Tag ‘Earth Celebration’
“The 49th Country on Kodo’s Performance Travels: Vietnam” by Yui Kawamoto
The 49th Country on Kodo’s Performance Travels: Vietnam!
Kodo just gave its first-ever performance in Vietnam! It was a school performance that was closed to the public. We were so happy to see Earth Celebration 2016 guest artist Bac Ha again.
Next up, we have performances on Oct. 14 (tonight) and Oct. 17.
- Oct. 14 (Fri), 2016 Kodo Guest Appearance at Dong Kinh Co Nhac Performance, part of Kodo Debut Performances in Vietnam “On Location with ‘Project Connect Asia with Traditional Performing Arts'” (Hanoi, Vietnam)
- Oct. 17 (Mon), 2016 Kodo Vietnam Performance “The 2nd ‘Asia–Europe’ New Music Festival in Vietnam 2016 –The Friendship Melodies Concert–” (Vinh Yen, Vietnam)
“Bountiful Autumn” by Kodo Ensemble Leader Yuichiro Funabashi
Oct. 5, 2016
Hello, everyone. I hope you are all well.
The rice harvest has nearly finished here on Sado Island and the crops are drying on racks. We look forward to tasting the newly harvested rice very soon. One of the luxurious perks of living in a rural area is eating locally grown rice, and I have to say that Sado Island has particularly delicious rice!
Our “Spiral” and “Interactive Performance” tours are currently on the road in Japan. I encourage you to go along to experience these energetic performances at a venue near you. Both casts are largely made up of young performers. Everyday they work so hard to deliver better and better performances, so I am sure they will return to Sado Island even stronger after their efforts on these tours.
While the main tours have been on the road, I have been on Sado Island and performing in various places, too. Last weekend, I went to Korea with a select Kodo ensemble, which was Kodo’s first time there in 16 years. It was a whirlwind schedule, just three days and two nights, and we went there especially to perform with Kim Duk Soo and SamulNori at “Korea Japan Exchange Festival 2016 in Seoul.” It was inspiring to see so many Japanese and Korean artists performing in one place. At the end of the festival we all came together for an exciting, climatic finale.
Next I’m off to Vietnam for our debut performances there next week. This will be the 49th country where Kodo has given performances. We look forward to being reunited with EC 2016 guest artists Bac Ha and the other friends we made during our visit in February this year. We will perform at a music festival in Vietnam and we look forward to new encounters and further cultural exchange.
Our trip to Vietnam promises to be a great opportunity to learn more about the history and background of local musicians and our recent collaborators, as we found out last year after Earth Celebration when Kodo visited Suar Agung in Bali, Indonesia. It will give us all a chance to deepen our mutual understanding. In a few years time, perhaps we can invite guests from various countries back to EC on Sado Island for further collaborations, too.
Kodo tours regularly throughout, Europe and North America, but in recent years we are also enjoying the increasing number of opportunities that arise for us to perform on other continents, too. In the past year, with our performances in Hong Kong, Brazil, Indonesia, Korea, and next in Vietnam, we are traveling to new places and drawing on new inspiration. I am sure this will lead to each member, and our entire group, creating broader, deeper forms of music and expression, which we look forward to sharing with you all.
“At Summer’s End” by Yuichiro Funabashi
At Summer’s End
Here on Sado Island, the late-August Ogi Port Festival signals the end of summer each year.
In August this year, we accomplished two great feats. At our 35th Anniversary Commemorative Concerts, we performed three diverse programmes over three consecutive days at Suntory Hall under the direction of Tamasaburo Bando. The wonderful acoustics of Suntory Hall echoed with the sounds of taiko and orchestra, while dynamic music and dance filled the hall with electric energy.
The performances commemorated Kodo’s 35 years of history, and also the past sixteen years spent working under the passionate guidance of Tamasaburo Bando. These performances were also a fitting “first step” into the future for Kodo.
The week after our celebrations at Suntory Hall, our annual festival “Earth Celebration” took on a brand new challenge by shifting its focus to Sado Island as a whole. Thanks to the support of many people, the festival was able to offer a wide array of events and activities all over Sado.
This year EC did not feature its symbolic Shiroyama Concerts. Instead, with events such as Kodo Village Concert (directed by Kenta Nakagome), EC Theatre (directed by Masayuki Sakamoto & Mitsuru Ishizuka), and Kodo Fringe Performances (led by Eri Uchida, Yosuke Kusa, & Yuta Sumiyoshi), this year the Kodo members were able to spend more time wholeheartedly enjoying the festival with people from Sado and afar, with more freedom for spontaneity and experimentation than we have had in recent years.
