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THIS ISSUE
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Kodo Drummers in Vancouver
Saturday, January 31, 2009
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To clarify right off the top, the Kodo Drummers are not just taiko drummers. Their music includes splashes of fue (Japanese flute), shamisen (string instrument), and vocals. This was an amazing experience and this review cannot do it justice. The strong yet intricate movements are remeniscent of other Japanese arts like caligraphy, the Kabuki theatre, and what this performance resembled very most, martial arts. The exact gestures and powerful motions looked like the sets of moves you have to learn in karate. Now, kung-fu is not a Japanese martial art but I swear the cymbal player was almost doing Drunken Monkey style at points. To put it blunt, these boys (and a couple girls) beat the drum like it stole something. They even had a lil' comedy bit in which they still managed to exhibit insane skill. It also must be mentioned that they played for an hour and forty minutes straight! Endurance doesn't even begin to describe it. I'm glad this outstanding phenomenon has not been exploited to death. But I gotta say, a Kodo Drummers workout video or a Kodo Drummers breakbeat album could be hot commodities.
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