Jul 16, 2021, 09:00 AM
Rhythm Scene Staff
Miho Takekawa is originally from Tokyo, Japan and lives in Seattle, Washington. She graduated from Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo, and earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in Percussion Performance at the University of Washington (UW). She was interim Professor of Percussion Studies at the UW in 2010 and currently teaches percussion private lessons and directs the Pacific Lutheran University’s (PLU) Percussion and Steel Bands. She also teaches mallet classes at Pierce College. Miho is a co-founder of the Miho & Diego Duo and TY Music Exchange in Japan, and she serves as the vice president of the Washington State PAS Chapter.
Rhythm! Scene: If you weren't a percussionist and educator, what career could you see yourself having pursued?
Miho Takekawa: I have keen interests of becoming an immigration lawyer, hand-made bead accessory artist, and concert pianist.
R!S: As a freelance artist, what's one of the weirdest gigs you've taken or oddest jobs you've had outside the industry?
MT: Fifteen years ago, I was hired by a rock band for a recording gig, and they asked me to play every single note on the vibraphone, but not with them at all. I believe that they made their own melodies using those notes that I played.
R!S: What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
MT: Here are a few: I took French in college and failed. I can fall asleep while someone is playing the drum set in the same room. I use soy sauce for every single dish that I make. I am an introvert.
R!S: What is your all-time favorite album and why?
MT: Djabote (both the film and the album) by Doudou N’Diaye Rose. Music of Senegal changed my life. After being trained as a European classical musician for decades, Djabote opened my eyes and ears. The rhythmic complexity, musical phrasing from the drums, and pitch of each drum still sound beyond amazing to me. It is their orchestra, which I can listen to as I study or analyze as I wish, but most importantly I truly respect and appreciate the groove. This film/album helped me get through many good and bad days!
R!S: Where did you grow up, and what’s one interesting thing about your childhood (musically or otherwise)?
MT: I was born and raised in Tokyo for 22 years and have now lived in Seattle for the past 24 years. While I was in middle school, I wrote a short essay about a plan to not use money, so people would not fight over basic living necessities. I really wanted to do everything on an “exchange” basis. I remember drawing cows for milk, farmers for vegetables, and fisherman for fish. And, I wrote that I could teach music in exchange for their food. You may say I was a dreamer!