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In Tune With... Yeshima

Yeshima in a drum circle wearing a grey beanie

In Tune With... is a monthly interview series that introduces you to Louisville's artists by exploring their connection to classical music and to our city.

Yeshima, CEO of DrumSmartLLC, percussionist and teaching artist.

What is your concert day routine?

On concert days, I try to wake up with the sunrise. I always eat a light breakfast with two scrambled eggs and mushroom coffee. After I've eaten, I will participate in sitting meditation to empty my mind. Then, I make a point to walk in nature where I visualize myself playing the part I am about to perform. I hydrate with water for the rest of the day, eat a light lunch, and carry a couple of protein bars with me to the gig. When I get to the venue, I give myself extra time to check out parking, where to load in, and give myself enough time to set up. Once I've set up my percussion instruments I give them all a sound check to hear what they sound like in the new space. Before the gig starts, I say a short prayer and give thanks for the opportunity to live and breathe my passion for making music every day.

Where is your favorite spot in Louisville to hit up following a gig, concert, day of teaching, etc.? 

I am a big fan of Roots Mindful Compassionate Cooking. It is a vegetarian restaurant on Bardstown Road in the Highlands. I love the vibe and adore the owners and individuals who work there. It is also one of the healthiest food places that one can go to aside from cooking at home.

What is your "desert island" piece?

If I were stranded on a desert island and had one piece of music to take with me, I would take Miranda Rondeau's "Dragonfly." It is a unique vocal expression of intuitive chant that transcends language, is devotional, and invokes nature. The chanting is accompanied by Miranda playing the frame drum. She says, "Dragonfly is a symbol of transformation, a song of remembrance, the language of the heart." The song puts me into a state of bliss, lifts my spirits, and makes me want to dance without a care in the world.

Which musician/composer (living or dead) would you invite to a dinner party, and why?

Hmmm. I don't typically go to dinner parties, but if I were to find myself at one, I'd invite John Cage because I would want to hear more about what possessed him to write 4' 33" And, I would also like to know his thoughts on why he thought silence was music.

What/who are you listening to right now?

For a musician and music educator, that is tough to narrow down. I listen to a lot of different genres of music depending on my mood, what I am teaching, and what I am performing. At the present moment, I love Andy Akiho's orchestral piece called "Ricochet" (Ping Pong Concerto) for 2 ping pong players, solo violin, solo percussion, and orchestra. It is visually entertaining watching the ping pong balls hit the bass drum and the strings play percussive rhythms on their instruments. I am also a big fan of Brazilian, Cuban, and music from Ghana and Guinea West Africa. Recently, I discovered Brazilian classical music and love listening to the sounds of "Amazon Rainforest" by Heitor Villa-Lobos.

Have someone you would like to recommend for In Tune With...? Send Laura an email at latkinson@lpm.org

Laura is the evening host for LPM Classical. Email Laura at latkinson@lpm.org.