Exploring the limitless possibilities of the traditional Japanese drum, the taiko, Kodo is forging new directions for a vibrant living art-form. In Japanese the word “Kodo” conveys two meanings: Firstly, “heartbeat” the primal source of all rhythm. The sound of the great taiko is said to resemble a mother’s heartbeat as felt in the womb, and it is no myth that babies are often lulled asleep by its thunderous vibrations. Secondly, read in a different way, the word can mean “children of the drum,” a reflection of Kodo’s desire to play the drums simply, with the heart of a child. Kodo’s One Earth Tour: Evolution production showcases the exciting taiko performance repertoire composed under the artistic direction of famed Kabuki actor Tamasaburo Bando.
Since the group’s debut at the Berlin Festival in 1981, Kodo has given more than 3,700 performances on all five continents, spending about a third of the year overseas, a third touring in Japan and a third rehearsing and preparing new material on Sado Island. Kodo strives to both preserve and re-interpret traditional Japanese performing arts. Beyond this, members on tours and research trips all over the globe have brought back to Sado a kaleidoscope of world music and experiences which now exerts a strong influence on the group’s performances and compositions.