Artistic Director of TaikOz Ian Cleworth discusses the ensemble’s latest project ‘pulse:heart:beat’.

Percussion ensemble TaikOz have been bringing traditional Japanese drumming to Australian audiences since 1997. Playing on authentic Japanese taiko drums, they have been described by the Sydney Morning Herald as “energetic, hypnotic and elemental”. On Friday, TaikOz are presenting pulse:heart:beat at City Recital Hall Angel Place in collaboration with Synergy Percussion. Their Artistic Director Ian Cleworth tells us a little about what audiences can expect.

The program includes a lot of musical styles. What’s the biggest influence?

Our ‘pulse:heart:beat’ program is a celebration of rhythm – rhythms that are drawn from all sorts of genres and musical spheres. It’s a riot of rhythmic colour!

For pulse:heart:beat, TaikOz is collaborating with Synergy Percussion. How is it combining traditional Japanese percussion with modern percussion?

Although the roots of taiko lie in Japanese culture – aspects of which can be traced back centuries – taiko performance today is very much a contemporary mode of expression that has moved into the international sphere. All the TaikOz members are well versed in traditional aspects of taiko playing, but we also have a wide combination of other musical, dance and cultural backgrounds that informs our music and performance. TaikOz adds a certain element of drama and dynamic energy – not to...

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