/2016 - A Summer of Taiko

As the summer ends and we look to Autumn I would like to take some time to reflect on what was a pretty good year for my self with Taiko, seeing the regular faces this year and some new.

 

Picture to the right is of our performance as part of Corona Sunsets 2016 at Greenwich peninsular, London.

Flames, Dancers, Beaches, and Gillingham

 

A couple of high lights that I would pick out over this summer are:
Playing as a duo Aki Fujimoto and my self had the opportunity to play the the Corona Sunsets Festival at the Greenwich peninsular, accompanied by the ever skilled and professional dancers from Vem Productions, as well as an arsenal of fire works and pyrotechnics that would make any prog legends envious. I know that both Aki and I enjoyed the gig and working with the dancers and the crew.

As normal over the summer Taiko Meantime had some full on days playing at different events around the country. One of my favorites this year has to be Will Adams festival celebrating both Japaneses and English culture in Gillingham Park. All ways a friendly crowed who also really give it in the workshops with us through out the day. Not to mention that this festival is an excellent testing ground where we were trying out new material for the up coming Dojoji Tour, more news on this later.

 

News 09/09/2016 - Website Launch

It has taken countless hours, and it is still not complete, but it is never good to sit on your laurels or wait for perfection!

So here it is the new site to house all my creative endeavors, success, failures and more.

Check here for news and updates on different projects, new work, as well as performance dates, and of course for some thoughts and feelings.

A quick thank you.

I have been working closely with the guys and girls from Shard who have managed to bring my ideas to life in ways I was not able to achieve alone.

I would also like to mention all those who have contributed to the website with logo designs, photography, and listening to me agonies over the tiniest details. So Thank you Karol for your brilliant work on the logo and typography, you really created something I did not even envision.  Anna Nyma and Alessia Olavia for your excellent photographic contributions, creating visuals for each piece was quite challenge and my work is improved in collaboration with yours.

And of course to those who listened, and listened, and listened, and made suggestions a big thank you to you!

Missing Wolf