This was our first experience working with the Calgary Chinese Orchestra, who is also based at the MRU Conservatory.
Pipa is a Chinese instrument that, to me, resembled a lute. It had a pear-shaped body and four strings that are plucked. It was very interesting to to work with Joe and Jiajia from the Calgary Chinese Orchestra, to arrange a traditional pipa piece Ambush from Ten Sides. One of the challenges was balancing the volume of the taiko with the pipa, so we had to reduce the number of drums in the piece. We ended up with 2 chudaiko and 1 shime, and mic'd the pipa during the performance.
This project was a lot of fun. Joe and Jiajia were very friendly and easy to work with during the arranging process, and the end product was something that was unique for the listeners and allowed the pipa to shine, while still showcasing the rhythms of the taiko.
During the concert, we also played a larger taiko piece as a special guest performance. It was a special collaboration, and would like to thank the Calgary Chinese Orchestra for inviting us to perform for their year-end performance.