Sunday, April 9, 2017

A Blast of Energy from San Jose Taiko

4/8/17 brush pen, colored pencils

My niece Alix is a member of San Jose Taiko, one of the most well-known and highly acclaimed professional American taiko groups. When I heard that SJT was giving a concert in the Seattle area, my siblings and I organized a family reunion around the concert date so that we could all attend. And I invited Kate along too, because I knew she was a big fan of taiko!

What a blast of energy those eight drummers produce! Their innovative percussion rhythms combined with dynamic choreography are spectacular. They also look like they are having so much fun that they infuse their performance with sheer joy.

I tried my best to capture the spirit of that energy with a brush pen, and I found that I had to use techniques I’ve been teaching myself by sketching small birds at our feeder. Like birds, taiko drummers repeat movements rapidly but rhythmically, so if you just wait a bit, the pose you started to sketch will appear again – maybe by the same drummer, or maybe by a different one.

The photos from my phone aren’t the best quality, but I hope they help to convey some of San Jose Taiko’s kinetic music!

Alix front and center!

Proud auntie and uncle!


  1. Nice work! You use the brushpen to great effect. You can feel the way the performers are contributing to a shared energy while expressing their individual styles.

  2. The simple brush lines conveys the energy of the performers in a wonderful way! I think I will dust off my brush pen now. Looks like it was a spectacular performance too!

    1. Thanks! Brush pens are always my go-to when fast lines are needed!

  3. Looks like a fun filled, energy filled performance. You did well capturing their movements.


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