Since 1997 TaikOz has established a unique performance aesthetic that reflects the group’s passionate dedication to the forms of wadaiko and a desire to create new music for today’s audiences.
TaikOz regularly performs main-stage concerts and collaborative projects throughout Australia and internationally. Programs often feature the full 8-member ensemble as well as smaller combinations of players including, on many programs, Shakuhachi Grand Master Riley Lee.
The ensemble has a range of full-length (90') productions that are suitable for concert hall and theatre venues. These include "Shifting Sand" and "Blessings Of The Earth".
TaikOz is also a very popular act on the festival circuit. Programs are designed to suit the more informal nature of these events.
"Thunderous rhythms crack, splinter, somersault and hurtle into the air, creating a magnetic hypnotism. Waves of rhythmic invention, born of gymnastic grace and primal ecstatic energy."HERALD SUN
The fundamental basis of TaikOz’s performance reflects three principal areas of creative endeavour: the creation of new taiko music by Australian and international composers, the study and performance of drum and flute music from Japan, and the interpretation of music of contemporary Japanese composers such as Maki Ishii and Eitetsu Hayashi. Our aim is not to simply transplant one culture’s music into another’s, but to allow a new form of music to grow upon a sure foundation of understanding and application of wadaiko technique and spirit.
From this basis TaikOz has developed its own sound by drawing upon the input of its members, whose musical backgrounds range from years of study and performance in Japanese traditional music, symphonic music, jazz and pop, as well as esteemed colleagues and teachers in Japan such as Eitetsu Hayashi, Fuun no Kai, past members of Sado no Kuni Ondekoza, and composer friends and artists, Meryl Tankard, Regis Lansac, Gerard Brophy, John Bell, Michael Askill , Timothy Constable, Graham Koehne and Andrea Molino.
Through the collective power of these diverse, but sympathetic, creative spirits, TaikOz has been able to forge a style all its own that reflects the members’ high energy, commitment and joy in making music.
Since the group's inception members of TaikOz have created over twenty-five original works for wadaiko, often featuring such instruments as shakuhachi, shinobue, nôkan, voice, percussion, marimba, saxophone, guitar and didgeridoo.
TaikOz have collaborated with some of the world's finest artists, including world-renowned taiko greats Eitetsu Hayashi, Eitetsu Fuun no Kai and Kodo, percussion group Synergy, didgeridoo virtuosi Matthew Doyle and William Barton, theatre director John Bell and The Bell Shakespeare Company, choreographer Meryl Tankard, composers Andrea Molino, Gerard Brophy, David Pye and Graeme Koehne, and the Sydney, Melbourne, West Australian and Queensland Symphony Orchestras. TaikOz have also collaborated with major festivals in Sydney, Brisbane, Tasmania, Adelaide and Perth, often creating new works for wadaiko and other artists and art forms.
The ensemble has appeared on stages in Japan, Paris, Bangkok and most recently in Taiwan. TaikOz regularly performs in Australia's finest concert halls, as well as the theatres of regional Australia.
A brief overview of TaikOz's history:
Over twenty-five original works for wadaiko, often featuring such instruments as shakuhachi, shinobue, nôkan, koto, voice, percussion, marimba, saxophone, guitar and didgeridoo
New works for wadaiko and other instruments by Australian composers Gerard Brophy, David Pye, Michale Askill, Timothy Constable, Philip South and Graeme Koehne
150 taiko players, drummers and percussionists in Sydney City for Sydney Festival First Night (2010)
John Bell and The Bell Shakespeare Company in William Shakespeare's Pericles (2009)
Senior members of Kodo - Yoshikazu Fujimoto, Chieko Kojima, Yoko Fujimoto, Motofumi Yamaguchi and Eiichi Saito (2009)
Director and choreographer Meryl Tankard in Kaidan: A Ghost Story - a dance, music, theatre work - Sydney Festival at the Sydney Opera House (2007) World Premiere Work
Eitetsu Hayashi and Fuun no Kai in Australia and Japan (2000, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2008)
Wadaiko Matsumura-gumi in Australia and Japan (2004, 2005)
Performances of Australian taiko music in Japan:
National Theatre of Japan, Tokyo (2008)
Hibike Festival, Echizen (2005)
Kaikyôsai Festival, Kobe (2001)
Performances with orchestra:
Mono-Prismby Maki Ishii with the Sydney, Melbourne, West Australian and Queensland Symphony Orchestras, and conductors Hiroyuki Iwaki, Ryusuke Numajiri and David Porcilijn (1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2009, 2009, 2010)
Book Of Cloudsby Gerard Brophy with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Riley Lee, shakuhachi and Synergy Percussion, conducted by Tadaaki Otaka (2008) World Premiere Work
Winners by Andrea Molino and the Queensland Symphony at the Brisbane Festival and Dresden Sinfoniker at the Pompidou Centre, Paris (2006) World Premiere Work
Major tours of regional Australia:
Blessings Of The Earth(2010)
Da Ha-Pounding Wave(2006)
Limelight "Best New Composition Award" for Kaidan (2007)
Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award in recognition of TaikOz's commitment to Australian music (2006)
Drover Award for regional touring and education (2005)
The group has released three CDs and a DVD, which was recorded live in Sydney's City Recital Hall, Angel Place.
SCHOOLS CONCERTS AND WORKSHOPS
TaikOz regularly performs concerts and workshops for Primary and High School students. Combining the power of the taiko drums with the hushed, ethereal tones of the bamboo shinobue flute, a typical 50 minute concert features performance of Japanese and Australian music along with student participation.
Our 50-60 minute workshops for schools introduce students to the power of the taiko drumming through the 'hands-on' experience.