It is so important for a person to take a stand for the music, or whatever else, he or she stands for.
And Isaku really took a stand _ literally on his cajon _ with Winchester Nii Tete and Cari at “The Beat Ahead” at Harajuku Crocodile in Tokyo.
Isaku Kageyama has been playing professionally for years in Amanojaku, the taiko troupe led by his master teacher Yoichi Watanabe, as well as other contexts.
Those situations often required the player to carry out the vision of the leader or pull the whole group together.
A lot of musical technique, hard work and dedication is involved in carrying that out.
But something different happened that night.
Isaku told his own story, holding his own with full accountability for what he stands for _ his own colors, his own music, his own view of the world.
It was a cathartic moment for my son _ and for me.
All the technique in the world doesn’t make sense or take meaning without this sense of purpose.
And that’s what makes it all _ the pursuit of technique, the years of hard work, the struggles of everyday life _ worth it: That real purpose.
It was stunning to see the transformation before me, although I knew all along someday it would happen.
I forgot to take photos.
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“The Beat Ahead” opened with a rock group led by Isaku’s new collaborator Yuu Ishizuka, who hails from Oedo Sukeroku Taiko.
The closing segment was all taiko with Isaku and Yuu collaborating.
It was great to see drummers from different backgrounds share ideas and create new sounds _ something that surprisingly happens rarely in the world of taiko.
There is so much more to be explored.