At CERO, collaboration is the name of the game. Whether we’re collaborating with our customers to find the ultimate cargo solution for them, or with our product development team to improve upon the already awesome CERO One, or working on a completely new idea from local talent.
This last style of collaboration played out when we were approached by Kris Bergstrom, Taiko master extraordinaire and head of the drum collective Arugakki, to partner on a roving, eco-friendly Taiko drum ensemble during downtown LA’s Ciclavia! Started in 2010, CicLAvia temporarily closes streets to car traffic and opens them to tens of thousands of Los Angelenos as a public park.
The 30-member Taiko ensemble departed from MacArthur Park, drumming along the CicLAvia route to downtown Los Angeles. More than 1800 musicians performed at various stages and along the CicLAvia route. Arugakki was commissioned to write site-specific music for the event and debuted two new pieces for Taiko. After a 2-hour performance, the ensemble rode home, drumming from Downtown Los Angeles to Torrance, 25 miles away.
For Torrance-based Arugakki, the bike-powered performance is an outgrowth of Kris’s environmental concerns. “As my career grew, so did my air travel, and I realized it was getting worse… I don’t want my success as a musician to be bad for the environment.” Five years ago Kris got rid of his car, created a plan for reducing his CO2 from flying, and set out to design local alternatives to the long-distance performances he had previously been seeking. As a celebration of bicycles and Los Angeles, CicLAvia was the perfect fit.
For the past five years Kris has been designing and welding custom bike carts and bike attachments that allow for mobile Taiko performances. CERO was excited to join in on this celebration of sustainable transportation and Japanese traditions (after all, our CEO Kiyoshi is originally from Japan and the CERO One owes some design influence to the Mamachari) so we happily provided Kris with three Cero One cargo bicycles. The cargo racks of the Cero One added six drums to the ensemble, thanks to Kris’ custom carriers
Cargo bikes are all about pushing the limits of what a bicycle can do, and CERO was there to help Kris’s dream become a reality, “My dream is a mobile Taiko concert. Imagine riding your bike around a corner in Los Angeles and finding yourself in a performance where the whole city rings with the huge sound of Taiko,” Kris told us. With massive drums, hand-held percussion, and 30 performers, Arugakki is moving ever closer to its dream, and CERO will be delighted to be a part of the festivities.
All photos by Taso Papadakis: https://www.tasophoto.com/