Yamato

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July 7, 2003
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Please note: This page has not been updated since September 22, 2003. We decided to keep it online because we think the information is still valuable.
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 Yamato
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Article

Japanese heartbeats

Pure energy meets spiritual highs.

Japanese taiko ensemble, Yamato, expresses the voice of the heart itself, when the 7 drummers deliver their magnificent show with an alarming pulse. The result of their efforts on the drums is impressive, when they dominate the scene for their strong visual performance. There is also more than a dash of the spiritual in their highly physical show.
Yamato plays a variety of drums, with added timpani and flute, and instruments ranging from tambours via sidedrums to massive kettledrums.

The massive sound of the enormous Taiko-drum is filling the air, raises to the head, enters the blood. Strongly and with a deep, almost meditative concentration the muscular drummer is controlling his instrument. Every fibre in his body is as tightened as the oxide, which reflects his precise, virtuous beets with the meter long club.

The Yamato-performance ´Voices of the Heart´ is a tribute to the very first sound we listen to: Mums heartbeat. Our original instincts are awakened and we are enriched by the experience of a yearlong Japanese music tradition in a present, concerned and attentive reign. The young musicians perform with the beautiful instruments as the only stenography, and throws the public in an atmosphere of intense, reflective happiness. Deep, ritual rest alternates with veritable sense bombardments. In the second part of the concert humour is pooping up in playing and teasing passages, which trills the public.

Taiko means simply ´thick drums´, but not only the huge drums dominates the picture of sounds. Lesser drums and small bronze instruments, which are controlled with an impressive virtuosity, delivers the fast and inciting rhythms, and in specific sequences bamboo flutes and string instruments form a tuneful contrast.

Wadaiko is an old instrument, believed to have existed in many parts of the world. The sound of this instrument touches the heart of people of all ages Yamato has been able to touch people with these very simple drums by putting their heart into them. The sound of the heart-beat goes all the way to the audience.

Yamato expresses the idea behind their music as follows:

"The rhythms which we use are sometimes intense, sometimes funny, or warm. Our wish is to express different moods, times and places. We face the world with courage and beat Taiko. With this feeling on our souls, we train our bodies everyday towards Taikodo, sometimes in a dynamic, sometimes in a soft manner. The moment the heartbeat coincides with the rhythm of the soul it´s Yamato. The moment every member of the audience feels refreshed by something new within them, the power of life is being communicated. We wish to continue to beat the Taiko to create such moments".

Yamato explains the motive behind its music as follows:

"It´s all about enjoyment, communication, sharing: we want to free the spirit".

"The name Yamato is the old name of Japan and Nara, where we where born and where our research of Taiko sounds originated. Yamato id a special word for the Japanese and our music reminds them of the "good old times".

The press wrote:

"The ten-strong troupe combines a visual panache and sense of theatre with the ancient traditions of Japanese Taiko drumming - ensemble drumming on barreltype instruments with elegant but powerful arm movements; at others they dance while carrying sling drums. And throughout the performance the group talk to each other, through the different pitches of their instruments", Mark Espiner wrote in the Guardian, May, 99.
Author: Karin Bergquist

Bio

1993: Yamato was formed in Nara, a city where the Japanese culture is believed to have started.

During the last 7 years Yamato have more than 700 concerts all over the world. They performed in Western Europa, in Scandinavia, Israel, Brasil, as well as China, Korea and Indonesia. In 1999 they gave 75 concerts in Holland, Belgium, Germany, Austria, England, and Israel. In 2000 the gave 30 concerts in England and Scotland.

Projects

This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the culturebase.net partner institutions.

Images of Asia

(08 August 03 - 26 September 03)

Www

Yamato´s official web site

Homepage of Yamato