Her heart pounding to the beat, Serene Tseng explores how the Yamato drummers give tempo to the rhythm of life.
The Yamato drummers give tempo to the rhythm of life.
With beats so powerful they reverberate through the body like a second pulse, Yamato is more than just a group of musicians — it’s a drumming troupe that infuses its shows with music, dance, and intense emotions. The drummers perform exclusively with the classic taiko drum, combining traditional Japanese techniques with Yamato’s own modern aesthetics and energetic choreography. Their name alone lends a clue to their philosophy: Just as Japan was once known as Yamato, the troupe’s music provides a link between the ancient and the modern.
The taiko drum has a storied history of its own, as well as a mythological origin in Japanese folklore, which likens it to the heartbeat of life. This is better understood through the words of Yamato’s artistic director, Masa Ogawa: “The taiko beat is soothing, for it is the sound of Japan itself.” And indeed, the heart-thumping rhythms are wildly popular worldwide, so much so that Yamato already has numerous world tours and more than 2,500 performances under its belt since its founding in Japan’s Nara Prefecture 20 years ago. The drummers are so passionately dedicated to their craft that they rehearse for months at a time before embarking on their annual tours.
This year, Yamato once again brings the sound and culture of Japan to a global audience with their new show, titled BakuOn, which visits Berlin for six consecutive nights, from 14 to 19 July, at the Komische Oper. www.yamatodrummers.com www.komischeoper.de