“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

“Hatsune Miku x Kodo Rehearsals on Sado” by Yuki Hirata

Photo: Erika Ueda

Recently we had rehearsals at Kodo Village for the upcoming “Hatsune Miku x Kodo Special Live Performance 2018” on June 2 & 3 at Shibuya’s NHK Hall.

Photo: Erika UedaPhoto: Erika UedaHatsune Miku band members and staff came to Sado Island for two days. The energy that filled the hall as we rehearsed felt as if it was a actual performance.

Photo: Erika Ueda

These practices strongly bonded Hatsune Miku, her band, Kodo, and the team of staff. Our sense of unity has increased since last year, something you’re sure to notice when you see us on stage together.

Photo: Erika UedaPhoto: Erika Ueda

I really want you all to experience this energy! You can all look forward to a lot of new pieces on the lineup this time!

By the way, last year I made my debut on the Kodo stage at “Hatsune Miku x Kodo,” so it was an especially memorable performance for me. I am so excited for this year’s collaboration, too. I simply can’t wait.

Please join us for the next stage of Hatsune Miku and Kodo’s collaborative journey!

Photo: Erika Ueda

See here for tickets! (Japanese website)

Hatsune Miku x Kodo Official Website (Japanese website)

This is NIPPON Premium Theater “Hatsune Miku x Kodo Special Live Performance 2018”

“Where Kodo’s Sound Begins” by Eri Uchida

We currently have seventeen Kodo apprentices after welcoming a group of new entrants to Kodo Apprentice Centre at the beginning of April. The first day of training for the new first years was making and shaping bachi (taiko drumsticks).

Photo: Eri Uchida

Under Tomohiro Mitome’s instruction, they learn why they make their own bachi, and the step-by-step process of bachi making, from how to choose the wood to whittling the wood into shape. The things they learn are packed with the wisdom that Mitome has gained from his own experience of trial and error making bachi to date with his own two hands.

“When you make bachi, you are crafting your sound”

The local carpenter who joined the lesson to teach them how to sharpen their planes said,
“If your equipment works well, you can do your job well.”

Those words are painfully true, I thought.

Photo: Eri Uchida

Bachi making is not a skill we can master in one day, no matter how clearly we are taught.

Life gets busier as the days go by at Kodo Apprentice Centre. I wonder how much time they can make for themselves to practice what they are being told and embody those lessons.

Photos: Eri UchidaThe roots. The fundamentals. The essence of things.
That is what we all learn at the Apprentice Centre.
It reminded me that I mustn’t forget these foundations, regardless of the experience I gain traveling the world and appearing on stage.

 

About the Kodo Apprentice Centre

“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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