“For Kodo, August Means Earth Celebration” by Tomohiro Mitome
This is Tomohiro Mitome, leader of taiko performing arts ensemble Kodo.
In July, the weather was mostly sunny despite it being the rainy season here. However, there were also heavy rain and flood warnings and landslides ocurred in some areas. Thank you to everyone who expressed their concern for our safety.
As for our tours, the “Kodo One Earth Tour: Mystery” Japan tour members returned to Sado after two and half months on the road and the Kodo “DADAN” Europe tour members left at the beginning of July, gave performances in Spain and France, and have now safely returned to Sado.
Now, it is August.
August means it is time for our annual festival “Earth Celebration” (EC).
This year Earth Celebration will be held for the 27th time. The first evening’s Shiroyama Concert “UMI / OCEAN” will feature the entire Kodo group, from its youngest performers to its veterans. For the second night’s concert “DAICHI / EARTH,” Kodo has invited “BLUE TOKYO.” For the third night’s concert “SHUKUSAI / CELEBRATION,” Kodo has invited two groups: BLUE TOKYO and “DAZZLE,” as well as drummer Tetsuya Kajiwara as a special guest. We will hold concerts for three-days.
The Shiroyama Concerts, EC’s main concert events, take place up on the hill in Shiroyama Park’s lush green surroundings. A star-filled sky and the chirp of cicadas complete this natural outdoor arena. This is one of the only chances you get each year to lie back on the grass and watch Kodo perform outside.
Concerts are not the only focus of Earth Celebration. You can watch the pre-event Noh performance and take workshops to learn taiko, Sado traditional performing arts and dance. You can experience the history, nature and culture of Sado through “Exploring the Charm of Sado Island” activities, watch free Fringe Event performances, and enjoy the international food and goods at Harbour Market. These are just some of the many things that will be on offer at the festival!
This year, EC Theatre is back on the lineup. I will be taking part in this small ensemble performance, called “Kodo Dai Ginjo “Seasoned Quintet.” We have been rehearsing and rehearsing and it will be a special performance, a programme only possible by a small group of us in an intimate venue! We hope you can come along!
So, I hope you will join us for all of EC, not only the main concerts. Please come along for the full three days to thoroughly enjoy all that the festival has to offer.
During the festival, people from all over Japan and all around the world gather in the south-west corner of Sado Island, the Ogi Peninsula where Kodo is based. During the three days of festivities, I hope both repeaters and first-timers alike will enjoy their summer stay on Sado in their own way, at their own pace. We want to have a good time with all of you!
Please come to Sado Island this summer and experience our outdoor concerts for yourself. We are looking forward to seeing you here.
Earth Celebration Shiroyama Concerts 2014