Tuesday, February 06, 2007

KODO Concert Review

I was fortunate to catch the premiere Japanese Taiko group: KODO in concert this last week. The concert was awesome. I drove up to Marin last Thursday evening to see them at the Marin Veterin Memorial Center.

I only have one word: WOW!!
This group is one of the premiere traveling Taiko groups from Japan. They usually get over the US about once every two years.
They performed some amazing songs and I am in awe at the skills and dexterity of the troop members. Their musicianship was really tight and I can't believe the stamina that these guys exhibited during their performance.
One of my favorite songs was performed by seven of the group members on the Shime drums. The Shime is one of the smallest and highest pitches taiko drums. It's about the size of a snare drum on a typical drum kit. It's tuned by standing on the edges and pulling the rope tight around the outside. Anyhow, seven of the group members were lined up on stage and started by playing 1/16 notes very quietly, they then took turns improvising and playing in rounds across the line. The sonic experience from the audience perspective was unlike anything I have ever heard live in my life. This was something which was impossible to capture with microphones, and it's something which I'll always remember.
Between songs, they entertained us with some non-verbal comedy while the drums for the next song were set up. Overall it was a great evening.
I purchased their latest compilation album: Heartbeat. It's a good collection of Taiko drumming, but as I've found with Taiko, half of the presentation is visual so it's not as good as seeing it live.

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