Rhythm is fundamental to life. Without it there would be no heartbeat, no pulse, no phases of the moon, no night or day, summer or winter. It is fundamental to music around the world whether generated by the tabla, the snare drum, the timpani or the djembe. Drums create the beat to which music flows. In an orchestra, all eyes will look to the timpanist for affirmation of a complicated rhythm.
(This not to say that music senza mizura –without meter– is not legitimate, pleasurable or unrepresentative of nature – think waves, wind, cloud formations).
The sound of drums draws a visceral reaction and defies linguistic barriers, which may explain some of the acoustic and visual excitement generated by drumming ensemble TaikOz, now in its 14th year. TaikOz launches its 2012 season with Toward The Crimson Sky, a new work by TaikOz director Ian Cleworth, which showcases koto virtuoso Satsuki Odamura.
The work is based on an exquisute haiku by Japanese poet Miura Yuzuru, which reads:
flowing like a ripple
toward the crimson sky”
The brushstrokes of this evocative word painting are layered with the delicacy of the shinobue (bamboo flutes), the shakuhachi (another variety of flute), voice and bass koto.
“I have long enjoyed the English translation of this haiku by Miura Yuzuru,” says Ian Cleworth. “The poet’s images conjure thoughts and feelings that are on the one hand beautiful, colourful and sensual, and on the other, intensely – almost painfully – poignant and emotionally affecting.”
“The autumnal image of a cloud of dragonflies flying into a deep red sky arouses visions of impending death, whereas the reference to ‘flowing like a ripple’ is both playfully lighthearted and sensuous with a strong feeling of choreographed movement.”
The concert also features two new works by TaikOz members: Tom Royce-Hampton (Solace) and Anton Lock (Exploration). Cleworth’s crowd favourite Ota.i.ko returns with 11 taiko players in performance.
Watch out for our interview with koto player Satsuki Odamura in which she talks about the intricacies of the koto.
Tickets $45- $75. Additional fees may apply.
Book at www.cityrecitalhall.com or (02) 8256 2222 or 1300 797 188