Eileen Kage was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Canada at the age of 9. As a mixed race and bi-cultural youth, she embraced the art of taiko, learning to express herself in a physical and artistic way through the art form. Since the 1980s, she has co-founded several groups including Uzume Taiko and Sawagi Taiko and started LOUD with Elaine Stef and Leslie Komori. She tours parts of Europe and North America, and continues to explore and create new works utilizing the taiko through collaborations with other musicians, movement artists, and poets. Her on-going projects include playing/composing with LOUD, JODAIKO, Uzume Taiko, and singing in the choir Leadfoot.
Eileen’s Musical and Movement Chronology
1973 to 1980
Aikido and Judo in Japan and Canada
1982 to 1994
Taiko with Katari Taiko (Canada’s the first taiko group)
1988 to 1991
Co-founded Uzume Taiko (Canada’s first professional taiko group)
1989 to 1992
Butoh and modern dance with Kokoro Dance
1990 to 1999
Co-founded Sawagi Taiko (Canada’s first all asian women’s taiko group)
World Percussion Intensive with Trichy Sankaran, Sal Ferreras,
Glen Velez and Pepe Danza at Simon Fraser University
1996 to pres.
2000 to 2003
Researched and performed femme drag with Draggin’ Angels at various venues
Co-founded Nishihara & Kage duo with classical pianist Alison Nishihara
2006 to 2010
Master classes in traditional taiko forms with master Tiffany Tamaribuchi
2006 to 2012
Taiko with JODAIKO (professional women’s taiko ensemble lead by T. Tamaribuchi)
Learned and participated in Hanamatsuri traditional ceremonial dance with Shidara (Aichi, Japan)
2007 to 2010
Co-founded Total Constructive Interference with L. Komori, a taiko and hip hop/DJ collaboration with no luck club
2007 to 2012
Touring internationally with Uzume Taiko ensemble
Studied the angled style taiko, rhythm and choreography with Kiyonari Tosha (Tokyo, Japan)
Summer Taiko Intensive with Kenny Endo, Seattle WA
Joined Laiwankwankage, a concept band (drum kit)
Joined Leadfoot, a butch choir and band
Selected Recordings & Exhibitions
Released ‘echo and flow’ with LOUD (Kage, Stef)
Recorded, edited and processed audio work 'Wine Barrel & Cowhide: taiko building audio compositions', exhibited in 'Big Drum: Taiko in the US', Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles CA, July 05 - January 06
Excerpt from 'Staying Alive' w/ LOUD included as part of DVD
'Big Drum: Taiko in the US'
Released 'Ten Thousand Miles' with LOUD
on Grrrls with Guitars Vol. 3
Composed and recorded 'What You Carry’ (Kage, Stef), a piece commissioned by Miscellaneous Productions for the Youth and Elder theatre performance project.
Composed and recorded Ginastera’s ‘Danza del viejo buyero’ (adaptation: Kage, Nishihara) as parts of “Matsuri”, a collection of works by JC musicians and composers.
Composed and recorded 'Rush' (Kage, Stef), a piece commissioned by Miscellaneous Productions for the Reena Virk Project, a theatrical piece exploring girl on girl youth violence.
Co-produced, recorded and released CD ‘taikoelectric’ with LOUD. (Kage, Komori, Stef)
Composed and recorded ‘Three Poems’ for poet Rita Wong for CBC program Out of the Blue
Co- produced and composed for audio CD ‘Silence Descends’ released on Front Records.
Composed and presented ‘Iron Pulse,’ an audio and performance piece webcast on the internet as part of Sound Drifting, a project of Kunstradio in Vienna and ARS ELECTRONICA '99.
Composed and recorded 'Kitchen Sync' (Kage) w/ Sawagi Taiko as part of "Itadakimasu", a taiko compilation CD initiated by Katari Taiko.
Composed, performed and released 'Elephants & Tools' (Homma, Kage) on CD “Commotion”
Composed and released 'Ja Sawago' (Kage) performed by Katari Taiko, on CD “Commotion”
Co-produced, recorded and released CD "Chirashi", with Uzume Taiko (Greenaway, Kage, Komori) through Aural Traditions Records Canada, Pan Records Holland and Rounder Records (formerly Flying Fish Records USA).
Film & Video Soundtrack
“Reed” by Fumiko Kyooka; use of ‘Loudzilla’ (Kage, Komori, Stef) and a musical jam (Kage, Yamashiro, Sumimoto) Vancouver
“What the Affordable Health Act Means To Me” Youtube PSA Asian Pacific American Medical Students Association Los Angeles
“for the beauty of falling petals” by Toma Goda; use of 'Elephants & Tools' (Homma, Kage).
“The Corporation” by Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbot, Big Picture Media Corporation; use of ‘Loudzilla’ ‘Hush’ and ‘Johny Bear’ (Kage, Komori, Stef).
“100 Foot Wednesday” by Eric Nelson and Curt Myers, Powerlines Productions, California; use of ‘Loudzilla’ (Kage, Komori, Stef).
“As Long As I Can Remember: the Powell Street Festival at 25” by Lynda Nakashima; use of ‘April 26th' (Kage, Komori, Stef).
“Paddles Up! Women Survivors of Breast Cancer” by Maureen Cavanagh and Katherine Sharp Stillness in Motion Pictures; use of ‘Pebbles & Boulders’ (Kage, Komori, Stef).
“Pressure Point–Inside the Montreal Blockade” by Magnus Isacsson; use of ‘Ja Sawago’ (Kage).
“Slightseer” by MidiOnodera; use of ‘Loudzilla,’ (Kage,Komori,Stef).