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About this eResource

The Beauty Of 8 eResource gives insight into a fusion of Australian and Japanese cultures and rhythm. The end product is an exciting and dynamic artform that appeals to all ages. “Taikoz is at once meditative and free-spirited, primal and dramatic.” This eResource encourages students and teachers to observe, listen, perform and compose using ancient aural traditions alongside more modern scores.

Traditionally, taiko is for males to perform. Throughout The Beauty Of 8 you will see how taiko has evolved into a new, elegant, choreographed artform for both men and women, at the hands of Chieko Kojima and Taikoz.

As well as extensive concert footage, there are many attachments in this eResource that allow students to delve further into topics such as: taiko instruments, instrument makers, Taikoz artists, tech specs (lighting and staging), dance, traditional roles of Japanese music, artistic collaborations, musical inspiration and general background.

The Beauty of 8 – 2019 Tour Promo

Duration:
0:30
Video transcript -
The Beauty of 8 – 2019 Tour Promo

The Beauty Of 8 – Performance Highlights – Melbourne Recital Centre 11/2/2017

Duration:
4:51
Video transcript -
The Beauty Of 8 – Performance Highlights – Melbourne Recital Centre 11/2/2017

In this eResource

In this eResource you will find many and varied activities spanning stages 4, 5 and 6. By using this eResource, teachers will present a range of Japanese-inspired drumming music with varied origins and conventions while encouraging participation in rhythmic games and performances.

Students will be given opportunities to:

  • observe, discuss, experience, compare and play percussion music inspired by different regions of Japan across many centuries
  • become familiar with a variety of Japanese taiko drums and other traditional instruments
  • learn about the artform of taiko and its evolution in Australia
  • learn about the role of percussion music in various aspects of Japanese culture and history
  • observe the fusion of dance, choreography and drum performance
  • experiment with aural methods of learning and sharing rhythms
  • reflect on music that unites Japanese and Australian culture.
View Activities

How to use this eResource

One suggested scope and sequence of this eResource is to work through the pieces in the following order, from simplest activities to the most rhythmically complex:

  1. Hana Hachijo
  2. Become
  3. Morf
  4. Pearl

The background information supplied in this eResource, particularly in the attachments, provide a wealth of knowledge about Japanese culture. When teachers read this material and relate portions to students as relevant to the learning activities, teachers are complying with teaching standard 2.1.2 (apply knowledge of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area to develop engaging teaching activities).

Some rhythms are taught using notation. Others are taught aurally by copying an MP3. This appeals to a variety of learners, addressing teaching standard 1.3.2 (design and implement teaching strategies that are responsive to the learning strengths and needs of students from diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socio-economic backgrounds) and 1.5.2 (develop teaching activities that incorporate differentiated strategies to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities).

By writing the suggested learning intentions listed in this kit and referring to them throughout each lesson, teachers are addressing teaching standard 3.1.2 (set explicit, challenging and achievable learning goals for all students). The improvisation activities promote problem-solving and creative thinking as referenced in teaching standard 3.2.2 (select and use relevant teaching strategies to develop knowledge, skills, problem-solving, and critical and creative thinking).

Syllabus outcomes

If used in its entirety, teachers will cover aspects of listening, composition and performance from stages 4, 5 and 6 of the NSW Music syllabus.

  • Stage 4: 4.1 4.2 4.4 4.7 4.8 4.9 4.11 4.12
  • Stage 5: 5.1 5.2 5.4 5.7 5.8 5.9 5.11 5.12
  • Stage 6 Music 1: P2 H2 P3 H3 P4 P5 P6 P10 H10
  • Stage 6 Music 2: P2 H2 P3 P4 H4 P5 H5 P7 P11 H11

Contents of this eResource assist with the Preliminary and HSC Music topics of:

  • Music and the related arts (dance)
  • Music for small ensembles (taiko)
  • Music of a culture (Japan)

