The “Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Mystery” North America Tour is about to begin. This production premiered in Japan in December 2013 and it has just set off on its first tour abroad. We are really looking forward to seeing how the audiences in the USA and Canada react to this new programme.
Last year, we released the music from “Mystery” as an album, which captures the work in another unique light. The composers created new arrangements of their stage pieces especially for the album, which we then recorded at Kodo Village.
Each performer took great care to pack each and every sound with feeling. We hope you will enjoy the album, as a fresh look at the music from this “One Earth Tour” stage performance.
“Mystery” is available from Kodo performance venues, Kodo Online Store, iTunes, CD Baby, and Amazon MP3.
【Listen to Track Samples Online】Discography | Mystery
【Purchase CD】Kodo Online Store
【”Kodo One Earth Tour: Mystery” Preview】YouTube
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!
Thank you for your patience! Kodo original chappa (cymbals) are back in stock and now available from Kodo Online Store!
Our chappa are made by craftsmen in Niigata who use a special metal-spinning technique. The rings are cut from a metal cylinder so they don’t have any joins. Each ring is attached to the chappa by hand, which we do ourselves with great pride, checking the tone and fine tuning them as required to make them function and sound just right.
Kodo Original Chappa (5 (go)-sun size) http://kodo.shop.multilingualcart.com/goods_en_jpy_5.html
DVD “Legend” and CD “Mystery” are now on sale, too! Please browse through our lineup at the Kodo Online Store!
Kodo “Legend” http://kodo.shop.multilingualcart.com/goods_en_jpy_76.html
Kodo “Mystery” http://kodo.shop.multilingualcart.com/goods_en_jpy_77.html
Kodo Online Store
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.
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
In 2015, our schedule is action-packed with an array of performances in Japan: “Kodo One Earth Tour: Eternity,” Kodo Special Concert “Michi,” “Kodo Special Performances on Sado Island,” encore performances of “Amaterasu,” “DADAN 2015” performances in Tokyo, and of course, “Earth Celebration on Sado Island.” Also, “Kodo One Earth Tour: Mystery” will tour in North America in early 2015. We hope to see you all somewhere soon!
Kodo 2015 Special Concert “Michi”
Ever since our ensemble’s first encounter with Tamasaburo Bando over a decade ago, Kodo has set its sights on new heights of expression. In this performance, we will present our quest for many years, a special “world of taiko,” through an array of Kodo’s signature pieces from the nineties.
Mar. 19 (Thu)–20 (Fri), 2015 KAAT Kanagawa Arts Theatre Main Hall, Yokohama, Kanagawa
Director: Motofumi Yamaguchi
Appearing: Kodo (Eiichi Saito, Tomohiro Mitome, Tomohiro Mitome, Mitsuru Ishizuka, Kenta Nakagome, Tsuyoshi Maeda, Rai Tateishi, others)
Programme (TBC): Zoku, Jang-Gwara, Chonlima, Michi, Shamisen, Monochrome, Miyake, Sankan Shion, Yamauta, O-daiko, Yatai-bayashi
Kodo Special Performances on Sado Island 2015: Spring
The Special Performances, centered around Kodo’s Distinguished Members, take place at Shukunegi Community Hall, a retro playhouse in the heart of the traditional village of Shukunegi. This picturesque settlement is classified as one of Japan’s “Important Traditional Building Preservation Areas.”
Apr. 25 (Sat), 26 (Sun), May 2 (Sat)–5 (Tue/Public Hol.), 2015 Shukunegi Community Hall, Ogi Peninsula, Sado Island, Niigata
Appearing: Kodo (Yoshikazu Fujimoto, Chieko Kojima, Motofumi Yamaguchi, Eiichi Saito, Tomohiro Mitome, & others)
“Amaterasu” will return for encore performances in 2015 at Osaka’s Shochiku-za Theatre!
May 3 (Sun)–26 (Tue), 2015 *No performances on May 7 & 14 Osaka Shochiku-za Theatre, Osaka City
Director: Tamasaburo Bando
Appearing: Tamasaburo Bando, Kodo
Special Appearance: Harei Aine
Kodo “DADAN 2015”
“DADAN,” meaning “drumming men,” was designed by Tamasaburo Bando as a simultaneously raw and refined performance that features solely young male Kodo performers in a bold exploration of percussion instruments. We hope you will join us for the ever-evolving DADAN performances in June 2015, exclusively at Asakusa Public Hall in Tokyo.
June 10 (Wed)–15 (Mon), 2015 Asakusa Public Hall, Taito Ward, Tokyo
Director: Tamasaburo Bando
※Pre-orders available at the Dec. 19–23 performances of “Kodo One Earth Tour 2014: Eternity” at Bunkyo Civic Hall, Tokyo.
Earth Celebration 2015
The Shiroyama Concerts, outdoor festival Earth Celebration’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. What better place to celebrate the earth?
Aug. 21 (Fri) -23 (Sun), 2015 Ogi, Sado Is., Niigata
Further details will be announced in May 2015.
Dec. 1, 2014
Hello, everyone. This is Tomohiro Mitome, leader of taiko performing arts ensemble Kodo.
