Posts by Kodo Members
On May 31, Mr. Arata Iura came to Kodo Village while he was holidaying on Sado Island.
He is an actor and model who has his own design brand “Elnest Creative Activity,” a man of many talents, and one of his hobbies is photography. So we showed him to our rehearsal hall and played Yatai-bayashi and O-daiko for him while he enthusiastically took photos of us drumming.
I said to him, “Since you’ve come all this way, would you like to play taiko?” and he had a go at playing both Yatai-bayashi and O-daiko!
Mr. Iura gave us a signed copy of his book, “Iura Arata no Bijutsu Tanken” (Arata Iura’s Fine Arts Exploration).
We gave a Workshop Performance at Myoko Junior High School in Niigata Prefecture.
This school had a great feeling about it… and you could see beautiful snowy mountains from the gymnasium windows.
The children were carefree and energetic and they enjoyed playing taiko during the “Taiko Experience Corner” of the programme.
The sound of their taiko really energized us, making it a memorable performance.
It was fun!
Photos: Takashi Okamoto
Kodo School Workshop Performances
We are preparing for July’s “DADAN” performances in Spain and France!
We have a fresh new cast and new pieces on the program, too!
Presented by an all-male cast of eleven performers, DADAN awaits you this summer in Europe!
España y Francia, esperen la gran presentación que les traeremos.
Nous vous attendons avec joie et impatience pour nos spectacles en Espagne et en France!
I was still a junior member the last time I came to Takamatsu in Kagawa on the “One Earth Tour.” In those early days, I was just frantically playing taiko, clinging tight to every lesson the Kodo members were teaching me. So coming back to Kagawa to perform again, about two years on, made me wonder deep down how much I have grown as a performer since last time.
I had the opportunity to write some of the music for the production we are presenting this time, “Mystery.” I write songs using fragments of pieces I composed when I lived in Kagawa and mixing them with new inspiration that came to me after I moved to Sado Island. Through this production, featuring these pieces, I hope that others can see how much I have grown and how much change I have been able to embody. I also hope people can sense something constant in me, a base within me that doesn’t change.
Before I went to Sado Island (to become a Kodo apprentice), I played taiko every day with my childhood friends, somewhat uncertain about the right way to play. I left my childhood friends, went to Sado Island alone to join Kodo, and now I’m playing taiko professionally.
After the performance in Takamatsu, a teacher, who has watched over me growing up since I was really young, said to me, “No matter how great of a pro taiko player you’ve become, your songs still haven’t changed since you were a junior high school student. Even if the melodies and rhythms are different, your taste remains throughout the composition. It’s nostalgic and I’m happy about that.” To have someone who had worked on polishing my musicianship for over 10 years say those words to me, I was so happy I could cry and at the same time I felt determined to aim even higher and work to become a person that everyone to whom I am indebted would be proud of.
Our performance in Kagawa was a chance for me to feel the warmth of my home region, and to take a new look at my own hopes and intentions.
Keikei, composed by Yuta Sumiyoshi
Photos: Takashi Okamoto
May 6, 2014
Finale of “Kodo Special Performances on Sado Island 2014: Spring”
The Kodo Special Performances began at the same time as Golden Week, our national holiday period, and many people came to see our performances every day, right up until the finale. This special concert featured the Kodo Distinguished Members, veteran members, my fellow junior members, and Kodo apprentices. I have respected the senior members of Kodo for a long time, so being able to take the stage with them and cheer on the odaiko (big drum) performers is an experience I will treasure for the rest of my life.
On the final day, I was filled with emotion and I could barely contain my tears. I will play taiko harder every single day trying to follow in the footsteps of the veteran Kodo members.
We are looking forward to seeing everyone again this fall!
I hope you will come and enjoy walking around the traditional, quaint village of Shukunegi and I really hope you will come to Shukunegi Community Hall to see the next series of Kodo Special Performances!
Photos: Satoko Maeda
May 8 Workshop & Mini Live Performance in Kushima, Miyazaki
I am from Kushima City so I know the cultural hall there, Kushima-shi Bunka Kaikan, very well. When I lived here, I never imagined that one day I would appear on this stage as a member of Kodo, so today my dream came true.
For the workshop, we were joined by children from four taiko groups. At first, they looked shy taking part with new people and in front of the audience. But Yosuke led them with his unique talk and passionate taiko sound, and after a while the audience started to laugh and the participants loosened up. They played taiko with all their might, trying hard to create sound together as one.
It was a very meaningful day for me to bring the sound of a Kodo performance to the locals in my hometown.
Today is May 16, the first day of performances for the spring “Workshop Performance” tour!
Today we have two performances in Ishinomaki in Miyagi Prefecture. We are presenting a special programme, which includes “Heartbeat Project” piece Island of the Shining Sun.
Now, we are resting between the first and second performances. It was raining this morning and the humidity has made the tone of the hiraoke odaiko (flat, roped big drum) quite low, so we are going to retune it tightly, ready for the second performance!
Kodo Website | Heartbeat Project
May 16 Kodo Workshop Performance (Ishinomaki, Miyagi)
We gave a “Workshop Performance” at the Ishinomaki-shi Kahoku Sogo Center in Miyagi Prefecture.
Ishinomaki was greatly damaged by the 2011 Tohoku Pacific Earthquake. Kodo had held performances in Ishinomaki prior to the disaster, and we were happy to be able to perform here once more. The smiles and cheers from the audience who gathered to watch us gave us a power boost, so we put all that power into the sound of our taiko.
After the performance, an aquaintance said to us “Please do come back and give another performance in Ishinomaki.” We look forward to returning here and seeing everyone in Ishinomaki, happy and well.
Our next Workshop Performance is in Tokai, Aichi. We hope to see you there!
Last week, we practiced hard for the coming Workshop Performances.
Two new junior members, Ryoma Tsurumi & Ryosuke Inada have joined our cast and the performance has become even more powerful. We will perform some new pieces that we have never played on the “One Earth Tour” stage. We look forward to seeing you at one of the public performance venues!
I will lead a “Taiko Clinic” workshop in Tokai, which is junior member Ryoma’s hometown.
May 16 (Fri), 2014 Kodo Workshop Performance (Ishinomaki, Miyagi)
May 24 (Sat), 2014 Taiko Clinic (Workshops) (Tokai, Aichi)
May 25 (Sun), 2014 Kodo Workshop Performance (Tokai, Aichi)
June 15 (Sun), 2014 Kodo Appearances “CoCoLo Early Summer Festa” (Niigata City)
We had a rehearsal today for the upcoming “School Workshop Performances.”
From June, we will give numerous “School Workshop Performances” at elementary schools in Niigata City.
I will be the instructor for the taiko workshop segment.
So, kids, let’s play and enjoy taiko together!
In these pictures, I am teaching the Kodo members, who are playing the role of students in our rehearsal, how to hold the drumsticks.
Two new junior members are with us in the cast. It’ll be an energetic tour!
Kids, see you all soon!