This Japanese troupe of 10 drummers combines a sense of drama and strong percussion, producing the most “physical” form of music – Taiko drumming. Using instruments such as a hug kettle drum, side drum, and the tambour, Yamato’s drumming ranges from the delicate patter of raindrops to hammered-out rolling thunder to a slowed-down heartbeat. Yamato combines drums with the timpani, flute, and colorful, authentic Japanese costumes for an evening of highly charged rhythm.
means “the fearless headlong rush into life of the young or newly
born.” The word Yakara also caries the meaning of “friends having the same
station or ability in life.” In the Kansai region, the word is used for
“vigorous and robust young people.” This piece, therefore,
expresses the dynamism of young people, their foolish audacity, and their sense
of community and fellowship.
Instrumentation: One O-okedo, one Okedo-daiko, one Miya-daiko, and one Shime-daiko
REKKA: Originally written in 2002, this arrangement by Takeru Matsushita has been developing for sometime. The Tamashy Tour 2003 includes the debut of this composition. Two men compete with each other, each beating several kinds of Wadaiko drums. They play assiduously, each attempting to display his superior technique. In spite of there being only two musicians, a powerful tension and energy is created between them. Instrumentation: Three Shakus and two Sunn O-hirado-dailots (each 1 meter in diameter), One Ahaku and Seven Sunn Miya-daikos (each 50 centimeters in diameter), one Shime-daiko, one Okedo-daiko, and one Kane.
HAYATE: The instrument used in this music is called “Tsugaru-syamisen.” It is a
traditional Japanese instrument, appreciated for its particular ability to
express harsh winter winds. Yet, at the same time, it can convey a certain kindness and warmth.
Thus, this instrument expresses all kinds of wind qualities, and their contact
with human life.
Instrumentation: One Futoza-syamisen, one Okedo-daiko, and one Shime-daiko.
RAKUDA: Rakuda is a term coined by the merging
of two Chinese characters: “Tanoshii,” meaning “joyful,”
and “Utu,” meaning “to hit.” The comic piece conjures
amusing animals that are associated with the sound of the “Rakuda.”
It is a typical Japanese way of performing, using a style called “Katsugioke.”
Instrumentation: Three Shakus, one O-hirado-daiko, one Katsugi-okedo-daiko, one Shime-daiko, and one Chappa.
TAMASHY: This Wadaiko piece was created especially for the Tamashy Tour 2003. The highlight
of this arrangement is the appeal of the “One Beat” O-daiko and the
sculptures beauty of the backs of the performers who beat the drums with such
speed that it seems to break down the conventions of traditional O-daiko
performance. The whispering Tamashy resounds with the gentle tones of the Kokyu
set against the harder rhythms of three O-daiko drums and a shifting human
Instrumentation: One O-hirado-daiko, one O-okedo-daiko, one Shime-daiko, one Dora, one Kokyu, and human voice.
piece is performed with only five Shime-daikos. It requires tremendous
concentration, because the drummers’ technical precision and synchronized
breathing ultimately determine the musical harmony. Like the horizon at dawn,
the drummer feels the energy grow in his body as a prelude to the start of
Instrumentation: Five Shime-daikos.
Wadaiko piece is composed of three movements. Four Shaku O-daikos convey the
rumbling Earth, while the Koto expresses gentler thoughts. Aozora is a prayer:
as a new day dawns, people gather to worship the rising sun, passing their time
there regardless of the promise of benediction, For them, this moment is like a
breeze blowing through their busy lives, lifting their minds and hearts in
prayer to the sun shining in a patch of blue sky.
Instrumentation: Four shaku O-daikos, one O-okedo-daiko, one _hirado-daiko, one Miya-daiko, one Okedo-daiko, one Shime-daiko, one Dora, one Koto, one Kane, one chappa, one Shinobue, and human voice.