KODO - IRODORI, TRADITIONAL JAPANESE DRUMMING
In the episode of Music for Dance – Japan, a series of short 15-minute show for primary school children presented by Richard Lloyd King for BBC Schools Radio, King introduced the traditional spectrum of Japanese dance music by featuring music by the ‘taiko’, the Japanese drum. To begin the the Old Meets New episode, King pointed out that the music is fast and energy, but he somehow suggested that this has some relation to Kendo, the marshal art for Japanese sword fighters. King would have been correct had he said that the music is often heard in modern adaptations of a historical television drama, but to play music straight after spelling out the history of kendo is simply misleading, as the two don’t really have a connection.
To be fair, the music King selected wasn’t at all a misrepresentation. But as he doesn’t seem to reveal the titles of the works he plays nor the artist, I guess I’ll have to select one for you. Kodo, an taiko ensemble signed to Sony records, has a 30-year history of playing taiko music. Here is a video of them playing in a full-on taiko ensemble with Japanese flutes, the shakuhachi, playing away a tuneful melody.