Taiko Drumming: Can Video Compare to a Live Performance?

Taiko Drumming: Can Video Compare to a Live Performance?

Taiko drumming is very compelling when experienced live. Audience members routinely comment about the waves of energy they feel during a performance. As I was wrapping up a class this week on how to shoot video for a TV show, I got to thinking: what would it take to transfer that very visceral experience of a live taiko performance to video? Would too much be lost?

I’m no expert, but I think it could be done if you had an awesome cameraperson. First, he/she would have to be familiar with the song – which players are the focal point during different parts of the song, and if there are soloists. Then, use multiple camera angles – and make of of the cameras close-up shots to really capture the player. And then there’s lighting…creative use of lighting can go a long way. I found a few videos where I like something about the way the video was done:

Shidara – this video has a shot of the player’s shadow near end that I think is fantastic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rIIIuZWm-o

Yamato – Not the best quality video, but excellent light and screen use – love the idea of projecting the symbol onto the drum: http://youtu.be/ZpRn_QPrpGo

Drum Tao (my fave group) – these players really have a good grip on how their performance appears to the audience: http://youtu.be/–rY0k1IxSg

Another Drum Tao – at about minute 2:30, you start getting video shots of a player from low, looking up with the lights behind. Gives me shivers! http://youtu.be/mlG5asr3D7Y

One thought on “Taiko Drumming: Can Video Compare to a Live Performance?

  1. Joe Chila

    The power of drumming is not duplicatable on video. It is TOO powerful. And it’s connection with the human spirit can only happen in a “LIVE” performance. EXPERIENCE “LIVE” Drumming and MUSIC! You’ll never settle for less!

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