Burnside Album Details

Portland Taiko, Rhythms Of Change

Formed in 1994, Asian American drum ensemble Portland Taiko's third release, Rhythms of Change, is an exciting mix of ancient Japanese drumming and complex contemporary rhythms. This is Japanese American music, based on the heartbeat of the old ceremonial drums but bringing them brashly into the 21st century. Echoes of jazz, world beat, Japanese folk, Celtic lament, vocal counterpoint, chant, European symphonic music and Kronos-style contemporary composition bubble in the blend. In Rhythms of Change the drums are the core: the giant odaiko and hide-stretched nagado of the old ceremonies. Add the clangs, scratches, rattles, rubbings, whiskings, battings, whips and whooshes of other rhythm instruments and you get an urgent, interlocking wave of sound. And not just percussion: melody and harmony, too. The variety of tones these drums can achieve is profound and astonishing, and it elevates Portland Taiko's sound to total music.

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