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UMS Concert Program, February 19-20, 1992: Kodo --

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Season: 113th
Concert: 27th and 28th

"One Earth" Tour '92
Yoshiaki Oi, Director
Shinpei Harada, Lighting Designer
Richard A. Maldonado, Lighting Director
Masafumi Kazama, Stage Manager
Shinichi Sogo, Assistant Stage Manager
Atsushi Sugano, Company Manager
Dan Woods, Assistant Manager
Company Members
Michiko Chida, Leonard Eto, Ryutaro Kaneko, Yasukazu Kano, Kan Kurita, Kazuhiro Masubuchi, Tatsuro Matsuzaki, Tomohiro Mitome, Eiichi Saito, Hideyuki Saito, Takuro Susako
Wednesday Evening, February 19, 1992, at 8:00
Thursday Evening, February 20, 1992, at 7:00
Power Center for the Performing Arts
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Kodo's "Earth Celebration"
In August 1988, a dream was realized when Kodo Village was officially opened on Sado Island and the first Earth Celebration was held. This week-long series of concerts, lectures, discussions, workshops, and art exhibitions brought together percussion companies and musicians from throughout the world and is now an annual event on Sado.
From August 21 through 23 of this year, 1992, Kodo will hold the fifth annual Earth Celebration drum festival on their Sado Island home. The first four festivals were great successes, with performers from Burundi, Sudan, Ghana, China, Korea, India, Indonesia, Japan, and the United States joining to explore the many variations on the theme tataku, to beat a rhythm. Earth Celebration '92 has tentatively scheduled guests Doudou N'Diaye Rose Percussion Orchestra from Senegal, and from Ghana, the drummer Aja Addy.
In simpler times, people expressed themselves through their native arts, and it is this simplicity that leads to universal understanding. The Earth Celebration festival provides the chance to experience and appreciate traditional cultural expressions from around the world.
The University Musical Society extends thanks to U-M Professor William Malm, the speaker for
Wednesday night's Philips Pre-concert Presentation.
Kodo is represented by Dennis Letzler Organization, Hollywood, California.
Kodo records for Sheffield Lab and Sony Records.
27th and 28th Concerts of the 113th Season
Twenty-first Annual Choice Series
This performance will run approximately 90 minutes with no intermission.
SHISHI-KU (Composed by Leonard Eto, 1990)
Shishi is a mythical animal that is similar to a lion, yet also resembles wild animals such as deer and boar. She is considered a messenger of the natural Gods that do damage to people, but on the other hand, brings them meat and fur. In this piece, Shishi dances to celebrate the arrival of spring and expresses the joy of life after the long and harsh winter.
During the late summer festival held in Akita Prefecture, this dance is performed in remembrance of the dead known as Obon Matsuri. The dancer wears a patchwork kimono and large woven straw hat, tilted so low as to completely hide the face. The coquettish movements of the hat, leaving only the nape of the neck exposed to view, combine to create an atmosphere of mystery and shadow that seems in keeping with the mood of the Obon Matsuri.
CHONLIMA (Composed by Roetsu Tosha, 1983)
Cionlima was composed specifically for Kodo by the respected Kabuki drummer Roetsu Tosha. The piece features four drummers playing okedo barrel drums and roped shime daiko, and one drummer on a larger miyadaiko. The players pass the sounds from one to another, playing at a frantic speed, mixing traditional Japanese rhythms with more modern tempos and blending tense excitement with subtle humor. Translated, Chonlima means "One Thousand League Horse" and alludes to a stallion in a well-known Korean legend that possessed great speed and stamina.
On Miyake Island, one of the seven volcanic islands of Izu south of Tokyo, there is a festival centered on this very unique style of drumming. The drums are set very low to the ground, requiring the strenuous stance. The flamboyant technique is often compared to the martial arts.
The shamisen is a three-stringed instrument commonly played to accompany drama and singing. A unique style of shamisen playing is found in the Tsugaru region in northern Aomori Prefecture. It is played on a very sturdy shamisen and is characterized by fast and intricate fingering techniques, sharp, percussive strumming, and long passages of improvisation.
