a band with taiko at its heart
Ilk are based in Glasgow, with Georgie McGeown (Sound of Yell) and Alison Roe (2taiko) on taiko (Japanese drums), Jer Reid (sumshapes, Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra etc.) on guitar, Ali Begbie (sumshapes) on bass and Rafe Fitzpatrick (Alasdair Roberts, Sound of Yell etc.) on violin.
Georgie came to Scotland to study music, discovering taiko shortly before she completed her degree. Her first teachers were Mugenkyo, which she joined, and after 5 years in 2008, left. She teamed up with Issho Taiko Drummers (Shane Connolly, Alison Roe, Jer Reid and Lucy Searle) who opened her eyes to fresh approaches to taiko. Georgie (taikotronik, Velma) takes taiko workshops and teaches woodwind in schools. She plays flute/s and other things in Sound Of Yell with Stevie Jones, Rafe Fitzpatrick and more.
Alison originally learned taiko as a member of Mugenkyo at the turn of the century. She’s since played in Canada, the US, and Japan with Yumi Célia as 2taiko and was a founding (though brief) member of experimental taiko band Issho in Glasgow. She’s studied with Kurumaya-sensei in Fukui, Japan and Chieko Kojima (Hana Hachijo) is also a big inspiration. She’s partly based in south Wales and occasionally teaches and plays with Aber Taiko in Swansea and members of Taiko Mynydd Du.
Jer played in dawson about 3 lifetimes ago but funnily enough now plays again with Ali and Richie from dawson in sumshapes. He does a lot improvising including with the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra. And he plays with dance as much as he can including in Collective Endeavours with Solène Weinachter, Joan Clevillé, Nerea Gurrutxagga, Alex South, Luke Sutherland, Catriona McKay. His website is usually stupidly out of date. jerreid.co.uk
Ali played bass in Dawson. He currently plays bass in Sumshapes and under the name ‘anomali’ DJs and does sporadic solo projects.
All photos: ilk at the Old Hairdresser’s, Glasgow, October 2016 – by Brian Hartley / Still Motion