New Interview: Jennifer Milioto Matsue

It’s time for another TaikoSource Interview! Returning to the taiko scholar sub-series we began last year, this time I interviewed Jennifer Milioto Matsue, Associate Professor in Music, Asian Studies, and Anthropology at Union College in Schenectady, New York. During our conversation, we discuss her background as both musician and scholar, her diverse research interests, and her work on taiko both as a researcher and as the instructor of a class/ensemble on taiko performance. Click here to access the mp3 and listen to the interview!

Jennifer Milioto Matsue


Recorded January 26, 2017. 34 MB, 53 minute mp3 file.

From Jennifer’s page on the Union College website:

Jennifer Milioto Matsue (B.A. Wellesley College and M.A. and Ph.D. University of Chicago) is an ethnomusicologist specializing in modern Japanese music and culture. She has conducted research on a variety of music cultures in contemporary Japan including the Tokyo hardcore rock scene, nagauta (a type of traditional chamber music featuring the three-string lute shamisen), raves, the increasingly popular world of taiko (Japanese ensemble drumming), and most recently, Vocaloid Hatsune Miku. She is interested in how performers find meaning through participating in such worlds, with a particular focus on women’s roles in music making. She is the author of the monograph Making Music in Japan’s Underground: The Tokyo Hardcore Scene (Routledge 2008) and Focus: Music in Contemporary Japan (Routledge 2015), as well as several articles on related topics. She is Director of Interdisciplinary Studies and of the World Musics and Cultures Program, and serves as Associate Professor in Music, Asian Studies, and Anthropology at Union College in Schenectady, New York.

During our conversation, we discuss her background as both musician and scholar, her diverse research interests, and her work on taiko both as a researcher and as the instructor of a class/ensemble on taiko performance.

Michael Jürges

Recorded November 16, 2016. 42.1 MB, 63 minute mp3 file.

Michael is a taiko scholar and the creator of the international Wadaiko Toshokan and the German-language BiblioTaiko portals. He earned his M.A. in Transcultural Studies at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg in Germany. In his M.A. thesis, he explored and documented the gradual development and adoption of taiko drumming in Germany throughout the past three decades – a topic that he is currently looking to make into a book.

During our interview, we discuss his background, the history of taiko in Germany, and how he proceeded with the study of German taiko performance even as the majority of studies on the art form – and thus the primary sources from which he could draw – have been geographically limited to Japan and North America.

Kate Walker


Recorded September 28, 2016. 43.5 MB, 63 minute mp3 file.

Kate Walker is a PhD Student in the Department of Music at the University of Sheffield and a member of Tsuchigumo Daiko from Glasgow, Scotland. In this interview, we discuss her past and present as both taiko performer and taiko scholar. We talked about her first meeting with taiko, how it led to her interest not just as a performer but also as an academic, and her current research.