Heartbeat of Japan: New Traditions of the Japanese Drum

  • 17 Mar 2019
  • 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM (UTC-03:00)

In ancient times, the taiko was sounded to determine ancient village boundaries and to send messages – such as signalling the time. During wars in medieval Japan, the taiko were beaten to boost the morale of the troops while instilling fear in the enemy. To this day, the taiko are played in festivals to pray for rain, a bountiful harvest, and to drive away evil spirits and pests that are harmful to crops.

Nagata Shachu, a music group based in Toronto, has enthralled audiences with its mesmerizing and heart-pounding performances of the taiko since the group’s formation in 1998. Nagata Shachu has toured widely throughout Canada, the United States, Italy, and the Middle East, performing in major theatres, concert halls, and festivals.

While rooted in the folk drumming traditions of Japan, the ensemble’s principal aim is to rejuvenate this ancient art form by producing innovative and exciting music that seeks to create a new voice for the taiko.

Featuring an arsenal of taiko, bamboo flutes, and an array of gongs, cymbals, shakers, and wood blocks, Nagata Shachu will take you on a musical journey beyond all borders.

The performance will be preceded by a lecture on the history and evolution of taiko performance. This lecture will be led by Kiyoshi Nagata, the music group’s founder.

Nagata Shachu Japanese drummersSpeaker: Kiyoshi Nagata
Kiyoshi Nagata is one of Canada’s pre-eminent taiko artists and has been performing for over 36 years. For eight years, he instructed two community groups, Isshin Daiko in Toronto and Do-Kon Daiko in Burlington. In 1994, Kiyoshi founded the cross-cultural percussion ensemble, Humdrum, whose debut Toronto performance was ranked fourth in NOW Magazine’s Top Ten Concerts of 1995. He has composed and performed taiko music for dance, theatre, film, and radio, and continues to collaborate with artists from all genres of music, including traditional Japanese instrumentalists.

This event is free with registration.

Register at ryerson.ca/ce/japanesedrum

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