They say music is a universal language; it doesn’t only unite different culture and nationalities but also celebrates a form of self-expression that is respected by many regardless of gender, age, and beliefs.
Japan is the home of several successful names in the music industry that managed to influence a significant number of people. Names like AKB48, L’Arc-en-Ciel, and ONE OK ROCK are only some of the artists that the country is proud of.
Amidst these mainstream performers is this group that does not only stun the audience with their captivating instrumentals, but also impresses by showcasing glamorous costumes, artistic drum skills, and highly synchronized dance moves that would literally leave anyone in awe. Find out more about them!
— DRUM TAO (@drum_tao) July 30, 2017
DRUM TAO is an ensemble originally formed in 1993 by Ikuo Fujitaka in Japan’s Aichi Prefecture. The main idea of forming the group somehow revolves around creating great music while presenting Japanese tradition at the same time. The group uses traditional Japanese drums that are either carried by each person while dancing, or placed on stage before the start of each performance.
DRUM TAO’s performances look so fluid that it’s easy to dismiss their acts as simple. They move in perfect synchrony, project graceful faces on stage, and definitely don’t show any signs of fatigue while doing their routines. Watching them is a pleasure!
However, to stand on the same stage as them takes more than just months of training. Before any of the members get the right to perform, years of rigorous training has to be observed to equip oneself with the stamina, discipline, and mindset necessary to be one with the group and continually produce music that the audience would enjoy.
Rather than just being a musician, aspiring members of DRUM TAO are said to undergo athletic-like training which includes waking up early in the morning, running long kilometers, calisthenics, and even martial arts! That explains the perfect fluidity and snappy transitions accompanying their moves.
It was this type of training that was said to be among the reasons why hundreds of trainees left the group even before finishing and getting the chance to perform in public. Those who remained continuously honed their skills and are among the core group who now enjoys both the global exposure and support from the public.
On the musical side, DRUM TAO is known for their skills in playing taiko drums, Japanese flute, gongs, horizontal harp, and other instruments that when played altogether produce a unique and lovely musical composition.
What started as a local group of musical performers in Aichi gained more popularity when they transferred to Kyushu – the island where TAO Village is built, complete with training rooms, gyms, and complimentary facilities for the members.
DRUM TAO’s debut on the international scene happened in 2004 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, an arts festival that was participated by thousands of groups from all around the world. Now, the ensemble continues to capture the hearts of the international community. Get to know their members by visiting their official website linked below.