It’s December now and there is some snow up on top of Sado’s highest peak, Mt. Kimpoku. However, the end of this year is somewhat warmer than usual.
While it may be a little early, I would like to take the time now to look back over this past year for Kodo.
At the beginning of 2014, “Kodo One Earth Tour 2014: Legend” set off on its European tour while soloists & small-group projects held performances around Japan.
In spring, we had “Kodo One Earth Tour: Mystery” performances, a “Workshop Performance” tour, and “Kodo Special Performances on Sado Island,” as well as various small-group projects, all here in Japan.
In June, we held “Mystery” performances for five days at Asakusa Public Hall in Tokyo. It was our second time to give a series of performances there and once again, it was a great success. This time, we were able to deepen the bond between Kodo and the locals in Asakusa even further. We really appreciate their support.
In July, the School Workshop Performance tour members performed “DADAN” in Europe, which featured new pieces in a power-packed programme. We have been running two separate tours simultaneously for some time now, but this was the first time for us to perform two programmes directed by Tamasaburo Bando at the same time. This experience gave both the Kodo members and staff new-found confidence.
Then in August, we had our summer festival “Earth Celebration” here at home on Sado Island.
On the first night, all 32 Kodo members appeared on the Shiroyama Concert stage together. Ranging from junior members to Distinguished Members, this is the largest Kodo cast to ever take the stage at one time. The number of Kodo performers has been on the rise in recent years, but it is very rare for us to all perform together. The newest members brought their youthful energy, the veteran members brought their well-honed skills, and from the rehearsals to the stage, we all had a great time learning from each other and stimulating each other creatively.
It was wonderful to reaffirm our connection through taiko, regardless of generation. I think the audience must have felt the depth of our 30+ years of history through our performance.
On the second night, we welcomed guest artist “BLUE TOKYO,” a group of highly-trained, physically-honed rhythmic gymnasts.
On the third day, we were joined by guest artist “DAZZLE,” a creative dance ensemble, and former “Blue Hearts” drummer Tetsuya Kajiwara. Through these collaborations, we aimed to create new fusions and forms of expression, beyond any particular genre.
In the fall, we had some cast changes before setting off on two domestic tours: “Kodo One Earth Tour: Mystery” and the “School Workshop Performance” tour. Here at home, we held more “Kodo Special Performances on Sado Island,” featuring our veteran members, who also gave performances around Japan as soloists or with small-group projects. Fall marked the final performances in Japan for production “Mystery.” Thank you very much to everyone who came along to see it! Next, this production will tour around North America in 2015.
In November, the members regrouped to rehearse for two new productions: “Kodo One Earth Tour: Eternity” and a newly-directed “School Workshop Performance” tour. On Nov. 20, “Eternity” had its premiere performance on Sado Island.
All of the pieces featured in this production are brand new and a high-level of performance technique and expression is required of the entire cast. Audiences will surely feel first-hand the brand new step than Kodo has taken in stage expression through this programme.
Both of our year-end tours will last for a month. When we are at a theater near you, please come along to see us! We look forward to sharing our new programmes with you all.
I’m sure this is a busy time of year for you, too, but I hope that you can take some time to relax and enjoy ending your year with us and the sound of our taiko.
Kodo will release a brand new album, “Mystery,” on Dec. 19 (Fri). This studio recording captures the essence of the stage production “Kodo One Earth Tour: Mystery,” directed by Tamasaburo Bando.
All eight tracks are original compositions, each one a piercing ray of light from within a sacred world of darkness. We hope this album takes you on a voyage to the extraordinary, to a mysterious realm that lies in the beyond. Sit back, close your eyes, and let the sound of “Mystery” conjure a wondrous world deep within your mind, where darkness & light intersect and stillness & movement entwine.
Kodo Discography | Mystery
Samples of all tracks available on this page.
Available from Kodo performances venues and Kodo Online Store from Dec. 19.
Oct. 12, 2014
I am writing this blog post on my day off in Saitama Prefecture. On our days off, we all go about our normal daily lives.
Me? Well, I went for a bit of a run this morning and right now I am at laundromat, watching the tumble-dryer do its thing. Our tours always get so hectic, so times like this to chill and stare off into space are unexpectedly precious. Ideas for new taiko pieces often come to me at times like this.
So, today I would like to talk about what I think is most important when I compose pieces.
When I create a new piece, I always make it thinking about incorporating a moment that will move the audience listening or watching and give them goosebumps. I do not know if “goosebumps” is the best expression, but hope you can kind of get what I mean by that…
I think this sensation of goosebumps, or chills, is something that everyone feels, regardless of their own personal preferences or cultural background.
Such different music, impossible to list, is scattered around the world, and to me good music always has a moment somewhere that gives people goosebumps. I think there are various things that move us in music, like the distinct characteristics of the musical instruments, development throughout the piece leading up to that moment, phrasing, and so on. On the other hand, sometimes I think these moments are related to the certain charms of the performers who bring the music to life.
To create music, I think it is also very important to study musical elements and their cultural background. Then, we can recreate new pieces by filtering those elements through our own sensibilities.