“A Change of Scene for the Kodo Apprentices” by Eri Uchida

July 26, 2018Photo: Yasuhiko Ishihara

After their regular training session yesterday afternoon, Kodo Apprentice Centre manager Gan (Yasuhiko Ishihara) took the apprentices to Sobama Beach.
That may sound like fun, but it wasn’t for leisure.

Photo: Yasuhiko IshiharaFirst, the apprentices ran along the sandy beach… and then they ran some more.
Running on sand slowed them down but it gave them a change of scene, with a different view to their training every morning. It feels different for them, too, running barefoot with gentle waves lapping at their feet.

Photo: Eri Uchida

After that, they all danced Onikenbai together, a demon sword dance. You’d expect dancing on sand to also be harder than usual, but dancing on the beach together looked liberating and enjoyable for them.

Photo: Yasuhiko Ishihara

They had some free time after their workout and they all took this chance to leap into the sea.

Photo: Yasuhiko Ishihara

At the Apprentice Centre, they may experience a lot of difficult challenges and tough times. I guess when you have fun times and happy experiences after such lows, the highs feel even higher.
Seeing them have as much fun as they could during this short break made me think about the spectrum of emotions they experience during the programme.

Photo: Eri UchidaMaybe this setting created that sense of liberation I noted.
Sado truly is an island filled with nature.

I’m glad Kodo is based on Sado. This island helps us grow everyday.

 

About the Kodo Apprentice Centre

Seeking Apprentices for the Kodo Ensemble Performer Development Course

Applications are now open for the 2019 intake!

[Application Period] July 6 (Fri)–Nov. 9 (Fri), 2018 *Note: Applications must be received by Nov. 9

[Application Procedure] https://www.kodo.or.jp/en/apr_en/research_students

*Please note that all apprentices require advanced Japanese-language skills.

“Applications Close Soon for Kodo Juku 2018” by Misato Akazawa

“Kodo Juku” is a 4-day, 3-night live-in workshop at Kodo Apprentice Centre, surrounded by lush nature on Sado Island.
Eiichi Saito’s Kodu Juku Taiko Workshop began in 1992. Ever since, Saito has led these workshops with overt enthusiasm, sharing his passion for taiko and facilitating self discovery and new connections through this powerful resonant instrument.

At Kodo Juku, you’ll experience the daily life of Kodo apprentices. It promises to be a memorable escape from your usual life!

No taiko experience is necessary, just come along and give it a go.
We hope you’ll apply!

Apply for Kodo Juku 2018↓
https://www.kodo.or.jp/en/performance_en/performance_ws_en/10716

*Note: Workshop will be conducted in Japanese.

“June 20: Apprentice Group Training Session with Kodo” by Eri Uchida

Photo: Mariko Sumiyoshi

Today the Kodo apprentices came to Kodo Village for their mid-year recital and a group training session.

Photo: Mariko SumiyoshiThe training session is a valuable time where they receive training by the Kodo members who stand centerstage in our ensemble’s touring productions.

The apprentices heard the words, “I know you want to do it, but you can’t do anything with that feeling alone.”

It all comes back to practicing the fundamentals, after all. It’s all about creating sound with clean, solid strokes.

The apprentices have more eyes on them than usual during this session, but they don’t lose focus for even a second as they take in the detailed instruction.

The apprentices hope to stand on stage as members of Kodo one day. The words the Kodo members impart with the young hopefuls during these sessions are specific, simple, and carry significant weight.

Photo: Mariko Sumiyoshi

Deliberate, repeated practice is what creates that sound, that performance.

Today’s group training session was a fruitful time for the apprentices, who now have a clearer picture of their common goal: creating sound that truly reaches the audience.

 

About the Kodo Apprentice Centre

[Applications Open Soon for 2019 Intake!] Application Period: July 6 (Fri)–Nov. 9 (Fri), 2018

Application Procedure: https://www.kodo.or.jp/en/apr_en/research_students

“Apprentice Interactive Performance at Sado Special Support School” by Masami Miyazaki

Kodo apprentices are even busier than usual in the fall. Alongside their usual training, they have to harvest their rice crop, pick persimmons and ship them to Kodo supporters, take part in local festivals, staff the annual live-in workshop “Kodo Juku,” and present Interactive Performances. This year the apprentices gave five of these performances at schools on Sado Island. Today, I would like to tell you about the rather unique “Exchange Concert” they gave at Sado Special Support School on Sep. 28.


For this performance, the apprentices designed a workshop segment to let the students have some fun making music with them. When they started planning this part at the Apprentice Centre, the apprentices split into two groups and talked about their strategies, figuring out which instruments to use and how to go about using their time.

They raised concerns about problem areas and rethought and reworked their concepts over and over again. Then, at last, the content of the workshop started to take shape.

On the day of the concert, the students and apprentices all enjoyed performing together.

In the classrooms, the students performed for the apprentices and everyone got to know each other through self introductions and by spending time chatting together.

The Apprentice Interactive Performances are a valuable opportunity for the Kodo apprentices to perform in front of an audience during their training. They are a good chance for the apprentices to thoroughly consider what it means to appear on a stage, what they need to do to convey their sound and feelings, and what they want to express when they perform.

We are currently accepting applications for the Kodo Apprentice Centre 2018 intake.
Applications close on Nov. 10, 2017.
 
See here for details: https://www.kodo.or.jp/en/apr_en
 
 

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