Hi! I’m Rannoch, but most everyone calls me Razz. You could say the arts are in my blood...My mother is a professional piano teacher, and my father is an incredibly gifted artist and teacher. I began lessons in both as a child, and grew up surrounded with music and art. At some point around 17, I decided I wanted to pursue a career in music.
At 18 I started a band (Agnes Poetry - later Adom9) with my brother and sister. We enjoyed almost immediate success which sent us on a roller-coaster ride of late night composing sessions, concert venues and recording studios over the next 11 years.
As touring activity with the band slowed down, I decided to attend University so that I might study music in more depth.
I spent three years at Pasadena City College and 2 more years at Cal State Northridge studying classical voice (opera) and composition under some of the finest musicians I have ever known. I also landed some great lead roles in musical theater and opera! It was a fantastic time of exploration and discovery.
It was also during this time that I heard about an intriguing musical discipline that combined physical fitness with music. I decided to see what the Taiko Drum course was all about!
After my first class, I was hooked. over the next 2 years I attended every taiko class I could and I joined the university's Taiko performance group, Jishin Taiko.
After graduating, I was offered a job at Crespi Carmelite High School as a music teacher. It was here that I started the first academically accredited high school taiko program in America - Celt Taiko.
I continued private study with Joel Mankey, and was also able to take my students to Hawaii each year for study under taiko master Kenny Endo. The Celt Taiko program was an incredible success and continues to gain widespread recognition under the direction of Blaine O'Brien
My time at Crespi was very eventful in many other ways... I earned my masters degree in music education, and I became a father to my beautiful daughter Nenya.
In 2011, I made the decision to relocate to Ulm, Germany to be close to my infant daughter. I arrived here literally with a suitcase and determination. I had sold all of my belongings from America and used the money to purchase a set of taiko drums.
By the end of my first year, I was teaching a few taiko classes at the local community college and a local high school, and had just begun a new high school taiko program called "Oni Taiko" at the International School of Ulm.
In 2015, after three years of teaching music and taiko at the International School of Ulm, I took the leap to go self-employed and start my own school of American taiko here in Germany.
With immense help from some incredible friends - I found a dojo space and started classes with 28 students.
As of 2018, I am very proud to have over 70 students, a full calendar of concerts & workshops each year, and to have created and hosted one of the largest taiko festivals in Europe - Taikopalooza.
iIn 2019 I signed on as a composer with InStyle Music (music licensing) from Canada for my first solo taiko album! The album was released in May 2019. I finally merged my worlds of composing music and playing taiko! This latest evolution has already sparked more ideas for the future...
can't seem to sit still and I love thinking up new ideas and projects, so I can say I'm very excited about the future of TZD. Thanks to all of the wonderful friends and family who continue to make my dream of TZD a reality.