Posts by Kodo Members
Yoko here, with an announcement about my upcoming spring concert.
Hina Matsuri Joshi-kai (Doll’s Festival Ladies Get-Together) Concert
Ladies, let’s all get together and sing
To welcome the warmer days of spring!
Join me at a cozy dog cafe for a special programme full of fun. We will sing some good old songs, I will tell you some of my own dog stories, and we will have a really relaxing time together! You are welcome to bring your dog along, too. This is a get-together for ladies only (ages 12 & over). I am so excited to offer this unique concert for the first time. Please come along!
Hina Matsuri Joshi-kai (Doll’s Festival Ladies Get-Together) Concert
Date & Time: March 3 (Tue), 2015
Doors Open: 18:00 / Start:18:30
Venue: Deco’s Dog Cafe Denen Chofu http://www.hot-dog.co.jp/ (Japanese)
Venue Address: Tokyu Square Garden Site North Bldg., 2-62-1 Denen Chofu, Ota Ward, Tokyo
Prices: 4,000 yen (including one drink), 5,000 yen with a dog (incl. one drink for you and a special snack for your dog)
Capacity: 40 people
Seating Details: All free seating.
Reservations & Inquiries: email@example.com (Sannya Project)
*Please include the number of tickets you would like and your daytime phone number.
*Please note that this event is for women only, ages 12 & over.
Feb. 4, 2015
Hello, everyone! This is Yosuke Oda. I’m in Berkeley, California, with the “Kodo One Earth Tour: Mystery” North America tour.
I was invited to lead a workshop for the members of Raijin Taiko at UC Berkeley today.
First, we all introduced ourselves and then we had time to do stretches together. Everyone shouted loudly to count “ichi, ni, san … (one, two, three…), and so did I. Then, they performed their piece Kazoku (Family) for me. They were so upbeat and their cheerful sound echoed throughout the hall. After that, I gave my own performance demo. It felt good to play taiko supported by their energy.
Just as we started to feel at ease with each other, the workshop started! The theme for this workshop was “Create your own sound.” Everyone caught on to what I taught so quickly, so we progressed at a good pace. Kate, who interpreted for me, did her best, too. Thank you, Kate!
At the end of the workshop, I asked them to play their piece Kazoku once again to show what they had learned today. They began with amazing power and volume, and the rhythm was livelier than the first time they played it. They all helped each other like a real family and it was an awesome performance.
Seeing their performance made me think how good it is to be natural. Being natural and your own sound are directly related.
At the end, we took this picture and they gave me a lot of presents, too. Thank you very much for today, Raijin Taiko! Let’s play taiko together again!
I composed this piece for the “Amaterasu” encore performances in 2013.
According to Japanese legend, once upon a time when Amaterasu, the sun goddess, hid away in a cave, the world was plunged into darkness. Greatly troubled by this situation, all the other gods & goddesses came together to discuss what could be done. Kuwa-wake depicts this scene from the famous tale.
To express that conversation between the gods, I focused on incorporating elements such as combinations of rambling changes of rhythm and pianissimo sounds. Kusa-wake differs from other Kodo compositions to date in that it makes the most of hollow sounds as well as hearty sounds. This piece incorporates a wide, dynamic range of volume from really tiny sounds to huge, strong sounds.
There are theatrical elements to our performance of this piece in “Amaterasu,” so when we perform this piece in “Kodo One Earth Tour: Mystery,” we put those theatrical elements into our musical expression instead. However, we are very careful to maintain that feeling of having a conversation with each other while we perform it.
When we perform it on stage, we let ourselves go with the flow as the rhythms push, pull, and repeat. I hope you’ll enjoy the unique vibes and groove created by our “conversation.”
Jan. 26, 2015
A couple of hours after we left Japan, we arrived at Incheon International Airport in South Korea, were we waited in transit for our flight to Vancouver.
We ate lunch, looked over our tour schedule, double-checked our recent performance videos, and did other bits & pieces of tour preparation to pass the time.
See you soon, North America!
Jan. 25, 2015
Sado Island sunrises are so beautiful.
The freezing cold air stinging my nose, quiet waves, birds chirping, the scent of the mountains…
I will remember these sensations, sights, and sounds, and take them with me on the road.
All over the world, people experience nature in the same way, using with all their senses.
We have a young cast for this tour and we will do our very best, make each day count, and work hard in the hope that our audiences can sense nature, Sado Island, and Japan, through our performances.
Off we go!
North America, see you soon!
“Amaterasu” will return for encore performances in May this year at Osaka’s Shochiku-za Theatre. We started off our practice for 2015 by spending a couple of days rehearsing for this collaboration.
