“Kodo One Earth Tour: Eternity” Cast Interviews
“Kodo One Earth Tour: Eternity”
We are proud to present the third work directed by artistic director Tamasaburo Bando: an evolutionary performance entitled “Eternity.” This production will premiere on Sado Island in November and tour around the major cities in Japan from late November through December. During their intense rehearsals, we interviewed two of the cast members: Mitsuru Ishizuka and Tsuyoshi Maeda.
Interviewees: Mitsuru Ishizuka, Tsuyoshi Maeda
Photos: Takashi Okamoto
From Monthly Japanese Newsletter “Kodo” Vol. 337 issued in July, 2014
When I was mulling over the theme of eternity, it occurred to me that “the workings of nature” unfold in spiral patterns. By enumerating “the workings of nature,” maybe we could express “eternity.” Strictly speaking there probably is no such thing as “eternity,” but as things that are connected to it, there’s dawn, light, rain, wind, clouds, waves, stars, dusk, the night sky, and amongst all these, I saw “human beings.”
The Beginnings of the Third Work by our Artistic Director
The creation of this production started without any plan or scenario: it began with the words, “So, what shall we do?” So, it felt new, scary, and exhilarating. We have been working with Tamasaburo Bando for more than ten years, it has been three years since he became our artistic director, and at last we reached a point where we could create a programme with him from scratch. I think Kodo has entered into new territory and this production will be an unprecedented taiko concert.
A Multitude of Musical Instruments
Kodo is primarily a group that gives concerts that let audiences listen to taiko. But I think the productions directed by Tamasaburo, first “Legend” and then “Mystery,” used taiko and performing arts as a base and then added more visual elements to create concerts for audiences to watch.
I feel that his third programme, “Eternity,” simply depicts human beings, rather than being a “concert” or a “show.” Because of that, there are less pieces where we play taiko with all our might, and more pieces with all kinds of small instruments, which we use express our various emotions. With a multitude of instruments, we portray a range of scenes such as having a conversation, taking a nap, and falling rain.
When I first heard the name “Eternity,” I thought the scale of the theme was so big. But now, in a sense, I think this is going to be our most human, life-sized performance to date.
New Eternity-Themed Pieces
For me, the first thing that sprung to mind as a motif was “nature.” The concept of eternity is hard for me to grasp, but it made me things that create a span like the workings of nature. It also made me think of “time.” Music that loops and creates a trance also creates that sort of span, so this production features new pieces with those kinds of repetitive rhythms. I composed a piece for Eternity called Yogiri (Night Fog), which is played by intently beating the taiko and playing bonang (Indonesian percussion instruments) and rin gongs (Buddhist bells). I created it with the hope that even when this piece ends, it feels like it carries on; even when the sound ends, the musical realm lingers eternally.
Many of the other pieces composed by Kodo members for this programme were also melody-based. I guess that is because we all were trying to express nature and scenery. Perhaps “eternity” makes us all imagine something enormous that cannot be expressed just by looping rhythms. For me, the word “eternity” conjures such a massive image, so it’s hard to comprehend it and connect it to more concrete ideas. It is really difficult to find answers when I start pondering the question, “What is eternity?”
Nov. 20 (Thu) Amusement Sado, Sado Is., Niigata
Nov. 30 (Sun) City Hall Plaza “Aore Nagaoka,” Nagaoka, Niigata
–”Heartbeat Project” Special Version–
Dec. 2 (Tue) Muza Kawasaki Symphony Hall, Kawasaki, Kanagawa
Dec. 4 (Thu) Aichi Prefectural Arts Theater Concert Hall, Nagoya, Aichi
Dec. 6 (Sat) & 7 (Sun) NHK Osaka Hall, Osaka City
Dec. 10 (Wed) Okayama Civic Hall, Okayama City
Dec. 12 (Fri) Ueno Gakuen Hall, Hiroshima City
Dec. 15 (Mon) & 16 (Tue) Hakataza Theater, Fukuoka City
Dec. 19 (Fri)–23 (Tue/Public Hol.) Bunkyo Civic Hall, Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo
Dec. 25 (Thu) Niigata Prefectural Civic Center, Niigata City