My Kodo Discography Pick 06 | Taiyo Onoda: Legend (DVD)

Taiyo Onoda

 

On 2013, “Kodo One Earth Tour: Legend” came to the university I was attending. This was the first time I saw Kodo live. The three back-to-back O-daiko (big drum) performances were highly memorable. I could not make out who was performing since I watched from the third floor, but I remember thinking, “just how many performers are back stage on standby in their fundoshi (loincloth), waiting for their turn…?”

At that time, I was just working on my odaiko solo, so I practiced and composed it by recalling impressions and memories of the performance. Two years later, “Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Mystery” came to the U.S., and I bought this Legend DVD at the venue without hesitation. I watched it many, many times. This production deeply impressed me and showed me that Kodo has some of the best odaiko performers.

 

DVD | Legend

↓Watch trailer

https://www.kodo.or.jp/discography/od009_en.html

↓Buy at Kodo Online Store

http://kodo.shop.multilingualcart.com/goods_en_jpy_76.html

 

My Kodo Discography Pick 02 | Jumpei Nonaka: Irodori (Album)

Jumpei Nonaka (Junior Member)

When I was little, every year when my family went to Earth Celebration we would constantly play this album, Irodori, in our car. According to them, I would keep playing the title track over and over again! (lol)

Photo: koji

Every time I listen to this CD, it brings back those memories of summer and makes me feel nostalgic. So I really love this album.

In fact, I still have and treasure that same CD we were listening on those trips!

Album | Irodori

↓Listen to sample tracks (Japanese webpage)

https://www.kodo.or.jp/discography/cscl1525_ja.html

↓Buy at Kodo Online Store

http://kodo.shop.multilingualcart.com/goods_en_jpy_97.html

My Kodo Discography Pick 04 | Moe Niiyama: Heartbeat Best of KODO 25th Anniversary (Album)

Moe Niiyama

Here’s my recommendation: Heartbeat—Best of Kodo 25th Anniversary!
This album is filled with definitive Kodo pieces.

My dad has been a Kodo fan since way back, and he always had this CD playing in his car. When he drove me to and from taiko practices throughout my childhood, sometimes we’d hum along to the rhythms as we listened to this CD, and sometimes it got us talking about the future.

Even now that I have become a Kodo member, when I listen to this album it reminds of those times in my dad’s car. It’s left a lasting impression on me.

This CD transports me back to the start of my journey!

 

Album | Heartbeat—Best of Kodo 25th Anniversary

 

↓Listen to sample tracks

https://www.kodo.or.jp/discography/sicl155_en.html

↓Buy at Kodo Online Store

http://kodo.shop.multilingualcart.com/goods_en_jpy_6.html

My Kodo Discography Pick 05 | Masayasu Maeda: Mondo Head (Album)

Masayasu Maeda

The album I recommend is Mondo Head.

When I was a senior high school student, I listened to it almost everyday on my way to and from school. This album completed changed my definition of wadaiko (Japanese taiko drumming) and made me think “Wadaiko is music!” for the first time. That’s obvious to me now, and I credit Mondo Head for that redefining moment.

Mondo Head is a collaborative work with amazing percussionists from around the world. I can’t get enough of their approach to music, the range of their instruments, the freedom of their sound, and all that improv! Though it was recorded almost 20 years ago, it’s forever new.

If I ever hit a creative wall, I listen to this album and it reminds me of all the things we can do with taiko.

 


Two of my favorite tracks are Kashira and Daraijin.

Kashira because, well, that insane groove gets me every time! (lol)
I know Kodo’s played it on tour in the past. I want to play it, too!

And Daraijin because it drew me to tabla and its broad range of tones.

I want to create music that will still be good when I listen to it in 20 years time. Music that taiko players will envy 20 years from now!

Album | Mondo Head

↓Listen to sample tracks (Japanese webpage)

https://www.kodo.or.jp/discography/sicp1_ja.html

↓Buy at Kodo Online Store

http://kodo.shop.multilingualcart.com/goods_en_jpy_86.html

My Kodo Discography Pick 01 | Mitsuru Ishizuka: Akatsuki (Album) and Honoka (DVD)

In the lead up to Kodo’s 40th anniversary in 2021, we looked back over the many works our group has released to date. Each Kodo member will introduce their personal pick (or picks) in this blog series over the weeks ahead.

Mitsuru Ishizuka 


I recommend Kodo’s Akatsuki album and Honoka DVD!

Both of these were recorded in 2010–2011 as special works to commemorate Kodo’s 30th anniversary.

I remember that time as a really tough one.

The entire Kodo ensemble seemed to feel bound by the invisible shackles of its 30 years of history, which had an indescribable oppressiveness on us. And in early 2011, the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami struck. So it was also a period which made us question our reason for doing what we do.

At that complex time, I think each Kodo member was hanging in there, struggling to make it through by focusing on the fundamentals: taiko, their own playing, and the people waiting for Kodo’s tours and concerts.

That led to the emergence of an array of really simple, bold, powerful compositions, which were captured in these recordings.

Akatsuki and Honoka are both works that might feel rather rough, raw, and more rugged that Kodo’s previous works… I think that’s due to an overflow of all the energy we poured in. Our struggles added to our power, so I think that made the works interesting and well worth a listen. (lol)

I hope you’ll enjoy my picks!

Album | Akatsuki

↓Listen to sample tracks

https://www.kodo.or.jp/discography/od006_en.html

↓Buy at Kodo Online Store

http://kodo.shop.multilingualcart.com/goods_en_jpy_75.html

DVD | Honoka

↓Watch trailer

https://www.kodo.or.jp/discography/od007_en.html

↓Buy at Kodo Online Store

http://kodo.shop.multilingualcart.com/goods_en_jpy_68.html


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