When Western drums collide with the reverberations of Japan's traditional wadaiko drums, incredible percussive ideas emerge.
"Chaos" is an imaginative journey that weaves jubilant dimensions and percussive tones into a dynamic and tumultuous whole. The latest production by Kodo artistic director Tamasaburo Bando beckons you into a world of tension and release, of stillness and commotion, and of chaos and calm.
Following its late-2015 premiere, "Chaos" continues its tour throughout Japan this summer.
Over the last few years I've created three new pieces for Kodo tours. This time, with the title of Chaos, I done one that I think expands the boundaries.
The first thing that I did with the group called Kodo was a piece for the Kodo One Earth Special Tour in 2003. Following that came Amaterasu, DADAN, Legend, Mystery, and Eternity. I've been thinking about how to create pieces with a wider musical spectrum, so this time, I went ahead and added a Western-style drum set. Already, in Legend, I had put in timpani, and they fit in with the sound of Japanese wadaiko drums unexpectedly well. Now I use them in most of my creations as an "after echo" of the reverberations of the taiko drums, and for me they've become essential.
In this way, as I've been experimenting with various kinds of percussion, I've come to realize that not only timpani and drum sets, but wadaiko and Western percussion – they are all percussion and that's that. If performers – as percussion players- can carry out a program with artistic and musical merit, then whether it's from East or West, from ancient times, today, or the future, I feel that all sounds can merge and we can listen to them with pleasure. Art follows a cycle of tradition and new development as it advances into the future. As human beings we tend to look back fondly on the past and naturally view the future with some unease. But if we resolutely try out new things, we're able to experience a new and fresh atmosphere.
Looking up "Chaos" in the dictionary, it says, "everything is all mixed up without differentiation, and nothing is clear."
From chaos to harmonious merging – when you think of it, that's naturally the origin of the universe. And in our own hearts, this exists floating amidst the chaos. Within chaos we find harmony, and this then dissolves again into chaos…
Although it's a world that can't be expressed well by words, thoughts, or feelings, I hope you can experience it with us in a pure spirit of happiness.
Eiichi Saito (Kodo)
Yuichiro Funabashi, Mitsuru Ishizuka, Yosuke Oda, Masayuki Sakamoto, Kenta Nakagome, Eri Uchida, Maya Minowa, Akiko Ando, Yuta Sumiyoshi, Jun Jidai, Shunichiro Kamiya, Kengo Watanabe, Ryotaro Leo Ikenaga, Hayato Otsuka, Reo Kitabayashi, Masaya Koike, Issei Kohira