“My Composition for the New Kodo Taiko School ‘Body Mechanics for O-daiko Expression’ Course” by Kenta Nakagome

I wanted to share some of my preparation and ideas for the upcoming Kodo Taiko School course I’ll be teaching from April: Body Mechanics for O-daiko Expression with Kenta Nakagome. Applications close very soon, so if you’re planning to take part, please sign up by March 31 (Japan time).

When I started planning this course, we decided I should create an O-daiko piece that everyone can play together. So I’ve been working on that since last year. As I travel the world, I’ve been thinking about the imagery for this piece. I wanted it to be something people who gather from a range of different places could all have in mind as they play, and something that was fun to play together.

I love the sea. When I’m on Sado Island, I’m always looking at the sea.

And when the towns I visit on my travels have a beach or river, that makes me so happy. I feel really good when I think about how the sea and rivers here and there and Sado Island are all connected. When we send the O-daiko to Europe for our tours (I’m in Europe now), we use sea freight. The ship sails across different oceans to foreign lands, far, far away from Sado Island, and I get to play that taiko. It makes me think that the world feels connected by the power of water. When I was reflecting on that, I thought I’d like to try turning water journeys into sound.

Another theme of this upcoming course is the body, which is made up of a lot of water, too.

Water ties people to nature and land.

During this course, the participants will tune into the unique characteristics of their body and channel the sound of a drop of water from somewhere in the world that flows into a river and takes its own journey out into a vast ocean. I’m already excited just thinking about the sound that awaits us based on that idea.

My composition notebook. I add drawings as I explore the imagery.

I’d like to chat with the participants and find a title for this piece together.

I’m creating phrases for the ensemble, and we’ll add a solo part for each person, and tune in to each story as we go.

I warmly welcome participants from far and wide to gather around the 0-daiko with me for some quality time, tuning into our bodies and the sound of taiko together.

Working on the composition at a theater in Europe. I play the phrases over and over, refining my body’s movements and the sound.


Body Mechanics for O-daiko Expression with Kenta Nakagome
Course Dates: Apr. –June 2024
Application Period: Feb. 1 (Thu)–Mar. 31 (Sun), 2024

Body Mechanics for O-daiko Expression with Kenta Nakagome