Tag ‘Yuichiro Funabashi’
Hello, everyone. This is Yuichiro Funabashi. I hope this message finds you all well.
Since late January, a young cast of 17 Kodo performers has been touring throughout Europe with “Kodo One Earth Tour 2016: Mystery.” The production gains shape and depth with each tour and there has been a great response in Europe to this performance.
I was here in Japan at the end of January and I took part in a collaboration in Kyushu with Yufuin Genryu Daiko called “Kodo × Genryu Daiko in Japan Taiko Premium Concert 2016 ‘Utsu.'” The members of Yufuin Genryu Daiko all have different jobs as their main occupation and they do their taiko training diligently around their work schedules. I learned so much from the sound they created and their passion. From the rehearsals right through to the after party, we had such an enjoyable, enriching time together. It was a wonderful concert which seamlessly featured professional and amateur taiko players together. Also, all four Kodo Distinguished members appeared in this performance, so it was a valuable experience for me to reaffirm their powerful presence and the importance of continuing to perform and hone your skills.
Then I went on a research trip to Hanoi in Vietnam for about a week in the middle of February. The population of rapidly-developing Vietnam is about to exceed 100 million people and I heard that the country’s current state resembles Japan’s rapid economic growth in the past. But with an average age of twenty-something, the most striking thing I noticed while I was in Vietnam was the people’s enthusiasm and youth.
On this trip we were searching for new ideas for our summer festival,”Earth Celebration” (EC), and we had so many wonderful encounters during our time in Vietnam. Their situation is complex due to the politics, economy, and history, and I’m sure many people have difficulties that we couldn’t see just by looking. But their pride and love for their performing arts was obvious. I was so deeply impressed by the musicians we met and the resolute way they live their lives. Before this trip I had never had the opportunity to encounter Vietnamese music and while it was a short stay, I was captivated by the diverse music and sounds of Vietnam, as well as the warm people we met there.
This summer, we hope to share some of this music with you at EC. We have almost decided on the guest artists to invite to Japan and the program that we will share with everyone at the festival. Kodo will share updates with you as they become available. I sincerely hope you will all join us so we can create a new-look EC together. Last year we welcomed Suar Agung from Indonesia to EC, and this year we look forward to hosting guests from another country in Asia. I am sure it will be a fruitful experience for all of us.
▲Unpacking & setting up at a theater in Brazil
This month, I went to Brazil with the “DADAN 2016” tour. I constantly feel grateful for the wonderful encounters I have in Japan and around the world through my activities with Kodo.
This month marked five years since the Tohoku Pacific Earthquake. While it may not be much, I do believe that as performers, as taiko players, we should all think carefully about what we can do to help, and put our hearts into it, as we continue our performances throughout Japan and worldwide.
It is now 2016, a milestone year for Kodo in which we celebrate our group’s 35th anniversary.
This past year flew by, and when I look back I remember an array of powerful performances: “Mystery,” “Michi,” “Eternity,” “Amaterasu,” “DADAN,” and “Chaos.” I also think of the “School Workshop Performances” and “Special Performances on Sado Island,” as well as various collaborative efforts such as “Earth Celebration,” “Mono-Prism,” the ballet “Kaguyahime,” and our performances on the Indonesian island of Bali.
In “Chaos,” the fourth production by Artistic Director Tamasaburo Bando, we were challenged to explore new forms of expression such as incorporating three drum kits into our performance. By learning and experimenting, we felt the inevitable need to understand ourselves on a deeper level. Through this production, we were able to gain a true sense of just how far Kodo’s stage expression has evolved.
During our rehearsals for “Chaos,” Tamasaburo told us: “I always give my all in every moment. I concentrate on right now, and I still do. By always giving my all ‘right now,’ time has flown, and here I am today.” Hearing a man like him say this — a man who has spent over half a century in the performing arts — made me realize once again that Kodo must practice complete devotion to each and every moment. The sound of our taiko must resonate even further as we face the future — fifty years from now, one hundred years from now, or beyond.
This year we have a wide range of performances planned, including both new works and encore tours. We will seek new challenges through endeavors such as the Kodo Sado Island Performances in Shukunegi, three unique nights at Suntory Hall, “Spirited Summer” at Asakusa Public Hall, the “Kodo One Earth Tour: Spiral” performances, and a new look for Sado’s outdoor festival “Earth Celebration.”
As we reflect on Kodo’s mission statement and history, I hope that by experiencing our performances and feeling our sound, you will join us in the “now.” I look forward to that moment, and kindly ask for your continued support and encouragement.
Taiko Performing Arts Ensemble “Kodo”
Kodo Members Record Music for New BoBA Short Film
“DRUMMANz (The Unexpected Happening of Stick)”
The trailer has just been released for a new short film directed by BoBA (Yohji Tanaka) called “DRUMMANz (The Unexpected Happening of Stick),” starring Flower Companyz drummer Mr. Konishi. It also features drummers Tatsuya Nakamura and Steve Eto.
▶︎Watch on YouTube https://youtu.be/AO-OBMNGrWg
This short film is one of four made to shine a light on the local area surrounding Cinema Skhole in Nagoya.
The director approached Kodo and asked us to provide some music for the soundtrack, which we recorded at our rehearsal hall on Sado Island. Yuichiro Funabashi composed the music and performed it for the recording with Mitsuru Ishizuka and Masayuki Sakamoto.