MORINOSEI (Sacred Forest)
(Composed and arranged by Leonard Eto, 1991)
This arrangement consists of popular selections from Kodo's repertoire, using three performers, which was taken on tour through West Africa in September 1991 with great success. The Sun Dance expresses our deep sense of gratitude for the blessing of the sun, and in Yu-Karak, performers play the oke-daiko, freely creating various rhythms. With the dancing and drumming, drawn in by the African nature, a spontaneous improvisation will be created.
During the nineteenth century, a trade ship known as the Kitamaesen ran the route from Osaka to Hokkaido via the Sea of Japan. In addition to rice, herring, and sake, the ship carried culture in the form of songs and dances. As a result, slightly different versions of this flute song are called "Yama uta" (Mountain Song) in Aomori, but "Mago uta" (Horseman's Song) in Shinshu, and "Oiwake" (Fisherman's Song) in Hokkaido.
The story is told of a baby who, upon hearing the thunderous sound of the O-daiko, dropped off into a peaceful slumber. The powerful sounds emanating from the O'daiko possess a deep tranquility. The arrangement is simple. The drummer on one side beats out a basic rhythm while the main player improvises freely. When they become united with each other and the rhythm, both the dummers and the listeners find themselves wrapped within the embrace of the O-daiko. This miyadaiko, carved from a single tree, measures about five feet across and weighs about 800 pounds.
Every year on December 3rd in the Saitama Prefecture in an area known as Chichibu, an all-night festival is held at which highly decorated, two-storied yatai (carts) are pulled from village to village. The people hauling the yatai are urged on by the powerful beating of the taiko, concealed in the cramped first story of the carts. This gave rise to a technique of drumming while seated. Turning the two-ton fixed-axle carts at intersections requires complex teamwork and is accompanied by precise and intricate txxma-vre solos on the shime daiko.
Kodo, the Japanese percussion company whose performances on the taiko (traditional Japanese drum) have electrified audiences on five continents, has become one of the world's most celebrated and pop?ular performing companies. In July of 1991, Kodo celebrated its 20th anniversary with a series of three concerts held in Tokyo, and this year, 1992, commemorates its tenth anniversary of touring in North America. It is with special pride that Kodo will now revisit Toronto, Los Angeles (UCLA), Berkeley, and East Lansing and Ann Arbor, where the company first performed during its 1982 North American debut tour. By popular demand, Kodo has since returned to Ann Arbor for performances in 1985, 1988, and 1990. During its current tour, Kodo performs in 18 cities, with debut engagements in several localities. In the spring, the company will visit Italy, Germany, and Switzerland.
Drawing from its country's rich tradi?tion of music and performance, Kodo has created a vital sound and tradition of its own, one which is decidedly contemporary in pre?sentation. Kodo has also made a major con?tribution to the worldwide renaissance of interest in percussion, both through its own artistry on the taiko and through numerous collaborations with major jazz and popular musicians, symphony orchestras, and dance companies.
In addition to drums of assorted sizes, Kodo employs dance, mime, and a variety of other instruments, including the shamisen, bamboo flute, and wooden clacker. But the drums dominate a Kodo performance, and the most majestic is the o-daiko, a huge, deco?rated 800-pound instrument carved from the trunk of a single tree and played by two men. "Kodo" means both "Heartbeat" and "Chil?dren of the Drum" and expresses not only the sound of a mother's heartbeat as heard and felt from within the womb, but also the desire to play the drums purely, with the heart of a child. The New York Post wrote: "There is both innocence and tradition embodied in this drumming, as well as virtuosity and a subtlety of detail. Its rhythms really do move the tribal blood still running through our urban veins."
Kodo is based on Sado Island in the Sea of Japan, an isolated setting of great natural beauty and home to the company since its founding in 1971. When not on tour approximately eight months of each year -the members live communally on Sado. Each day is spent in study, practice, and exercise, to develop the physical strength, energy, and stamina demanded in performance.
