We are excited to announce the release of our new digital album, Kodo Together — Part 3: Tsuzumi. Co-curated by Pitch & Sync and Kodo, this work features the music from Tsuzumi, our 40th Anniversary One Earth Tour production that is currently touring in Europe.
Whether you have seen the performance live already or still looking forward to it, we really hope you’ll enjoy this tracklist from start to finish. It’s a journey that captures Kodo’s past, present and future to a T.
From Pitch & Sync
The third and final act in the Kodo Together trilogy, which again demonstrates their capacity to redefine rhythmic possibility. Where the first two records showcased Kodo’s rhythmic explorations with an eclectic cast of collaborators – this one centres around their own compositions. Past and present.
Tsuzumi, recorded live on Sado Island, successfully traces the origins, details the experiences, and outlines the beginnings of a new chapter in the fabled Kodo story. Classic tracks like ‘O-Daiko’ and ‘Yatai-bayashi’, form the main body of the record – the pillars of Kodo. The sparkling recordings breathe new life into the work. Suspended Disbelief’s re-working of Maki Ishii’s masterpiece ‘Monochrome’ closes the record. An understated, meditative but no less expressive techno tribute to one of the greats.
From the Tsuzumi Concert Programme
The theme of this work is our home base, Sado Island. It’s where it all began almost half a century ago, when young people enchanted by the resonance of taiko gathered here to form our precursor, Sado no Kuni Ondekoza. As we reflect on our history, we hope we can connect the future of our group to its roots through this programme.
This year, due to the spread of COVID-19, our Europe Tour was suspended in March. This was followed by our upcoming performances being canceled across the board. We were forced to stop all our core activities, including our practices on Sado. The series of unprecedented events that unfolded made my head spin. At that time, our biggest drums—the mighty Odaiko—sat beautifully enshrined in our quiet rehearsal hall. Even without making a sound, they have a powerful presence that radiates outward. Our taiko were made from living things: trees that were centuries old, and hides from cows. They were created by skilled craftspeople. So if you listen carefully, you can hear sounds of life thanks to them, even when no one is in our rehearsal hall. I think their presence calmed me during those silent months.
All of us at Kodo want to make sure our mission continues into the future. We have started to resume our activities, little by little. We are creating sound again and seeking new forms of expression. Our rehearsal hall is echoing with the sound of taiko and other instruments. When we all came together to start rehearsing again, our sound was brimming with energy. That sound and energy came from the half century of history behind our group. I felt that. And I was deeply moved by that power.
Director / Leader of Kodo Taiko Performing Arts Ensemble
Written in Nov. 2020
Kodo Together — Part 3: Tsuzumi Tracklist
- Kono Mine no | Composed by Yoko Fujimoto (2003)
- Hitohi | Composed by Masayasu Maeda (2019)
- Hayate | Composed by Leo Ikenaga (2020)
- Uchoten | Composed by Yuki Hirata (2019)
- Ayumi | Composed by Yuta Sumiyoshi (2020)
- Izumogaku | Traditional, arranged by Kodo
- O-daiko | Traditional, arranged by Kodo and Mitsuru Ishizuka
- Yatai-bayashi | Traditional, arranged by Kodo
- Tomorrow | Composed by Mitsuru Ishizuka (2011)
- Monochrome (Free your mind and your heart will follow) | Composed by Maki Ishii (1976), arranged by Suspended Disbelief
Kodo Together Part 1 and Part 2 featured collaborations with artists from around the world.