Bio-rhythms: Kodo celebrates the Earth with taiko drumming

Kodo, photo Takashi Okamoto

Kodo, a Japanese drumming group based on Japan’s Sado Island, has a mission to popularize the rhythmic sounds of taiko: ensemble drumming that uses a broad range of percussive instruments. Kodo debuted in 1981 at the Berliner Festspiele in Berlin, Germany, and has since performed more than 6,500 concerts internationally. The word “kodo” has a double meaning in Japan: a mother’s heartbeat, felt in the womb, and “children of the drum.” In Kodo: Earth Celebration, a special video performance created exclusively for the Lensic Performing Arts Center (211 W. San Francisco St., 505-988-1234, lensic .org), the famed taiko drummers perform at outdoor venues around Sado Island as part of its annual Earth Celebration cultural festival. The video is available to stream through Friday, April 11. Tickets are $15 (free for Lensic members) and are available at /events/kodo. 

(1) comment

Donna Gomien

I hope the recorded Kodo performance reflects at least part of the magic of a live performance. I attended one of their performances in London, to a full house. The drummers were all standing on stage as the audience was being seated and started the performance by almost soundless rustling -- a breeze on drums. They kept up the rustling until the audience lapsed into dead silence -- only at that point, did the group move further into a moving and beautiful performance. Couldn't happen now, alas, with all those cell phones competing for attention. But if those tuning in could refrain from multitasking while watching Kodo, it will be rewarding.

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