5/01/2007

Kodo

The first time I went to a Japanese Drums concert in Berkeley, my children were very young, so they couldn’t come with me; but I played the tape I bought that day for them for many years (on many Friday mornings in Tehran, this is what I played to wake them up with a good mood, because the music was so exciting for young boys!). This year in February, the three of us went to see the Japanese Drums concert in Berkeley. It was an amazing time. Japanese drums are really exciting to hear. Their players, also, are not your ordinary musicians. They are Samurai who train in many disciplines and are in extraordinary physical shape, as playing these drums sitting, standing up, or bending precariously as they have to do (due to the size and shape of the drums) is an extremely demanding task. My kids now own a Kodo CD which they insist on playing in the car sometimes on high volume (to get back at me for all those Friday mornings, I guess!). All I can say is that on those days my car sounds like no one else’s car, and our family gives new meaning to what Iranians might call: Karevani az sher o moosighi (A caravan filled with poetry and music)! Take a look at this little excerpt about Kodo, and you can also go watch the clip at the bottom of this post to judge for yourself. For over 30 years, the "samurai percussionists" of Kodo have explored the limitless possibilities of the traditional Japanese drum, the taiko, honoring the past and boldly striking out in new directions for this vibrant living art form. The versatile performers dance, mime, and play a variety of instruments, but it is their awesome drums that mesmerize the audience, including the massive o-daiko, a 900-pound decorated instrument carved from the trunk of a single tree and played by two men. An international phenomenon, the company has given over 2,700 performances on all five continents. "Superlatives don't really exist to convey the primal power and bravura beauty of Kodo" (Chicago Tribune). Here’s an amateur clip of the concert we went to in a different location: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pl-f5a7BgSA&mode=related&search= Enjoy!

3 comments:

serendip said...

I loved it. Thanks for sharing. You might like Japanese animation movies too. They're my favorite.

Nazy said...

Hi Serendip! I have seen bits and pieces of some Japanese animation on TV, but never really concentrated on it. I will ask my TV Gurus to find me some I could watch!

serendip said...

Nazy jan: Most of the good ones are on DVD. I'll try to make a list of some of the best. The "Fireflys"(a very old one but it's so moving) and "Samuri Kenshi" are my favorites.