Tag ‘Kosuke Urushikubo’
“Moved to the Core” by Kosuke Urushikubo
Moved to the Core
Hello, everyone. How are you?
It has become really hot in Japan recently and the cicadas have already started chirping. I was on tour for the past couple of months with the School Workshop & Interactive Performances. We have completed our Spring–Summer 2016 tour and returned to Sado Island last week. I will be leaving Kodo soon, so my final performances will be the 35th Anniversary Commemorative Concerts in Tokyo and at Earth Celebration on Sado this August.
During my final tour, we mainly performed for school children in Kumamoto, Iwate, Niigata, and Hyogo Prefectures. We encountered a wide range of students on tour. Some of the pupils had never heard taiko before, some of them play taiko regularly, and some of them told us that our performance had made them want to start playing taiko.
In a world that is becoming more and more modern, I would like for children to not be only interested in the latest or most convenient things. I want them to know about classic or traditional things and then, based upon that knowledge, I want them to consider various new things. This is what I had in mind when I performed at schools on this tour.
When our performances would end, one student would share their impressions with us on behalf of the student body. I was really happy to hear some of them say things like, “It was my first time hearing taiko and it was interesting,” or “I want to explore Japanese music as well from now on.” At times, I felt my tears join the sweat on my face as they spoke to us.
I mentioned that our performances were mainly in four different prefectures on this tour. And they all have something in common: earthquakes. These four areas have experienced particularly large earthquakes. I heard locals talking about their experiences during and after the earthquakes and it was all unbelievable and unimaginable for me. Some taiko groups lost their practice space and instruments due to the damage from these earthquakes. My heart ached to hear about it all.
However, the people we met in these places had not lost their smiles. Some of them said to us, “The gods are telling us we can recover from this.” We had a chance to perform for people who were greatly affected by these devastating earthquakes and after our performances some of them said things to us like, “You’ve given me power to face tomorrow,” and “I feel confident again.” Personally, I was so happy to have so many wonderful encounters on my final School Workshop & Interactive Performance tour. I was happy to hear that I was able to help people in even a small way.
I sincerely hope they will recover from those disasters really soon. I hope our Interactive Performance tour will always continue, too.
Thank you very much to everyone who looked after us throughout our tour.
“Looking Forward to Continued Connections” by Kosuke Urushikubo
Kodo Debut Performance in Singapore Today
Hello, everyone! How are you? I’m in Singapore right now with a select Kodo ensemble. We will perform tonight at the opening of “Super Japan,” a festival commemorating 50 years of diplomatic relations between Singapore and Japan. (The photo above is from our rehearsal.)
We will perform tonight full of hope that the relationship between our two countries will continue for many years to come. This event will mark Kodo’s debut performance in Singapore. We are so happy to have the opportunity to take part in this celebration.
At the opening event, we will perform with a local taiko group called Hibikiya. We are thoroughly enjoying our time with them. We also hope that Kodo & Hibikiya’s relationship will continue for many years to come!
We will do our very best on stage tonight.
Super Japan: KODO x HIBIKIYA
May 13 (Fri), 2016 Esplanade- Theatres on the Bay, Singapore
Appearing:Kodo (Yoshikazu Fujimoto, Chieko Kojima, Motofumi Yamaguchi, Eiichi Saito, Tomohiro Mitome, Kosuke Urushikubo, Issei Kohira), Hibikiya
“Ogi Minato Matsuri” by Kosuke Urushikubo
Hello to all our supporters! It’s been a while since I posted on the Kodo Blog.
How are you all doing?
On Sado at night we can now hear crickets chirping as the season changes from summer to autumn. At the end of summer, we always enjoy taking part in our local town’s port festival, “Ogi Minato Matsuri.”
Ogi Minato Matsuri is a festival in Ogi Town, where Kodo is based, that features lion dances, portable shrines (mikoshi), folk songs and dances, festival drumming, Sado Onikenbai (demon sword dance), samba and more, all going from door to door throughout the town.
Kodo pulls a drum cart around the town and goes from house to house playing taiko to show our appreciation to everyone in the town for their day-to-day support.
During this festival, you can see a side of Kodo that you don’t see when we perform on stage at theaters as we interact with all the locals. Next year, Ogi Minato Matsuri will take place straight after Earth Celebration for two days. Please come along!
“The Sound of Bamboo” by Kosuke Urushikubo
The other day after our performance in Kimitsu, Chiba, some of my fellow Kodo members and I went to visit Ranjo-san.
Ranjo-san is a bamboo flute maker who has been crafting the flutes that Kodo uses for many, many years. Apparently, there has recently been a rise in the number of people who have started playing the shinobue (Japanese transverse bamboo flute). And some 9 out of 10 of those newcomers play a bamboo flute made by Ranjo-san. Ranjo’s name is so well-known these days amongst shinobue enthusiasts, both throughout Japan as well as abroad. I am truly grateful that he helps me choose bamboo flutes to play that suit me the best. Then he gives me advice on how to play them.
Each flute is made from a living being: bamboo. The girth, thickness of the bamboo, and size of the holes may look the same for each instrument at a glance, but each one is completely unique.
Ranjo-san taught me that the most important thing to think of when you choose a flute is what kind of sound you want to create with it.