Stage 4

Outcomes
Description
4.1

performs in a range of musical styles demonstrating an understanding of musical concepts

4.2

performs music using different forms of notation and different types of technology across a broad range of musical styles

4.4

demonstrates an understanding of musical concepts through exploring, experimenting, improvising, organising, arranging and composing

4.7

demonstrates an understanding of musical concepts through listening, observing, responding, discriminating, analysing, discussing and recording musical ideas

4.8

demonstrates an understanding of musical concepts through aural identification and discussion of the features of a range of repertoire

4.9

demonstrates musical literacy through the use of notation, terminology, and the reading and interpreting of scores used in the music selected for study

4.11

demonstrates an appreciation, tolerance and respect for the aesthetic value of music as an artform

4.12

demonstrates a developing confidence and willingness to engage in performing, composing and listening experiences

Stage 5

Outcomes
Description
5.1

performs repertoire with increasing levels of complexity in a range of musical styles demonstrating an understanding of the musical concepts

5.2

performs repertoire in a range of styles and genres demonstrating interpretation of musical notation and the application of different types of technology

5.4

demonstrates an understanding of the musical concepts through improvising, arranging and composing in the styles or genres of music selected for study

5.7

demonstrates an understanding of musical concepts through the analysis, comparison, and critical discussion of music from different stylistic, social, cultural and historical contexts

5.8

demonstrates an understanding of musical concepts through aural identification, discrimination, memorisation and notation in the music selected for study

5.9

demonstrates an understanding of musical literacy through the appropriate application of notation, terminology, and the interpretation and analysis of scores used in the music selected for study

5.11

demonstrates an appreciation, tolerance and respect for the aesthetic value of music as an artform

5.12

demonstrates a developing confidence and willingness to engage in performing, composing and listening experiences

Stage 6 Music 1

Outcomes
Description
Music 1 P2

observes, reads, interprets and discusses simple musical scores characteristic of topics studied

Music 1 P3

improvises and creates melodies, harmonies and rhythmic accompaniments for familiar sound sources reflecting the cultural and historical contexts studied

Music 1 P4

recognises and identifies the concepts of music and discusses their use in a variety of musical styles

Music 1 P5

comments on and constructively discusses performances and compositions

Music 1 P6

observes and discusses concepts of music in works representative of the topics studied

Music 1 P10

demonstrates a willingness to participate in performance, composition, musicology and aural activities

Music 1 H2

reads, interprets, discusses and analyses simple musical scores that are characteristic of the topics studied

Music 1 H3

improvises and composes music using the range of concepts for familiar sound sources reflecting the cultural and historical contexts studied

Music 1 H10

demonstrates a willingness to participate in performance, composition, musicology and aural activities

Stage 6 Music 2

Outcomes
Description
Music 2 P2

demonstrates an understanding of the concepts of music, by interpreting, analysing, discussing, creating and notating a variety of musical symbols characteristically used in the mandatory and additional topics

Music 2 P3

composes, improvises and analyses melodies and accompaniments for familiar sound sources in solo and/or small ensembles

Music 2 P4

creates, improvises and notates music which is representative of the mandatory and additional topics and demonstrates different social, cultural and historical contexts

Music 2 P5

analyses and discusses compositional processes with stylistic, historical, cultural and musical considerations

Music 2 P7

observes and discusses in detail the concepts of music in works representative of the mandatory and additional topics

Music 2 P11

demonstrates a willingness to participate in performance, composition, musicology and aural activities

Music 2 H2

demonstrates an understanding of the relationships between combinations of the concepts of music, by interpreting, notating, analysing, discussing, composing and evaluating combinations of musical symbols reflecting those characteristically used in the mandatory and additional topics

Music 2 H4

stylistically creates, improvises, arranges and notates music which is representative of the mandatory and additional topics and demonstrates different social, cultural and historical contexts

Music 2 H5

demonstrates a developing confidence and willingness to engage in performing, composing and listening experiences

