Humans of Taikokoro

A monthly piece introducing a Taikokoro member

- Irene -

My name is Irene.

In real life I do IT support – not exactly THE most creative outlet in the world.  I also happen to be one of the committee members of Taikokoro, currently holding the position of Vice President.  Although a rather important sounding title, it’s not as terrifying as it sounds – I do a bit of everything, stepping when needed, including managing the website, doing a bit of social media and organising performances.

Growing up, the sum total of my music experience was the recorder, some keyboard lessons and a whole lot of karaoke. Then in 2008 I went on a holiday with a friend to Morocco. We spent a night under the stars in the Sahara with some nomads, who proceeded to pull out some drums and other musical instruments and played for us. It was captivating and I was hooked.

When I got back to Melbourne, I signed up for my first djembe class. About a year and a half later, I also started learning the duns.

In 2010, while I was madly running around absorbing all things drum related, I went to see a phenomenal taiko (Japanese drumming) concert, and decided that I needed to try that as well – so I found Toshi and Rindo. 

After a trip to a Tsumura sensei Miyake workshop in Sydney, I became one of the initial members of Australia Miyake Kai.

10+ years later and I have stopped African drumming and gone 100% taiko!

I very much enjoy the community aspect of drumming and the people I drum with have become almost a second family – you can see my Tuesday class family in the photos indulging my love of costumes, dressed as koalas! 

I enjoy sharing the music with the general public as well, and love playing community gigs ranging from fetes to festivals – anywhere that people can really get involved and enjoy the drumming.

The best memory I have of playing Miyake is getting the chance to play at Chris’s wedding, and then attempting to play the shinobue for Wachi taiko after beer – not so successful!

Hopefully the future will bring more of the same drumming opportunities that I’ve been so lucky to be a part of!

  1. Would you rather have unlimited sushi or unlimited tacos for life and why?
    Unlimited tacos for life.  They have melted cheese.
  1. What is your most embarrassing favourite song?
    Without doubt – Don’t Stop Believing by Journey – and belting it out at karaoke
  1. What is the dumbest way you’ve been injured (taiko or non-taiko related)?
    Doing a walk in high school up and back down Mt Kosciusko, and then tripping over in the car park before getting on the bus back – badly spraining my ankle.