The company spent many of its early years training and rehearsing, appearing in the Far East and making debut tours to the United States and France. In 1981, they took the name "Kodo" and appeared at the Berlin Festival, where the audience called for en?cores for one hour, the longest ever at the Berlin Symphony Hall. Their 1984 appear?ances at the Los Angeles Olympic Arts Fes?tival were the first among fifty participants to sell out. Kodo's 1985 performances at the Edinburgh International Festival were fol?lowed by extended engagements at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall and Milan's Teatro dell'Arte. The company has appeared in Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, China, Mexico, South America, and Aus?tralia, and has collaborated on original com?positions with the Boston Symphony, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Sym?phony Orchestra, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Cir?cle Ensemble of Holland, and has performed with renowned American jazz drummers Max Roach and Elvin Jones.
Kodo has been profiled in such publi?cations as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and CEO, Islands, and People magazines. On television, they were featured in a one-hour National Public Television documentary broadcast through?out the United States and on numerous nationwide television news programs.
In ancient Japan, the taiko was the symbol of the rural community, and it is said that the village limits were not solely deter?mined by geography, but by the farthest distance at which the drum could be heard. It is Kodo's desire that its One Earth Tours bring the sounds of the taiko to the ears of people around the world, so that all might be reminded of their membership in that much larger and more important village of the world.
Activities of the UMS ate supported by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.
About one year ago, Joe O'Neal walked into the University Musical Society offices. The faulty wiring, the lack of heat, the poor lighting, and the crowded conditions he saw led him to enlist support to renovate the Society's offices in Burton Tower. The project is now nearing completion, thanks to the contributed labor of many people, the generous gifts of materials of many businesses, and the personal support of many donors.
As of January 27," the following individuals have played an important role in making this project's completion a reality. We are pleased to publicly acknowledge and thank these people and their companies.
George C. Adams
Mr. and Mrs William Adams
Dr. and Mrs. Robert Aldrich
Robert and Judith Dow Alexander
Gigi and Tim Andresen
Mike Appicelli, Dow Chemical U.S.A.
Catherine Arcure
Ray Baker, Baker Construction
Jim Baker, The Trane Company
Gail Davis Barnes
Richard Bartlett
Willie Battles
Fred Beal, J. C. Beal Construction Company
Bill Beck
Richard Beck, Wyandotte Electric Supply
Mary Beckerman
Henry Bednarz
Doug Beerens, Builders Heating Supply
David Belmore
Dave Bianco
Sara J. Billmann
Bodman Longley & Dahling, Jack Dobson
The Boomer Company, Anne Boomer Milligan
Dr. and Mrs. James H. Botsford
Carroll Bradley
Mike Brady
Mr. and Mrs. Carl A. Brauer
Brauer Investment Company
Daryl Breymeyer, Arrow Door Company
Gene & Jim Brinker, Brinker Mechanical
Insulation John Briston David Brown Karl Brown Jr. Dick Brunvand
Wayne Bryant, BC Contractors Inc. Conrad Cannon James Caris Albert Cisman Butch Clark Frank Crampton Mr. and Mrs. H. Richard Crane Sally Cushing Scott Dault Roger Day Doug Defavero Diane DeLattore Betty DeWolf Doan Construction Jack Dobson
Mr. and Mrs. William T. Dobson
Ismael Domensech
Jim Doneth
Tim Dopkowski
Gary M. Draisin, The Celotex Corporation
Robin Stephenson and Terry Drent
Anne and James J. Duderstadt
Ron Dunn, Ann Arbor Ceiling &. Partition
Mike Eadie
John Eggleston Jr.
Greg Eggleston
Fred Erb, Erb Lumber
Paul Everett
John Field
John Fingerle, Fingerle Lumber Co.
Ken, Penny and Matt Fischer
Andrew Fletcher
Dr. and Mrs. John C. Floyd
Herb Foor
Gene Fowler
Richard Fry, Richard E. Fry A.LA. Ltd.
Judy and Richard Fry
Mrs. Joann Gargaro
Kerry Gauss
Philip Gerweck
Dave Gillikin, Thermaglas Inc.