Recording at Kodo Village for the soundtrack
Short Film “DRUMMANz (The Unexpected Happening of Stick)”
Director /Script Writer /Editor: BoBA (Yohji Tanaka)
Featuring: Mr. Konishi, Tatsuya Nakamura, Steve Eto, Flower Companyz, Tadahisa Fujimura, & others
Cinematographer: Rokuro Terada
Sound Engineer: Kenji Sakaue
Lighting Designer: Ken Horiguchi
Art Director: Koji Nagasawa
Music by: Flower Companyz, Kodo (Yuiichiro Funabashi, Mitsuru Ishizuka, Masayuki Sakamoto), Shleeps
Behind the Scenes, Episode 1
The third piece on the “Eternity” programme is called Gosui and it features Yuichiro Funabashi center stage playing an instrument that Kodo received from Suar Agung, the past Earth Celebration guest artist group from Indonesia who will return to the EC stage this year. Before the rehearsals began for “Eternity,” this instrument was on display in the entrance to the main building at Kodo Village… and the composition evolved from the idea of playing it to see what sound it would create.
Recorded: Live at Bunkyo Civic Hall, Tokyo, Japan, on December 21 & 22, 2014.
Price: Blu-ray: 6,000 yen (tax inc.) / DVD: 5,000 yen (tax inc.)
Kodo Discography http://www.kodo.or.jp/discography/index_en.html
Kodo Online Store
“Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Eternity” Japan Tour (June–July, Sep.–Oct.)
[June–July] Kanagawa, Saitama, Gunma, Chiba, Osaka, Nagano, Kyoto, Ehime, Hiroshima
[Sep. Oct.] Chiba, Ibaraki, Miyagi, Yamagata, Iwate, Akita, Shizuoka, Aichi, Hyogo, Tottori, Yamaguchi, Fukuoka, Kagoshima
Radio Nippon “Mine Ryuta no Minesta”
Today Yuichiro Funabashi and Masayuki Sakamoto made a live appearance on Radio Nippon’s weekday morning program “Mine Ryuta no Minesta” during the “Talk with Mr. Mine” corner. Thank you very much to everyone who tuned in! We hope you’ll come to hear them perform live at a theater sometime soon, too!
With radio personalities Ryuta Mine (far right) and Ai Handa (far left)
Live performance of SHAKE
▼For more about today’s appearance, have a look at the radio program’s blog (in Japanese).
“Mine Ryuta no Minesta” Program Blog
Photos courtesy of Radio Nippon
June 2015 “DADAN” in Asakusa, Tokyo
June–July, Sep.–Oct. 2015 “Kodo One Earth Tour: Eternity” Japan Tour
[Live Radio Appearance] May 27 (Wed) on Radio Nippon “Mine Ryuta no Minesta”
On May 27 (Wed), Kodo’s Yuichiro Funabashi and Masayuki Sakamoto will make a live appearance on Radio Nippon’s weekday morning program “Mine Ryuta no Minesta” during the “Talk with Mr. Mine” corner, from around 10:00 am for approx. 20 mins.
You can listen to “Mine Ryuta no Minesta” for free in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama, Ibaraki, Tochigi, and Gunma.
For details on how to tune in, please see here: http://www.jorf.co.jp/LISTEN/ (Japanese information only)
Appearance on TV Kanagawa “tvk Arigato” (Thanks tvk)
On Mar. 18 (Wed) at around 13:10, Kodo will appear live on TV program “tvk Arigato.” If you live in Kanagawa, we hope you’ll tune in!
Program Website: http://www3.tvk-yokohama.com/arigato/
This week we have two Kodo 2015 Special Concert “Michi” performances in Yokohama, on Mar. 19 & 20!
These two performances are almost completely sold out. If you want to see “Michi,” don’t delay! Call for your tickets today!
Inquiries: tvk Ticket Counter Tel. 0570-00-3117 (Weekdays 10:00–18:00) http://www.tvkcom.net/
▶Watch on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1N2ME9rH4E
Mar. 19 (Thu)–20 (Fri), 2015 Yokohama, Kanagawa
Director: Motofumi Yamaguchi
Performers: Eiichi Saito, Tomohiro Mitome, Yuichiro Funabashi, Mitsuru Ishizuka, Kenta Nakagome, Tsuyoshi Maeda, Rai Tateishi, Maya Minowa, Ryosuke Inada, Reo Kitabayashi, Masaya Koike, Mizuki Yoneyama (Cast subject to change)
Programme: Zoku, Jang-Gwara, Chonlima, Michi, Shamisen, Monochrome, Miyake, Sankan Shion, Yamauta, O-daiko, Yatai-bayashi
Tickets Now on Sale for “DADAN 2015”!
Tickets for the upcoming Kodo “DADAN 2015” performances in Asakusa, Tokyo, are on sale now.
Here is a message from Yuichiro Funabashi about “DADAN 2015.” (In Japanese)
Kodo “DADAN 2015” Performances
June 10 (Wed)–15 (Mon), 2015 Asakusa Public Hall, Taito Ward, Tokyo
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!
Photos: Takashi Okamoto
The latest issue of “SWITCH” magazine (Oct. 20) features interviews with cast members Yuichiro Funabashi and Masayuki Sakamoto about Kodo’s upcoming production, “Kodo One Earth Tour: Eternity.” (Article in Japanese/On sale in Japan) If you’re in Japan, we hope you’ll take a look.
Switch Official Website
Switch Vol. 32 No.11 Ringo Shina “Musician’s Counterattack”
(Published on October 20, 2014 by Switch Publishing)
Kodo “A New Style of Freedom”
“Two years have passed since Tamasaburo Bando assumed the role of Kodo’s artistic director. We snuck into the Kodo rehearsal hall, amidst an air of supple intensity.”