JI GOE – Exploring Your Natural Sound with Aki Takahashi
Aki Takahashi (aka. TEN TEN) is a taiko, shamisen player and folk singer based in Toronto, Canada. She studied traditional folk music in Kyoto, and has given shamisen and vocal performances at numerous venues and events. Since 2003, Aki became a member and a co-artistic director of NAGATA SHACHU, Canada’s preeminent taiko group, and creates her own original compositions and has choreographed pieces to accompany her music. She is also the founder of the Japanese Folk Ensemble “ten ten,” and has performed with numerous artists from a variety of other cultural backgrounds and traditions.
In February 2020, Aki was part of the cast of “HERbeat: Taiko Women All-Stars,” the first concert produced and performed by all women taiko artists from all over the world. Her composition “MOCHIZUKI,” which shared elements of movement, song, shamisen, shinobue, taiko, and chant was one of the selected pieces to be featured in the HERbeat concert program.
Learn more about Aki:
JI GOE is a confirmation and a call of encouragement using your natural sound. It is a strong and earthy voice from one’s stomach, and not just singing or speaking from your throat. Exercises will include connecting the use of your whole body to generate your natural voice. In Japanese traditional music, chanting is a very important element because many folk songs originated in a work environment and the chanting helped people to work in unison. Such chanting created a fun and lively work environment.
In this 4-part workshop series, you will learn to use your voice as a percussive instrument, the perfect accompaniment to simple beats using your hands, bachi, or taiko. We will learn how to keep time, connect with others, relax and breathe together. Understanding how to incorporate your JI GOE chanting can also apply to your playing and how you connect with your taiko community.
No experience is necessary other than the willingness to raise your voice and have fun!
If you feel shy about using your voice in public, not to worry, only the instructor’s microphone will be audible.
A Personal Message from Aki Takahashi
Your voice is an instrument. Any instrument requires time and effort to play it well. The same is true for your voice. The more you exercise it, the better and more expressive it will become.
Through this workshop, I hope that participants will become more comfortable experimenting with their voices and using their body so that they are able to gain true control of their sound instead of simply silencing them. Through experimentation, practice and play, participants will be able to gain a fuller range of vocal expression to enrich their lives and their music.
Let’s work together so that our voices will echo across the sea and reach the sky!
Workshop Series (60-min each + optional 30-min for community hangout)
To have the full experience of Aki’s teachings, we highly encourage you to sign up for the entire series as each class builds upon each other. Each live class will be recorded with only the instructor in view. If you cannot attend every date, links to a recording of any or all classes will be shared to view on your own time.
Class 1: Saturday, September 5th – Projecting Your Voice
Class 2: Saturday, September 12th – Using Your Whole Body
Class 3: Saturday, September 19th – Adding Energy
Class 4: Saturday, September 26th – Making It Your Own
All classes are one hour in duration starting at:
10:00 AM PT (Los Angeles)
11:00 AM MT (Denver)
12:00 PM CT (Chicago)
1:00 PM ET (Toronto/New York)
6:00 PM (London)
7:00 PM (Berlin)
What do I need?
- Some space to move your body
- Ideally, a space where you will be comfortable experimenting your voice
- Water, as you may move around or need to refresh your throat
- Pen and paper for note-taking. We’ll be using a lot of fun phrases!