Although the main focus of the performance is taiko drumming, other traditional Japanese musical instruments such as fue and shamisen make an appearance on stage as do traditional dance and vocal performance. Kodo's performance include pieces based on the traditional rhythms of regional Japan, pieces composed for Kodo by contemporary songwriters, and pieces written by Kodo members themselves.
In Japanese the word "Kodo" conveys two meanings: "heartbeat" the primal source of all rhythm and, read in a different way, the word can mean "children of the drum."
Since their debut at the Berlin Festival in 1981, Kodo has had almost 4,000 performances, spending about a third of the year overseas, a third touring in Japan and a third resting and preparing new material on Sado Island.
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