Shin Kodama composed by Kiyoshi Nagata
Literally meaning “New Echo” this is a celebratory and joyous song about the renewal of life.
Uchiwa Daiko composed by Kiyoshi Nagata
Uchiwa Daiko are hand held, fan-shaped drums originally used by the Nichiren sect of Buddhism as well as to accompany the chanting of itinerant shamans. This piece attempts to explore the various sounds, textures and rhythms that can be created by this simple instrument.
San Ren On composed by Kiyoshi Nagata
Literally, ‘three continuous beats’ this composition features a whirlwind of solos and intertwining rhythms in various cycles of three, pounded out by three teams of drummers.
Hon Choshi composed by Aki Takahashi
A voice cries out in the night. The shamisen (three-stringed instrument) follows, echoing through the darkness. Other sounds appear, and then disappear, hidden in the shadows. Through the window, a mournful breeze enters, stirred by the shakuhachi (vertical flute).
Harukoma (Spring Horses) composed by Kiyoshi Nagata
During the early winters of Japan, many horses are born and are kept indoors until after New Years. When they take their first steps outdoors, the young horses run wildly about the fields until springtime. This is considered a good omen.
Miyake traditional arranged by Kiyoshi Nagata
This drumming style, where the players swing back and forth in an elongated and strenuous stance, originates from Miyake Island, one of the Seven Islands of Izu. Between the choruses, freestyle solos are played.
Koku composed by Kiyoshi Nagata
This piece is performed on the massive O-hirado daiko. The first half of the song is composed and is accompanied by three taiko and a gong. The second half is improvised, allowing the soloist to play freely and unbounded. Koku, or 'Empty Sky', suggests the idea of achieving a higher state of being when playing this physically demanding piece.
Furyu composed by Kiyoshi Nagata
Based on a Chinese flute melody, Furyu or ‘floating’ features two bamboo flutes (shinobue) accompanied by hyotan (gourd shakers) and taiko.
Enya Totto traditional arranged by Aki Takahashi
This is a traditional fishermen’s song from Miyagi Prefecture in which the main chorus ‘enya totto’ is chanted to coordinate the efforts of rowing the oars.
14-14 composed by Aki Takahashi
Taiko is dance. Each subtle movement of the body is intimately linked to each beat of the taiko. While the various beats interplay and tangle, the drummers concentrate, keeping the body both tense and flexible, responding to the feedback from each beat of the bachi (drum sticks) against the drum skin. In this piece, the taiko and bachi generate a multitude of sounds and expressions, which transform and evolve in a cycle of fourteen.
Pulse Progressions composed by Kiyoshi Nagata
As the title suggests, an underlying pulse can be heard throughout this piece even though the actual rhythms are constantly changing and developing.
Teiryu composed by Kiyoshi Nagata
The introduction and finale of this piece feature improvised solos on the nebuta daiko, a shoulder-worn drum from northern Aomori prefecture. The main body of the song consists of four drummers playing both in unison and in a series of ‘call and responses’.
Enjou, composed by Aki Takahashi, Kiyoshi Nagata
Literally meaning ‘to go up in flames’, this song expresses the fiery nature within each drummer to play with wild and heartfelt abandon.