Kodo gave its first show in 1981, at the Berlin Film Festival. Since then, his members change, his directors too, but he lives. Its year is divided into three: one third on the roads of Japan, one third on those of the world, one third at rest on the island of Sado. With more than 6,000 concerts under their belt, the troupe has evolved its instruments and music. The compositions played come from the tradition of listening to nature in the contemplation of the island of Sado, but also of the melodies gleaned on tour, in the music of other countries.
The Kodo meaning “heartbeat” or “children of the drums” is an art born from the traditions of Japan.
Kodo was invented in the 1950s by jazz musician Daïhachi Oguchi. He proposed to Shinto monks, using percussion to call the gods, to jazze on the shores of Suwa Lake, drums of all sizes, brass gongs, reed keyboards, an old taiko score. Toiko refers to the art of drumming: a collective, spiritual, artistic and ritualized practice, allowing for contact with nature and learning to know oneself. The spirit of the gods was there: sixty years later, the kodo is one of the most popular Japanese arts in the world and Japan has 8000 groups of taiko born over the last thirty years.
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