Tsuchigumo Daiko is an organisation based in central Scotland committed to the study and promotion of Taiko Drumming, through regular classes, workshops, outreach, and performances. The group was founded in January 2016 by Martin Doyle and Shonagh Walker, who quickly established a group ethos focused on sharing the joy and benefits of Taiko, fostering community, inclusivity, and personal development.
By drawing upon experience gained through many years of teaching, playing, and performing, as well as countless hours of instruction from some of the world's foremost Taiko teachers, the group's founders decided on a complete overhaul of their principle approach to playing, basing it on a more ergonomic, body-conscious method. They designed and created a rigorous training system to help rebuild and improve their Taiko fundamentals, to help unlock each player's potential, and to forge the group's unique identity.
Inspired by a broad spectrum of musical and artistic influences, and with due respect to the history and traditions of Taiko, the group seeks to push the boundaries of Taiko, striving to create its own signature look and sound, punctuated by an exciting, creative, and highly energetic physical performance style.
Martin and Shonagh continue to seek out the highest quality instruction to help further develop their own approach to teaching and playing, and deepen their understanding of Taiko. They have traveled extensively across the UK, Europe, Middle East, and Japan to perform and study, and have undertaken workshops and intensives with some of the world's leading Taiko artists, including Masaaki Kurumaya (Hibiki Daiko, Kurumaya Taiko Orchestra); Art Lee (Wadaiko Tokara); Hiroshi Motofuji (Oedo Sukeroku, soloist); Chieko Kojima (Kodo, Hanayui); Katsuji Kondo (ex-Kodo, Soloist); Akio Tsumura (Miyake Doushikai); Kazuaki Tomida (Ondekoza, soloist); Isaku Kageyama (Amanojaku, Unit One, soloist); Tiffany Tamaribuchi (Ondekoza, Sacramento Taiko Dan, Soloist); Mark H Rooney (Mark H. Taiko); Eiichi Saito (Kodo); Eri Uchida (ex-Kodo); Shogo Yoshii (ex-Kodo, Soloist); Shoji Kameda (On Ensemble, Soloist); Masato Baba (On Ensemble, Taiko Project); Yuta Kato (Soloist, Unit One), and San Jose Taiko.
To us, Taiko is a vast and colourful spectrum of possibilities, with each soloist or group offering their own unique take. This idea is represented in our logo, which features the three colours from which all others are made. As a group, we seek to create our own "hue" within this spectrum, by embracing a variety of philosophies and methodologies to help us develop and refine our own.
Within the logo's simple design are the concepts which underpin our Taiko philosophy. At opposing ends, there is light and dark; the combination of these elements in our playing brings life to rhythmic patterns and movement. In the centre of each circle sits the Mitsudomoe (a symbol synonymous with Taiko), which represents our connection to the art, the world, and each other. The symbol for infinity appears in the centre, symbolising endless musical and artistic possibilities. Finally, there is the Yin-Yang, which represents the interconnected nature of seemingly opposing forces; a concept which informs certain techniques we utilise.
The circles themselves symbolise the cyclical nature of our Taiko journey, in that we should always return to where we began, shaped by our experiences and with a greater understanding of the world around us and our place within it.
"Taiko is as simple as it is complicated, as joyful as it is melancholy, and as powerful as it can be vulnerable. It's a true reflection of the human journey."