Composer and synthesizer artist Mr. Isao Tomita passed away on May 5, 2016. We can trace our first encounter with Mr. Tomita back to 1988 when he produced "Sound Cloud in Sydney," a bicentennial gift to Australia from Japan that featured Kodo and other Japanese artists.
Later, we collaborated with Mr. Tomita on our 1994 album, "Nasca Fantasy," and on stage at Sennyū-ji Otobutai (Sennyū-ji Sound Stage), a music event at Sennyū-ji Temple in Kyoto.
n 2008, we performed a special orchestra version of Mr. Tomita's "Song of the Universe" (from Nasca Fantasy) at a concert with the New Japan Philharmonic. We recently contacted Mr. Tomita to tell him that we would perform this song again on Aug. 18 at our "Kodo 35th Anniversary Concert." In his reply, he said, "I am happy to hear that. It's one of the pieces I created during that week I spent hidden away at Kodo Village." We were looking forward to Mr. Tomita's attendance at our performance this summer and we are sincerely sorry to learn of his passing.
"Taiko and the synthesizer are both instruments created from nature. Electricity has always existed in nature as lightning, it just took a while for humans to harness that energy." – Isao Tomita
Mr. Tomita will be greatly missed. May he rest in peace.
(Photo: Isao Tomita & Kodo at the recording studio for "Nasca Fantasy" in 1994)