Stephanie Pan

Little Drummer Girl, or, My First Taiko (2010)

This is a pet project that has been keeping me busy lately. I have long been fascinated by taikos, and after a very fortunate encounter with Uzume, a mixed-genre taiko collective/ensemble and discovering I could build my own taiko, I became set on finally learning how to play, but not before I built my own drum.

The drum was completed in April 2010, with work beginning in November 2008. This was its first phase; that is, the construction of the taiko from a 225L oak wine barrel. Among taiko enthusiasts this is fairly standard practice. Traditionally they are made out of a single piece of wood, but that is both costly and a lot to ask of one very old tree if the closest you’ve ever come to playing a drum is pound on an old tire covered in tape (low budget, DIY practice taiko – you can find instructions for that here.)

The method I’ve put together is an amalgamation of sources I’ve found on the Internet (Long live the World Wide Web!) – my sources: Stanford Taiko,Tatsumaki Taiko, and for supplies, Rolling Thunder.

I am now close to finishing the stands for the drum and very happily learning how to play it! The drum will make its official public debut in my upcoming solo show, You Are Here:, in November and December 2010.

Little Drummer Girl, or, My First Taiko (2010): Handmade taiko by Stephanie Pan

Little Drummer Girl, or, My First Taiko (2010): Handmade taiko by Stephanie Pan

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