O-Suwa-Daiko Ensemble

Japan, O-Suwa-Daiko Drums

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AllMusic Review by Bruno DeschĂȘnes

This CD is a reissue of an LP produced by UNESCO in 1978. The original LP came out before the flood in the 1980s from the two most popular Japanese percussions groups, Kodo and Ondekoza. The O-Suwa-Daiko was originally a percussion ensemble affiliated to a Shinto temple (Shinto being the native religion of Japan) from the region of Suwa, surrounding a lake also called Suwa, not that far from Nagano. The ensemble was used in ceremonials, rituals, and festivals, as well as during wars. A typical style of music has been created, the kagura, as well as dances which were accompanied by the percussions. The instruments included few other instruments such as the conch and the fue (a small transverse bamboo flute). Oguchi Daihachi founded the new O-Suwa-Daiko to "bring back to life" the music and dances that were played when the original ensemble was used for the temple activities. A superb tradition for modern ears!

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