It’s winter !! It’s dark and cold…. Which can only mean one thing… Time for Lux !
The Lux Light Festival is the largest light festival in New Zealand and showcases the talents of numerous artists, designers and architects from around the world, as well as from around New Zealand. The heart of Wellington becomes a celebration of light, where those dark winter nights are transformed into a million different colours by countless interactive light installations that provide a stunning backdrop on a unique journey through the city and along the harbour.
Narukami Taiko has a very similar philosophy, we love to bring light to hearts of many in Wellington, so we felt very proud to be making a return to the festival and putting on a show for the festival-goers. For us it has the added element of fun as it means we can pull out the glowing bachi and play in the dark !
We were lucky enough to be asked to play in two absolutely primo spots for our performances, where the backdrops provided a setting full of character to lend some additional drama to the lively performances. Our first show was right in front of the historical Hikitia, whose white painted walls provided a brilliant canvas to highlight the various lights and colours of the installations on Odlins Plaza… which itself was also the home of the many wonderful food trucks, which was an added bonus we definitely took advantage of !
We ran out a few old favourites such as Wachi Daiko, where yet again we did battle and prevailed against the old demon, and Ujigawa where the graceful ladies of Narukami put on a wonderful rendition of the ancient Uji River to bring peace and tranquility to the hearts of the onlookers. For me personally, I was invited to take part in our performance of Arakusa for the very first time, and in the spirit of the song, it provided a moment of growth and accomplishment, this will always bring a smile to my face. Lastly for this segment we stepped up for Gaina. The wind in Wellington is something we’ve grown to love, and it played its part in this performance too as it saw fit to carry numerous spare bachi away from their players as they were hammering out the beats. We preferred to see this as the Gods of Thunder and Lightning showing themselves for the song and providing even more entertainment, mainly for the other players who were sat behind the performance watching and laughing !
Our second and final show was on the front porch of the Wharewaka, which is a beautiful waterfront building, built in the style of a Marae with many exquisite wooden carvings around the entrance. We chose to play Seiryu, which is another song representing a river and the highlight of the song is the players moving up and down the drums as they play, in order to imitate the movements of the salmon migrating up and downstream. The location took full advantage of the packed Wharewaka building, full of people enjoying a special awards reception. Once the drums started, the crowds flooded out from the building, many with champagne in hand, to watch what was happening. It made for a terrific atmosphere and gave the crowd a big buzz of energy, which is exactly what a cold winter night calls for.