With great changes come a lot of hurdles, but I felt each Kodo member make the most of their unique talents to rise to this new challenge, and new buds of creativity certainly bloomed. I felt growth as the festival expanded to encompass the whole island for this summer celebration of the earth.
Both the Suntory Hall concerts & Earth Celebration took a great deal of time and hard work from rehearsals through to the actual events, and the look of fulfilment on the performers’ faces was a sign that they had all gained so much from these experiences, as did I. Kodo currently has time for rehearsals, a place to rehearse, and range of instruments to seek the sound we want to create. For us as performers, these conditions are irreplaceable assets. I think we owe this wonderful environment to everyone who has lent Kodo their support and guidance to date, to our audience, and to our staff. We are grateful to you all.
Without a moment to rest, the Interactive Tour and Kodo One Earth Tour “Spiral” have already set off on the road in Japan. We have small ensemble and solo projects underway, too, which like our tours will take the many things we gained through our experiences this summer on the road and pour them into our sound. We also look forward to bringing the new experiences we gain around Japan and abroad over the next months back home with us.
Yuichiro Funabashi, Kodo Ensemble Leader
Kodo One Earth Tour 2016: Spiral
Thank You for Joining Us for Earth Celebration 2016!
Thank You for Joining Us on Sado Island for Earth Celebration 2016
[EC 2016] “Rehearsals for ‘Kodo Village Concert'” by Ryotaro Leo Ikenaga
Rehearsals for “Kodo Village Concert”
We have returned to Sado Island after our Kodo 35th Anniversary Concerts at Suntory Hall and leapt straight into rehearsals at Kodo Village with the EC 2016 guest artists from Vietnam! We are collaborating to make new pieces together to perform at Kodo Village Concert on Aug. 26.
We are so curious about each other’s culture and music.
The current atmosphere in the Kodo Rehearsal Hall is both harmonious and electric!
We look forward to sharing this feel-good exchange and collaboration with you all soon at EC.
We are waiting for you all on Sado Island! See you soon!
Earth Celebration 2016
Aug. 26 (Fri)–28 (Sun), 2016
Sado Island, Niigata
“Rehearsals” by Kenta Nakagome
Aug. 5, 2016
Greetings from Summer on Sado Island
We are currently right in the thick of our rehearsals on Sado Island for our upcoming “Kodo 35th Anniversary Commemorative Concerts.”
We are going to make this summer a really lively one! We hope you will come and join us.
Illustrations: Kenta Nakagome
Kodo 35th Anniversary Commemorative Concerts
The next generation of Kodo will take a bold step forward into new frontiers with three mid-summer night concerts in Tokyo.
*Tickets on sale now for Aug. 18 & 19.
*Aug. 20 performance is SOLD OUT
*Commemorative Concert Sponsors: Suntory Beer Limited, Onkyo & Pioneer Innovations Corporation, POLA INC.
For ticket orders in English, call Ticket Space Tel. 03-3234-9999 (Mon–Sat 10:00–12:00, 13:00–18:00)
Aug. 18 (Thu) First Night ‒Deai‒ (Encounters)
Featuring: Kodo, New Japan Philharmonic
Conductor: Tatsuya Shimono
Aug. 19 (Fri) Second Night ‒Spiral‒ <<S-seats sold out>>
Director: Tamasaburo Bando
Aug. 20 (Sat) Third Night ‒Hisho‒ (Soaring) <<SOLD OUT>>
Director: Tamasaburo Bando
Featuring: Kodo with guest artists Blue Tokyo & Dazzle
Preview on YouTube https://youtu.be/
Earth Celebration 2016
Aug. 26 (Fri)–28 (Sun), 2016
Sado Island, Niigata
“Minakuchi Bayashi Lecture & Demo at EC” by Eri Uchida
Earth Celebration 2016
Minakuchi Bayashi Lecture & Demo
This year we will present a Minakuchi Bayashi lecture & demonstration at Earth Celebration! If you’re making the trip all the way to Sado this summer, I hope you’ll join us to take a step even deeper into the world of Japanese performing arts through learning about Minakuchi Bayashi, one of Shiga Prefecture’s intangible folk cultural assets. Come along to hear all about this folk art and watch a demonstration of Minakuchi Bayashi, featuring a few Kodo members, too! Then some attendees will have a chance to play Minakuchi Bayashi with us. This event will be conducted in Japanese, and English support will be provided as required.
