Senryu Taiko’s Eleventh Annual Spring Concert

By Chloe Rodriguez, CHASS Student Writer
May 29, 2018

On May 19th from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, Senryu Taiko held their eleventh annual Spring concert called Godaiko; a play on words to the Japanese philosophy of Godai which means the universe formed by the five great elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, and Void. Since 1998, Senryu Taiko has been one of the oldest collegiate taiko groups in the United States. With twenty generations, they continue to maintain the tradition of Kumi-daiko through their performances.  As the audience filed in to take their seats, a slideshow of the different taiko drummers played on a screen up front. I sat in the back row, ready to capture every move and every sound that ricocheted from the stage. At 6:00pm on the dot, the lights were lowered as the curtains were raised and their first performance, Earth, began. The percussion from their drums and their voices beautifully echoed through the room as bright orange light filled the stage and illuminated the players. After each set, different players would do a quick performance at the very front of the stage, as the drums were being switched out in the dim background. In a few of these short performances, there would be a flute player as some of the other players danced around them. In another, one of the players drummed on a box they were sitting on. The concert was very versatile and focused on many aspects of Japanese music/culture.

After they performed Earth, Water, and Fire, there was a five minute intermission. For the next hour, the last two acts of Godaiko, Wind and Void, were performed followed by twelve other acts with pops of blue and red lighting the stage. Each performance told a story that stemmed from Japanese culture. Each player moved to the music and held great big grins that engaged the audience. The vibrancy of colors and sound danced together creating hypnotic performances from each taiko player which caused the audience to react and cheer. After their finale, the taiko group along with their directors gathered around on stage and took a bow. One of the directors gave a thank you speech to everyone who participated in helping the concert be a success. The concert was a work of art in motion, fluid with each transition and sound. It was truly a night to remember. 

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