Kodo: The art of taïko at its finest
The Japanese collective Kodo uses their drums and accompanying instruments to create vast soundscapes, bringing their audience to the space between ritual and waking dream. This acclaimed group of taiko drummers is honouring our city with a visit to Place des Arts.
At times, their drums can beat frantically, as the group evokes the fleeting nature of life itself, a mechanical world filled with automatons, a hypnotic universe, or a raging battle. At other times, their tempo slows to reveal a more textured sound that they wield to illustrate the changing weather, comment on the lives of insects, or reveal the secret world underground. These Japanese percussionists are unparalleled in their ability to strike a drum, making pulses race and echoing the intimate relationship between people and their environment.
An athletic performance
In their shows, both thrilling to watch and physically demanding to perform, Kodo displays total mastery over their instruments, patiently learned through many years at the Kodo Apprentice Center on Sado Island. Though taiko originally referred to any skin drum stretched over a wooden frame, used in traditional Japanese festivals, Kodo reaches beyond folk art to create something entirely different and utterly enchanting. Their music is a mesmerizing blend of the old and the new, inspired by the troupe’s journeys around the world.
While these seven virtuosos may be rooted in tradition and spirituality, they use those roots to reach toward invention and originality. Their work involves no small amount of athletic prowess: practicing taiko is a physical sport in and of itself!
After 40 years of existence, this collective born in 1981 is reaching its artistic pinnacle.
Kodo will present Tzukumi on March 16, 2023, at the Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier de la Place des Arts.
Kodo in three clicks
The trailer for their show Dadan
A preview of Tzukumi
The piece “Honoka” live