The Kodo members who will take part in this event are busy practicing Minakuchi Bayashi in preparation for the demo and Fringe performances. We look forward to seeing you all at Marine Plaza on the second day of EC (Saturday Aug. 27) to enjoy Minakuchi Bayashi.
(PS: It’s air-conditioned so it will be cool and fun!)
Earth Celebration 2016 (Sado Island, Niigata, Japan)
Aug. 27 (Sat) 14:00–15:30 Minakuchi Bayashi Lecture & Demo at Marine Plaza Ogi (2F)
Facilitator: Eri Uchida (Kodo)
Inquiries: Kodo Ticket Service
- Tel. 0259-86-2330（Mon–Fri 9:30–17:00）Fax. 0259-86-3631
- Email: email@example.com
Event Details: http://www.kodo.or.jp/ec/en/event/lecture/mizuguchi/
“A New Endeavor” by Yuichiro Funabashi
A New Endeavor
Hello, everyone. How are you doing?
Time flies! All of a sudden, it’s the second half of the year. Kodo has been on tour throughout Japan for the past two months. Next month, we will hold our 35th Anniversary Commemorative Concerts in Tokyo and festival “Earth Celebration” (EC) on Sado Island.
As previously announced, EC is making a shift from being an event centered on outdoor concerts to a festival that aims to create a new “community” with roots in the local area. Many Kodo members spend a large portion of each year away from Sado Island. While we enjoy touring and sharing performances on the road, we want to take a fresh look at the place we call home, Sado Island, and think about how we can create our own deeper roots here on the island, too. By reconsidering the significance of our travels and our home, we hope our many activities will generate new energy and exchange here on the island.
Top Left: Food and drinks at Vietnamese New Year with a performance by Mr. Min Chi
Top Right: At the entrance to the rehearsal space & accommodations where Mr. Min Chi resides, home to a Cheo troupe.
Bottom Left: Musical exchange in a traditional bamboo house.
Bottom Right: Trying to play a Vietnamese stringed instrument with the help of a master of traditional music.
In February, during our winter, a few of us went to Vietnam and met the guest artists for this year’s EC, traditional music arts ensemble Bac Ha. I am truly looking forward to seeing them again and collaborating with them this summer in Japan. Just reminiscing about the energy of the festival we experienced with them in Hanoi makes my heart leap with excitement. The history of Vietnam is full of hardships and the current state of affairs is complex, but their pride and love for their performing arts remains very strong. This summer, we are not holding large concerts in front of many people at EC. Instead, we look forward to the chance to interact with our guests in a relaxed, fun way and to share that time with our audience in close proximity. We hope to learn from each other and that we will establish connections that lead to further performances and exchange on future occasions in different places.
EC will also present “EC Theatre” and Fringe Stage performances, where Kodo members can share new creative performances alongside other artists. Kodo members will also actively take part in the Sado Island Experience Programmes and workshops on offer, so we can spend time enjoying Sado Island with all the people who come along for EC.
This year’s EC is a new endeavor, so it will take some figuring out and getting used to for all of us. I truly hope EC will become an occasion for the participants, performers, and staff to enjoy a very special, meaningful, enjoyable time on Sado Island alongside the locals. We look forward to welcoming you to Sado Island for EC this August. See you there!
Earth Celebration 2016
Aug. 26 (Fri)–28 (Sun), 2016
Sado Island, Niigata, Japan
“A Taste of Vietnam at EC 2016” by Ryotaro Leo Ikenaga
A Taste of Vietnam at Earth Celebration 2016
Hello, everyone. I hope you are all keeping well.
On Sado we have been rehearsing for various new productions every day. Preparations are also underway for this year’s Earth Celebration (EC).
For EC 2016, we have invited guest artists from Vietnam to join us for a concert at Kodo Village. I went to Vietnam in February on a field trip to prepare for this collaboration.
When we arrived in Hanoi, it was right around Lunar New Year.
It was bright and festive, with lanterns and Vietnamese flags everywhere.
We tried a range of local cuisine,
walked throughout the city,
and enjoyed exchange with an array of local artists.
We delighted in the various similarities and differences between our cultures.
Immersed in the local atmosphere, the week just flew by as we enjoyed local food and local music.
This trip reminded me of the importance of international exchange, visiting new places, and experiencing other cultures firsthand with local people.