Music 2 H11

demonstrates a willingness to participate in performance, composition, musicology and aural activities

The Beauty Of 8 – Full Performance – Melbourne Recital Centre 11/2/2017

Duration:
1:41:43

Credits

Chieko Kojima – Special Guest Artist
Riley Lee
– Shakuhachi Soloist
Ian Cleworth
– Artistic Director

Performers

Kerryn Joyce
Anton Lock
Tom Royce-Hampton
Sophia Ang
Ryuji Hamada

Creatives

Karen Norris – Lighting Design
Bart Groen – Stage Design
Lee McIver – Producer & Live Audio Mix
Ian Spence – Production Manager

Video transcript -
The Beauty Of 8 – Full Performance – Melbourne Recital Centre 11/2/2017

About The Beauty Of 8

by Ian Cleworth, Taikoz Artistic Director

The Beauty Of 8 was given its World Premiere at Sydney’s Seymour Centre on 23 October, 2015. It was remounted for performance at the Melbourne Recital Centre on 11 February, 2017.

The title, 'The Beauty Of 8;, refers to the mesmerising shapes and movements that are synonymous with Chieko Kojima’s Onna-uchi (women’s side-on) style of taiko playing. As a performer, Chieko is the very embodiment of flow, round-ness, grace and power, and it was words and images such as these that were the catalyst from which the program grew.

But, as Chieko and I talked more, a mutual love of words invited the idea of poetry more directly informing the shape and development of the program. In fact, the chosen poems (see below) pervade the entire program by giving it a sense of line and inevitability, and defining its tripartite structure:

Part 1: 'Eternal Silence' begins with a recitation of three stanzas of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s Ulysses, an epic poem that speaks of the desire to explore new frontiers, to live life to the full and to meet new challenges, even at an advanced age. A reference to broadening personal horizons and literally travelling towards new horizons informs The Beauty Of 8: indeed, six massive odaiko (grand drums) evoke our horizon, setting the stage in anticipation of our musical journey beginning. Four works comprise Part 1, each with a reference to traveling forth, mighty challenge and ultimate transformation through life’s experiences: Ulysses – Horizon – Morf – Cascading Waterfall.

Part 2: 'Our Horizon' draws inspiration from a short Emily Dickinson poem. While worlds apart from Tennyson’s poem, something links them (in my mind, at least): with such brevity, Dickinson evokes a sense of journeying forth, of expansiveness, but without Tennyson’s heroics. An underlying feeling of uncertainty, melancholy and even dread pervades her world, although the image of birds elicits delight. Three works also evoking themes of challenge and transformation comprise Part 2, but this time supreme struggle comes to the fore: These Tested Our Horizon – Become – Pearl.

Part 3: 'The White Bird' takes off (pun intended) where Pearl leaves us: an image of birds taking flight underscored by a sung recitation of a tanka that is a source of inspiration for Chieko:

Is not a white bird forlorn?
It melts neither into the sky blue nor into the sea blue.
It flies and floats.

The image of the ‘white bird’ perfectly captures Chieko’s performance style – that is, somewhat dichotomous with a hint of melancholia on the one hand, and a feeling of freedom on the other. This final section of the performance sees Chieko’s choreography come to the fore as she dances to the ethereal strains of Riley’s sublime Drifting. This rather delicate and highly melodious music directly contrasts with the transformation of Chieko from dancer to drummer in her performance of Hana Hachijo, the epitome of The Beauty Of 8.

Poems

I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untravelled world, whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!
As though to breathe were life. Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

These tested Our Horizon—
Then disappeared
As Birds before achieving
A Latitude.
Our Retrospection of Them
A fixed Delight,
But our Anticipation
A Dice—a Doubt—

Emily Dickinson

Shiratori ha Kanashikarazu ya Umi no Ao, Sora no Ao nimo Somazu Tadayou
Is not a white bird forlorn?
It melts neither into the sky blue nor into the sea blue.
It flies and floats.

Bokusui Wakayama

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