I am one of several shinobue players in the Kodo ensemble. So, what kind of sound do I want to share with our audiences? In other words, what kind of feeling do I want to convey to our audiences through my sound? I thought about that long and hard. The other members with me also thought deeply as they picked up each flute and played it to see what kind of sound they could create.
Please come along to see “Kodo One Earth Tour: Eternity” so you can hear the sound of our ideas and emotions through Ranjo’s flutes.
“Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Eternity” Japan Tour (June–July, Sep.–Oct.)
[June–July] Kanagawa, Saitama, Gunma, Chiba, Osaka, Nagano, Kyoto, Ehime, Hiroshima
[Sep. Oct.] Chiba, Ibaraki, Miyagi, Yamagata, Iwate, Akita, Shizuoka, Aichi, Hyogo, Tottori, Yamaguchi, Fukuoka, Kagoshima
CD Kodo “Mystery” Now on Sale!
Our brand new album, “Mystery,” was released today! It is now available at our performance venues in Japan and from the Kodo Online Store.
The first 300 customers to purchase it will receive a special gift: an original Kodo “Mystery” sticker. We hope you’ll add it to your album collection.
Kodo Online Store
“Motofumi Yamaguchi’s New Piece Ameyo Kazeyo” by Mitsunaga Matsuura
Dec. 18 Gin-iro no Kaze (Silver Wind) Song & Bamboo Flute Concert
Here is a new piece by Motofumi Yamaguchi, which he will play during the second part of tomorrow’s Gin-iro no Kaze (Silver Wind) Song & Bamboo Flute Concert at Kunitachi Geijutsu Sho-Hall, Kunitachi, Tokyo. He will perform it with Kosuke Urushikubo.
Click below to listen to a sample of it:
And here is a sample of a beautiful piece from Yoko Fujimoto’s latest album “Yamazu Megurumo,” which will feature in the first part of the concert:
December is a busy month, but we hope you will take the time to relax with us to the sounds of soothing vocals and melodic bamboo flutes. We are all waiting for you tomorrow in Kunitachi!
Gin-iro no Kaze (Silver Wind) Song & Bamboo Flute Concert
Date: Dec. 18 (Thu), 2014
Venue: Kunitachi Geijutsu Sho-Hall, Kunitachi, Tokyo
Doors Open: 18:30 Start: 19:00
Advance: 3,800 yen
At-the-door: 4,300 yen
Seating Details: All seats reserved. Please refrain from bringing preschoolers (ages 5 & under).
Event URL: http://www.kuzaidan.com/hall/e?2533
Ticket Outlets: Kunitachi Geijutsu Sho-Hall, Hakujuji (Coffee & Cake) Kunitachi Stn. South Exit Store, Shimada Stationery Store, Marronnier Kunitachi Stn. North Exit Store.
Inquiries: Kunitachi Geijutsu Sho-Hall Tel. 042-574-1515
“Gin-iro no Kaze (Silver Wind) Song & Bamboo Flute Concert” by Kosuke Urushikubo
On Sado Island, it is getting colder and it’s the harvest season now.
Next month on Dec. 18, Kunitachi Geijutsu Sho-Hall in Tokyo will host “Gin-iro no Kaze (Silver Wind) Song & Bamboo Flute Concert,” a special performance featuring two of Kodo’s distinguished members: Yoko Fujimoto performing songs from her second album “Yamazu Megurumo” and Motofumi Yamaguchi performing songs under his solo project banner, “Ikkan Fugetsu.”
I will make a small appearance in the second half during “Ikkan Fugetsu.” I am looking forward to performing with Motofumi, who I have admired since I was a school student. I hope you can come along!
Gin-iro no Kaze (Silver Wind) Song & Bamboo Flute Concert
Dec. 18 (Thu), 2014 Kunitachi Geijutsu Sho-Hall, Kunitachi, Tokyo
TV Appearance: Nippon TV “Kokoro Yusabure! Sempai ROCK YOU”
Nov. 22 (Sat) TV Appearance
Nippon TV “Kokoro Yusabure! Sempai ROCK YOU”
Kodo will appear during a wadaiko special on Nippon TV’s “Kokoro Yusabure! Sempai ROCK YOU” this Saturday from 23:00. If you’re in Japan, we hope you’ll tune in!
Nippon TV “Kokoro Yusabure! Sempai ROCK YOU”
Broadcast Date & Time: Nov. 22 (Sat) 23:00–23:30
Featured Kodo Members: Yosuke Oda, Masayuki Sakamoto, Eri Uchida, Maya Minowa, Kosuke Urushikubo, Jun Jidai
Program Website: http://www.ntv.co.jp/rockyou/kokoro/2014/11/post-125.html
*Date and time are subject to change without notice.
“‘Mystery’ Team Returns to Sado” by Kosuke Urushikubo
July 22, 2014
Hello, everyone! Thank you very much for always reading our blogs.
We have just returned to Sado Island from our two-and-a-half month tour.
Today, we carried out maintenance on the small props. We did it with the great care as our way of telling the equipment, “You did a good job over the past couple of months and we are counting on you for the fall tour, too!”
We met a lot of people during this spring tour. We really appreciate everyone who came to see our performances. If you have not seen “Mystery” yet, please come to see it in September and October. We hope to see you at a theater somewhere!
Sep. – Oct. 2014 “Kodo One Earth Tour 2014: Mystery” Japan Tour