Friday, November 6, 2020

Halloween Taiko


10/31/20 Mark and Kristen perform from their front yard (live video)

To my delight, I had two opportunities to sketch taiko on Halloween. As they did on both Labor Day and Fourth of July, my niece Kristen and her husband Mark performed for their neighbors from their front yard. It was already evening on the east coast where they live, so I had the challenge of sketching from live video that was mostly dark except where the drummers were spotlit.

That was challenging enough, but my afternoon of sketching taiko wasn’t over. On the west coast, my other niece, Alix (yes, I have two nieces who are taiko performers, and they aren’t even sisters) and San Jose Taiko (whom I was thrilled to sketch live a few years ago) also gave a performance – virtually. Each performer was videotaped while playing their part at home, then the pieces were put together into what must have been quite a synchronizing and editing challenge. (Performing music in the age of COVID is not for the faint of heart.) The result was an entertaining montage of video images that kept moving around on the screen. Every time I started to sketch a player, the image would suddenly jump to another part of the screen or be replaced by a different player! Challenging to say the least, but all the performers were costumed, which made it fun.

Alix is dressed as a s’more (thankfully, her graham cracker costume was easy to draw). My favorite was the hotdog, whose sign insisted he was a sandwich.

10/31/20 A hotdog and Alix (recorded video)

10/31/20 junior San Jose Taiko members (recorded video)


  1. How fun that they were in costume!! It is hard enough to sketch them when they are moving, but having them move all over the computer screen makes it much harder.

    1. It was kind of crazy because the images moved around every couple of seconds! But still fun and funny as I tried to keep up!


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