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Taikoz 20: Land | Sea | Sky | Home

Taikoz

Year: 2021
Code: PA-Taikoz20

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Ian Cleworth and Riley Lee formed Taikoz in 1997. Over the past two decades the group has developed an original repertoire of works and productions that has seen them perform on the stages of Australia's finest concert halls, in the theatres of regional Australia, and in leading theatres and concert halls worldwide. Taikoz has performed in Japan, Paris, Bangkok, Taiwan, Abu Dhabi, and the USA where the ensemble headlined the Taiko Nation concerts at the 2014 World Taiko Gathering in Los Angeles. Most recently Taikoz toured India with Chi Udaka, receiving much critical acclaim. 

The group regularly appears in the theatres of regional Australia, having undertaken six Australia-wide tours. Taikoz has composed over thirty original works for taiko including several in combination with instruments such as shakuhachi, koto, marimba, saxophone, cello, drum set and didgeridoo. Distinguished composers Lachlan Skipworth, Sandy Evans, Gerard Brophy, Andrea Molino, Michael Askill, David Pye, Graeme Koehne and Timothy Constable have also written works for the ensemble.

“20 takes you on a rich sonic and visual journey. We are immensely proud of the achievements of Taikoz over the past two decades, and this is a celebration of our work that we couldn’t be more excited to share with our audience. And of course, in true Taikoz style, we’ll also be breaking new ground through truly exciting new collaborations with Sandy Evans and Chongwei Zhang.”  Ian Cleworth, Artistic Director of Taikoz

2017 marks Taikoz’s 20th year of incredible music making and performance. To celebrate this outstanding achievement, Australia’s internationally acclaimed drumming ensemble presents a spectacular evening of music and movement.

Drawing on the theme of Land-Sea-Sky, much of the music celebrates, takes inspiration from, and expresses the very essence of ‘land-ness’, ‘sea-ness’ & ‘sky-ness’. A fourth scene was born out of an inescapable thought: “what about those people who have been separated from their country, culture, families and friends, and who are deprived the ability and right to ‘celebrate’, ‘be inspired by’, ‘express the essence of’, or indeed simply ‘experience’ land, sea & sky?” And so, the words of Iranian poet and one-time asylum seeker Mohsen Soltani Zand inspired the creation of a new work by Sandy Evans, specially commissioned for the concert.

20: Land-Sea-Sky-Home sees Taikoz perform a wide range of music for taiko, percussion, and voice, along with the sublime artistry of Riley Lee (shakuhachi) and Sandy Evans (saxophone), and beguiling movement choreographed by Tai Chi master Chongwei Zhang.

Ian Cleworth and Riley Lee formed Taikoz in 1997. Over the past two decades the group has developed an original repertoire of works and productions that has seen them perform on the stages of Australia's finest concert halls, in the theatres of regional Australia, and in leading theatres and concert halls worldwide. Taikoz has performed in Japan, Paris, Bangkok, Taiwan, Abu Dhabi, and the USA where the ensemble headlined the Taiko Nation concerts at the 2014 World Taiko Gathering in Los Angeles. Most recently Taikoz toured India with Chi Udaka, receiving much critical acclaim. 

The group regularly appears in the theatres of regional Australia, having undertaken six Australia-wide tours. Taikoz has composed over thirty original works for taiko including several in combination with instruments such as shakuhachi, koto, marimba, saxophone, cello, drum set and didgeridoo. Distinguished composers Lachlan Skipworth, Sandy Evans, Gerard Brophy, Andrea Molino, Michael Askill, David Pye, Graeme Koehne and Timothy Constable have also written works for the ensemble.

Taikoz has collaborated with composers Sandy Evans, Gerard Brophy, Andrea Molino and Michael Askill, and artists as diverse as John Bell and the Bell Shakespeare Company, taiko greats Eitetsu Hayashi, Yoshikazu Fujimoto, Chieko Kojima, and Kaoru Watanabe, the Sydney Improvisers Composers Kollektiv Orchestra (SICKO), as well as distinguished choreographers Meryl Tankard and Anandavalli. In 2012, Taikoz collaborated with Kodo on a nation-wide tour of Australia. The group has also appeared in concerto works with the Sydney, Melbourne, West Australian and Queensland Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Dresden Sinfoniker in Europe. In February 2018, Taikoz, Riley Lee and Kaoru Watanabe were featured soloists with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, performing their own works in arrangements for the ensemble and orchestra, culminating in a newly commissioned work by Lachlan Skipworth called The Breath Of Thunder.

Awards include Limelight Best New Composition Award for Kaidan, Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award in recognition of Taikoz's commitment to Australian music and a Drover Award for regional touring and education. In 2016, Ian and Riley were both awarded the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation for their contributions towards promoting friendship and goodwill between Australia and Japan.

"Thunderous rhythms crack, splinter, somersault and hurtle into the air, creating a magnetic hypnotism. Waves of rhythmic invention, born of gymnastic grace and primal ecstatic energy."  Herald Sun

 "You don't just listen to this music. You see it and feel it, too. Totally compelling."  Sydney Morning Herald

"The honour to hear and see such dedicated and miraculous playing is an astonishment… TAIKOZ is surely a jewel in the treasury of creative art in Australia... (Taikoz has) 'craftsmen' of apparent great natural musical intuition, passion and undoubted and rare practised skill that lift them into the stratosphere of superhuman artistry.”  Kevin Jackson, Kevin Jackson’s Theatre Diary

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