Hello! I am Mizuki Yoneyama, one of Kodo’s junior members.
I spent the past six weeks or so on tour with the “Kodo Interactive Performance” programme.
Throughout the tour I experienced many things with my heart and senses: the air and scent of each place, the colors and sounds, and new connections with people who we encountered at the many schools and theaters. I want to find out more and more about so many things through wadaiko… like discovering pure sound, natural communication and, personally, how to be completely upfront.
Final 2015 Performance of “Chaos”
On Dec. 23 we welcomed a large audience to our last performance of “Chaos” for 2015.
Actor Yohji Tanaka came along to see our performance! Here he is with a few of the cast members after the concert.
Kodo provided part of the soundtrack to Yohji Tanaka’s latest short movie.
See here for details: http://kodo.or.jp/blog_en/news/20151117_3878.html
Happy New Year!
Thank you very much for your kind support throughout 2015 and to date.
In 2016, Kodo celebrates its 35th anniversary.
Moving forward, we will endeavor to present better performances than ever before.
Thank you in advance for your continued support.
We wish you all a very happy and healthy new year.
Taiko Performing Arts Ensemble
English Version of Kodo Apprentice Centre Introduction Video Now Online
In July we shared a new video online that introduces the Kodo Apprentice Centre in Japanese. We are pleased to announce that we have just uploaded an English version, too. This video shows scenes of daily life at the Apprentice Centre on Sado Island throughout the four seasons and introduces the curriculum of the two-year apprentice programme.
Applications for the 2016 intake have closed already. For inquiries regarding the 2017 intake, please contact Kodo Cultural Foundation.
(Please note that advanced Japanese is a selection requirement.)
Kodo Cultural Foundation（Tel.0 259-81-4100 / Email: email@example.com）
Impressions of “Kodo One Earth Tour: Chaos”
Review by Kyoko Honma ● Photos by Takashi Okamoto
I used to spend my days going to concert halls and live houses all over Tokyo. Without a doubt, the rock performances were the most explosive.
Guitar, bass, and drums.
I saw countless bands featuring these three instruments with vocals. The drummer and bass player are usually the rhythm section of each band, so if the drums go off beat, they cannot play the rhythm as one.
When I closed my eyes to feel the rhythm, for some reason
onidaiko (demon drumming from Sado Island) would come to mind. It was sort of like a strange déjà vu about the folk arts on Sado.
I found the reason for that phenomenon when I saw Kodo’s “Chaos” performance.
There were three drum kits on stage. Three drummers played the drums, each in their own way, and I got goosebumps each time. There is a universality within the action of beating a rhythm and each powerful beat resonates throughout your soul. So any sound created on earth comes from the same place. This also rang true for the flutes, timpani, and harps that were featured in the “Chaos” performance. I heard sound only that person could create, that I could only encounter in that moment. It is significant that the Kodo performers gave this performance without collaborating with other artists.
The audience responded with echoing applause.
I floated over an invisible wall of preconceptions and really enjoyed the sound. Centered around percussion, “Chaos” also incorporates string instruments, wind instruments, vocals, handmade instruments…anything and everything!
I am excited by the fascinating possibilities Kodo, the ultimate “band,” has shown with this production.
Ms. Kyoko Honma is the daughter of Mr. Masahiko Honma, a teacher and advisor to Kodo since the founding of its antecedent group Sado no Kuni Ondekoza. Ms. Honma attended the premiere performance of “Chaos” on Sado Island on Nov. 23, 2015.
Premiere Tour Throughout Japan
Dec. 3, 2015
“Chaos” in Niigata Today
Today we have our Niigata performance of “Chaos”! The first time I ever saw a Kodo performance was here at the Niigata Prefecture Civic Center. I hope everyone who comes along to see us today in Niigata thoroughly enjoys our performance! We are waiting for you all at the theater!
Premiere Tour Throughout Japan
Nov. 24, 2015
Japan was getting ready for winter when we boarded the plane for Bali and the heat that greeted us here was way beyond what I had imagined. Our first performance is Negara went well and we have just arrived in Denpasar. The staff in Negara gave us such a warm welcome and I was so grateful everyday while we were there.
In Bali, my five senses are bustling with sensations I have never experienced before, but it is somehow nostalgic here and the nature and people remind me of Japan. The roots of our cultures feel very close even though they are somewhat different in form.
Suar Agung really set the Shiroyama Concerts on fire at Earth Celebration in August. It is hard to find the right words just yet to describe our first performance in Bali, but I can say that when their groove surrounded us on stage, we felt that they had turned the heat up even further…
We are counteracting their heat with a powerful freshness, like the wind on Sado Island, which we hope will resonate with Suar Agung and the audiences.
Nov. 23, 2015
Collaborations with Suar Agung in Bali
Kodo and Suar Agung have enjoyed exchange and collaborations together since 1984 in Japan and this year marks our first collaborations with them in Bali, Indonesia. Our performance in Negara, where Suar Agung is based, welcomed an audience of around 600 people. Many of them were local families and there were also Japanese people who live in Bali and from other islands in Indonesia.
The first half of the concert featured Suar Agung and Indonesian dance. Seeing the dancers dance down the stairs of the temple was so exotic! Some of the moves were humorous, too, so I enjoyed seeing their wide array of expressions.
Kodo performed in the second half and we also received a lot of cheers and applause. The audience in Bali hummed along to our music, smiled, and really showed us that they were enjoying our performance. Their obvious pleasure made the Kodo members smile so much on stage.
On Nov. 24 we have another performance in Denpasar. It will be over 30 degrees there. We will do our very best!
Nov. 22 (Mon) & 24 (Tue), 2015 “Project Connect Asia with Traditional Performing Arts” Kodo & Suar Agung Collaboration (Bali, Indonesia)
Opening Performance of New Production “Chaos”
After four years of ideas and creation, at long last we held the premiere of “Chaos.” The first performance here on Sado Island, where Kodo is based, precedes a nationwide tour with this new work. On Sado, there are many people who have watched Kodo for decades since the very beginning, so when we present new programmes here we are nervous to see if they will be accepting of our latest work. We set up in the theater, add lighting to the new production, and welcome its first audience. I have come to realize that as the performance begins, I find myself thinking about the next production as I watch it. I wonder how far we can broaden the scope of the Kodo group. When I think about the possibilities, I get excited and know I will lose sleep for days with that on my mind.
Tetsuya Kajiwara’s Lecture on Drums
Tetsuya Kajiwara, the drum supervisor for our upcoming “Chaos” production, gave our performers a lecture about drums in the rehearsal hall yesterday.
He taught them how he set up the drums when he played with his former band, “The Blue Hearts,” and the members learned how to handle the various parts. This knowledge will help them throughout the “Chaos” performances.
Our opening night on Sado Island is approaching quickly!