Reimei at Dawn
Two weekends ago, I played taiko with my friends on a shady plaza overlooking the Charles River, followed by a free lunch. Yes, the Waltham Riverfest was a cushy gig, especially compared to the other gig Odaiko New England was doing at the same time. I’m sure the Boston Pride Parade was a blast, but I’ll take my shady river-side plaza over drumming on a moving trailer in the burning sun while inhaling truck fumes for two hours!
Cat's pre-dawn photo of the moon over Wakefield
Dave sets drums as the sun crests the tree-tops.
So I guess it was my turn for a little taiko hardship this past weekend when I had to get up at 4:40 am on a Saturday morning for a sunrise performance! We were invited to perform as part of the 6:30 am Fight Back ceremony of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life
Why so early? Fundraising teams had been camped out on the Wakefield High School track since 5:00 pm the day before, each team with at least one representative walking the track at all times during the long night. Our job was to wake them up and revitalize them for the last leg of their 17-hour relay.
Walking the track.
Joy strolls through the "In Cod We Trust" team's campsite.
And what a wonderful experience it was! After we unloaded our drums, most of us joined the walkers for a couple of laps through the decorated campsites surrounding and filling the interior of the track. Some people were sleeping (but not for long!) while others tended fire pits or cooked breakfast on their grills.
Playing Reimei at dawn.
Sheilarae and Kristen interviewed on Wakefield Public Access television.
At 6:30, just as the sun crested the tree-tops, we played Reimei, which means dawn. Hopefully it was a gentle wake-up call. After a bit of kiai-ing with the Relay participants, we played Mahora. If anyone managed to sleep through Reimei, they were surely awake now!
Overall it was a blast. It looked like the night had been a lot of fun for the Relay participants and we’re planning on joining them all night next year.