KODO

This is one of those weeks when I feel really lucky to work at the NAC. There’s something interesting on nearly every night, and I’m fortunate enough to get to see some great artists for free.The week kicked off last night with a performance by the Kodo drummers from Japan. I saw Kodo perform in New Jersey back in 1999 and it was an amazing experience. There really is nothing like hearing 13 people pound the hell out of big drums with sticks the size of baguettes – it’s very primal.The cool thing about Kodo is how they’ve managed to take a traditional drumming form and make it into a theatrical event. There is a calculated build to the show – they start small and gradually bring out bigger and bigger drums. When four men finally wheel out the huge taiko drum on a big platform, everyone has the same thought -“Whoa, I wonder what that thing sounds like”.Kodo is also a stunning display of stamina and endurance. All the drummers are in great shape, and when you watch them playing for over 2 hours non-stop, wielding immense wooden sticks and playing with reckless abandon, you can’t help but feel energized (not to mention lazy and fat).Tonight is a completely different experience as Murray Perahia makes a long-awaited return to Ottawa for a piano recital. It should be great.

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