Kodo, the professional taiko drumming group, are returning to the National Concert Hall in Dublin with their amazing new show Legend.
Kodo has two meanings, one being the ‘heartbeat’ which is the source of all rhythm; the taiko drum is said to resemble the sound of a mother’s heartbeat as heard in in the womb. The other meaning comes from reading the word ‘Kodo’ in a different way; it can also mean ‘children of the drum’ and this reflects the group’s desire to play simply with the heart of a child.
Kodo spend about a third of the year touring Japan, a third on international tours and a third resting and creating new material. Although the main focus is centred on the taiko drum, other traditional Japanese instruments like the fue and the shamisen also feature in their performances, as well as vocal performances and dance.
Their shows typically include pieces written by the group themselves, pieces written for them by songwriters and pieces based on traditional rhythms from different regions in Japan.
Kodo have received a number of awards including both The MIDEM Music Video Award at the third International Visual Music Festival at Cannes and the Japanese Foreign Ministry Award in 1994 and the Matsuo Performing Arts Award for Japanese music in 2012.
Since the group’s first performance in Berlin in 1981, Kodo has toured around the world and given over 3,400 performances. The group is comprised of 48 members in total; 24 performing members and 24 staff members. The performers, men and women, are aged between 22 and 58 and when part-time workers and apprentices are included, the total number involved in Kodo rises to about 70.
In the past the group lived together in Kodo Village; a collection of buildings built on Sado Island to represent Kodo’s headquarters and as a living area for Kodo’s staff, but now many senior group members live nearby the village instead.
Kodo’s One Earth Tour: Legend, is showing at the National Concert Hall on Saturday 22nd February and Sunday 23rd February at 8pm. Tickets are priced between €25 and €45 and discounts are available for Friends of the National Concert Hall and groups of 10 or more.
National Concert Hall
Tel: 01 417 0000
All images courtesy Kodo Facebook page