Kodo & Taikoz

Kodo & Taikoz
In Concert. Featuring Riley Lee (shakuhachi). National Tour. Melbourne, Presented by Taikoz and Arts Centre Melbourne. Hamer Hall – 24 September, 2012. Sydney – City Recital Hall Angel Place – 27 and 28 September.

Kodo & Taikoz In Concert is a generous rousing and very powerful experience.  Vigorous and energetic drummers engage fully with the Taiko (drums) and joyfully with each other to wholesomely entertain.  There is not one beat out of place.

Very enthusiastically received by the audience, this amazing concert is the amalgam of many years of cultural exchange and development between the Japanese Taiko playing ensemble Kodo and Australian ensemble Taikoz.  Surprisingly approximately a third of each of these cohorts of musicians is female.

Like the ambient heat of a log fire, the drumming penetrates ones whole body through to the bones and marrow and can be experienced as purging and spiritual. This, at times thunderous, drumming is complemented by beautiful ethereal bamboo flute, harp, marimba and most particularly the haunting shakuhachi. There is much variety throughout the evening.  And amongst other things it is a wonderful chance to catch Reilly Lee’s masterful shakuhachi playing.

After interval is a haunting song by Riley Lee called Passing through Tears of Nectar that is exquisitely arranged by Lee and Ian Cleworth, to memorable effect. 

Through out the evening I closed my eyes several times to be able to really listen and was amazed by the complexity of the percussive compositions. I highly recommend catching this concert at Angel Place if there are any seats at all to grab.

One suggestion. Although looking very like a glossy marketing tool, programs are probably a must to buy at the beginning of the performance to be versed in what to expect and have an awareness of the cultural and spiritual dimensions implicit in the individual pieces.  My appreciation at the time would have been enhanced by having the program I procured at the end of the evening with me from the beginning of the evening.

A rich, fascinating and rewarding evening.

Suzanne Sandow

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