The lead performer and artistic director, Tamasaburo Bando, and Harei Aine, who will play the role of Ameno-uzume, didn’t join us for these rehearsals, so it was just us Kodo members. We went through the music, piece by piece, checking it all carefully together.
We recalled the programme mentally, then remembered it physically by playing it anew. We all performed the music with care and attention to detail, so that each one of us can take our own performance to a higher level than last season.
We have been given another opportunity to tackle this programme so soon after the last “Amaterasu” performances in 2013. We will focus on our musical instruments, our bodies, and our technique, so that we can create a deeper quality of sound that is even more feel-good to our audiences.
I hope you are looking forward to the upcoming performances in May!
Happy New Year!
I wish you all the best for the year ahead and thank you in advance for your support.
So, how did you all spend your New Year’s?
I went to Yunotsu in Shimane Prefecture to study Iwami Kagura (Iwami: a region, the west part of Shimane Prefecture/ Kagura: dance and music for the kami, or deities) with some of my fellow Kodo members. Our group, including a couple of new members, will perform the serpent dance Orochi featured in “Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Mystery,” on the North American Tour that starts on January 28.
We were taught by Mr. Taizo Kobayashi and other members Yunotsu Maiko Renchu, a group of local performers that uphold Iwami Kagura in Yunotsu. Mr. Kobayashi is one of members who had helped us to create the programme for “Mystery,” who is an Iwami Kagura performer and a craftsman who carves masks. Mr. Kobayashi made the heads of all the serpents we use on stage for our “Mystery” performances.
During this visit, our lessons were mainly for the new members who will join this programme for the first time. They were taught to make very detailed movements so that the heads and bodies would move smoothly and they learned how to move so that the serpents would look real on stage. I also learned many new things. I can now see that while Iwami Kagura looks simple, it is performed with really well-refined movements.
During these rehearsals, one of our missions was to take part in the local evening Kagura performance as serpents. This is a regular performance for Yunotsu Maiko Renchu, which is held at the Tatsuno-gozen Shrine every Saturday night. I was also fortunate enough to take part in this performance when I first came to learn Iwami Kagura here two years ago.
Dec. 28, 2014
As I visit place to place on tour with the “School Workshop Performances,” I feel the importance of greetings firsthand. At one of the schools we visited recently, each student came up to us to greet us politely one by one.
In everything we do, communication is vital, which begins with a simple greeting that can convey so much.
At the schools we visit, teachers tell their students, “Look at the person speaking as you listen to them. Look into their eyes and listen carefully what they say.”
I think that children who can greet people well also have the ability to concentrate and know when to act in a certain way or when it’s ok to relax, according to different situations.
That goes for us, too.
I used to think that Japanese manners were very strict and a pain in the neck, but someone told me that “Manners are the best way to show how you feel.” Since then, Japanese manners became very natural to me and I started writing letters, too.
Children imitate the behavior of adults, even if they do not understand the meaning of that behavior at first. Later, they will learn the meaning behind it. I think adults should understand the real meaning behind our behavior and help children to understand that individually. As I think about this, I realize that we shouldn’t just explain things to children orally, but that they also need to experience what we mean firsthand for themselves.
Children grow up very quickly everyday and I hope that we can also grow as adults alongside them.
Dec. 17, 2014 School Workshop Performance at Yushima Elementary School, Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo
They were more energetic and docile than I had expected, which triggered something within me to play taiko freely and have fun with them.
I have recently started to sense from our audiences’ response that if we drum wholeheartedly and have fun ourselves, then the sound will resonate with people better than any tricky, technical arrangements.
School Workshop Performance Photo Gallery
Photos: Takashi Okamoto
School Workshop Performances http://www.kodo.or.jp/koryu/index_en.html
Kodo One Earth Tour 2014: Eternity
We had the tour finale of “Kodo One Earth Tour 2014: Eternity” in Niigata on Dec. 25, 2014.
Thank you very much to everyone who came to see our performances on this debut tour. This production was full of challenges for Kodo as an ensemble and all the performers individually due to the limitless theme of “Eternity” under the direction of Tamsaburo Bando; the work was entirely created using brand new compositions with great attention to detail in the way we produce each sound.
This was the debut tour of this programme, but thanks to the warm applause and feedback from our audiences, we were able to improve our performance day by day. We are truly grateful to everyone for their encouragement.
Kodo has a really varied lineup planned for 2015 and we look forward to seeing you all at a theater somewhere in Japan or abroad. The “Eternity” tour will continue in Japan from June and we aim to bring you an even further evolved sound. We will strive to exceed your expectations. See you soon!