Mr. and Mrs. John Green
John E. Green Company
Bob Grimston
Mark Haas
Richard Hall
Greg Hamm
Jim Hanson
Mark Harper
Paul Harrison
Robert Henning
Mr. and Mrs. Norman Herbert
Thomas Hilbish
Mr. and Mrs. Robert R. Hoffman
William Hoffman, Patcraft Mills
Sadaharu Honda, MKK Technologies Inc.
Don House
Stacy Huffman
Larry Hummel
Dr. James R. Irwin,
The Irwin Group of Companies Susan Jantschak Jackjanveja
Frank and Sharon Johnson Frank Johnson, Robertson-Morrison Inc.
Rex Kanitz
Russ Kanitz
John B. Kennard
Gloria and Bob Kerry
Chris King
Susan Kirkpatrick
Rod Kitchen, Mister Rubbish
Dennis Kittel
Charles Klein
Bill Koepp, A. F. Smith & Son Inc.
Bill Krumm
Tom Lancaster
Henry S. Landau, H.S. Landau Inc.
Light Action Foundation, Henry Bednarz
Wilson Little
Scott Logan
Mr. and Mrs. Patrick B. Long
Gary Loy
Bob Lyons
Rex Marshall, Aluminum Supply Co. Inc.
Mr. and Mrs. William C. Martin
John Martin
Jim Marcolf, Fontanessi & Kaan Co.
Gary Matthews
Jamie Mayrand
Ted McOmber
Michael Merrell
Michigan Trenching Service, R.B. Lyons
Sandra L. Miller
Riggs Miller, Schlage Lock Company
Robert Millheim
Linda Milliken, Milliken Interiors Inc.
John Minick
Anthony Mitchell
Mark Mohr
Jack Moorhead, MSI
Dr. and Mrs. Joe Morris
Dean Morrow
Mr. and Mrs. Cruse W. Moss
Roy Muir
NBD Bank N.A., Gene Fowler
Jonathan Nyhus
Edwin Nyhus
Joe O'Neal, O'Neal Construction Inc.
Dr. and Mrs. Mark Orringer
Sam Palazzolo
Dan Parrotte, Ironstone Welding
Randolph C. Paschke
Philip Paskan
William Payne
Scott Pemberton, Siemens I.T.E.
Charles Phibbs, The Paholak Group
Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Pickard
Les Pierce
Jeff Porter
Mr. and Mrs. L. Norris Post
Eugene Power
The Power Foundation
Progressive Building Materials, Mark Haas
Don Pruneall
Gary Rauser
Robert Reilly
Harry Richardson
Alyce Riemenschneider, Riemenschneider
Design Assoc. Inc.
Robertson-Morrison Inc., Frank Johnson Rollform Inc. .George C. Adams Dennis Ruppert, United Mill & Cabinet Co. Mr. and Mrs. Richard Sarns Rich Sayles, Huron Valley Glass Tom Schlaff
SCP Enterprises Inc., Mark J. Cygan Ronald Seeley
Joe Sera, Bryant Air Conditioning Tom Sernett, Clinch-On Products Kermit Sharp Jeff Sinkiss Herbert E. Sloan Robert Sloan and Ellen Byerlein Kathy Smith, O'Neal Construction David Smith, Glidden Paint Company Julius Smith
Drs. Irving and Carol Smokier Mr. and Mrs. Gerard Spencer Dave Spicer Paul Spradlin Patricia Stegall Greg Stephans
Randy Stowers, Gasser & Bush Inc. Robert Stumpf Mr. Richard Suminski Joan Susskind Anthony Swartz Peter Swope Garold Taylor T. J. Tillman
The Trane Company, Jim Baker Jim Tripp Charles Visel
Keith Walker, Landis & Gyr Powers Inc. Ralph Wickham, Acoustic Ceiling &. Partition Mike Wilt, Certainteed Corporation Farris W. Womack Mr. and Mrs. Paul Yhouse
If we have overlooked a name, please let us know. We apologize in advance for this omission.

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