I hope our Kodo Village Concert at EC 2016 will be an opportunity for us to recreate and share a taste with our audience of the local atmosphere and culture that we experienced in Vietnam.
EC 2016 has other unique performances by Kodo members on the lineup, too.
We look forward to seeing everyone on Sado Island this August for EC!
Ryotaro Leo Ikenaga
“EC 2016 Kodo Village Concert” Assistant Director
Earth Celebration 2016
*Details about EC 2016 will be announced in English in late May. Tickets go on sale from June 20.
“Soaring into September after an Inspiring August” by Tomohiro Mitome
Sep. 1, 2015
Hello everyone. I hope that you are all well.
This is Tomohiro Mitome, leader of taiko performing arts ensemble Kodo.
August was action-packed for all of us at Kodo with countless rehearsals, Earth Celebration (EC), and our local festival Ogi Minato Matsuri. This particular intensity tires us in different ways than we experience while we are on tour. But just by being on Sado, we are constantly being soothed by nature, so while it is hectic, it is also an important time for us to reset and refresh ourselves before our fall tours.
In early August, we had rehearsals for our upcoming production, “Kodo One Earth Tour: Chaos,” that will premiere in November. We are receiving advice from drummer Tetsuya Kajiwara as we create this work with our artistic director, Tamasaburo Bando.
From mid-August, we moved into our rehearsals for Earth Celebration, where we have three Shiroyama Concert performances over three days. We welcomed Leonard Eto (Leo) to Kodo Village to rehearse for the Day 2 performance, “Honeymoon,” and the Day 3 finale, “Shukusai / Celebration.” Leo also helped us prepare for our collaboration with Balinese guest artist Suar Agung, worked with the Kodo members to create new music, and even taught the younger Kodo members about all kinds of things on their days off. The Kodo members learned a lot and were so motivated by Leo every day. Leo was a Kodo member in the early days of Earth Celebration and he composed the iconic Kodo pieces Zoku and Irodori, so it was a precious chance for all our members to hear his thoughts on EC, the background behind those pieces, and to talk to him about the groove, stage set up, and ways of arranging those pieces on stage. It was an intense, fruitful time for all involved.
Incidently, it is undeniable that Leo is the person who made playing katsugi okedo-daiko so popular. He is also the reason that playing hirado-daiko became so popular.
On the first day of EC, which was rainy, we gave an all-Kodo performance directed by Tsuyoshi Maeda, entitled “Kodo Night.” It is rare for thirty-three of us to appear on stage together and something that is only possible once a year here on Sado Island.
On the second night, we performed a concert called “Honeymoon,” directed by Leonard Eto. The first half featured Jegog ensemble Suar Agung and the second half was performed by Leonard Eto with Kodo. Suar Agung play bamboo instruments, cymbals, and drums, and the sounds they create really suit the natural outdoor setting of Shiroyama Park.
For me, the second half was a programme that brought back great memories of Leo’s artistic direction. How we set the scene on stage, the solos, ensemble pieces, and taiko, taiko, and more taiko. The programme really grabbed the audience and drew them in, as did Leo in his red Kodo coat!
The final concert, “Shukusai / Celebration,” was directed by Mitsuru Ishizuka. All three artists came together for an energetic, electric finale.
It had been a few years since we last welcomed a guest artist from overseas to the Shiroyama stage, so it was the first time for many of our youngers members to experience an international collaboration. It was such a great chance for us all to experience these collaborations together, to get caught up in a whirlpool of sound, and stimulated in new ways. Thank you very much to everyone who joined us at EC for these concerts!
This year marked the end of an era for Earth Celebration, which will no longer be centred around concerts at Shiroyama Park. However, EC will continue and next year’s festival will take place from Aug. 26 through 28, 2016. Details about the new look EC will be announced in May 2016. In 2017, Earth Celebration will celebrate its 30th anniversary, so we are already looking forward to celebrating that milestone with everyone.
At the end of August, on the 29th, we took part in our local festival, Ogi Minato Matsuri. As a festival taiko group, we pulled a taiko cart around the streets of Ogi, going from door to door playing taiko to show our appreciation to the town and all its people. It’s a special occasion where we get to take part in a local festival and various performing arts as locals.
From September, the “Eternity” tour and the “School Workshop/Interactive Performance” tour are back on the road and touring throughout Japan. Here on Sado, we are preparing for the Special Performances in Shukunegi centered around our distinguished members, which will be held Sep. 19–22.
See you all somewhere soon!