I sat down with Bryan Yamami, of TAIKOPROJECT, in Quetzal Flores’ (of Quetzal) backyard before rehearsal on a recent Tuesday. As cars of musicians arrived and began to unload giant drums into the house, Yamami laced the history of these two groups into the story of their musical collaboration.
Their upcoming show - which opens the Ford’s 2016 Summer Season - has the mark of a true collaboration: a drummer starts a beat, or a guitarist lays down a riff, and together the groups write a song. This process was common for Quetzal, as a rock group, but something new for TAIKOPROJECT.
Their collaborative spirit was evident in the easy atmosphere of rehearsal – seven musicians and their instruments filling every corner of Quetzal’s living room, surrounded by bright folkloric art. The musicians worked out the time on a particularly difficult bit, fluidly switching languages between the formal musical notation and making instrument sounds with their mouths, “A flat, come in after the ba-da-da, ba-da-da, you know, on measure seven.”