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Seven Flowers

Taikoz

Year: 2021
Code: PA-Seven

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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.

Seven Flowers:

Moments of intimate delicacy morph into thunderous peaks. Artists, young to mature, perform profoundly evocative works, all wrapped in an ever-evolving stage design by Bart Groen with art by Emma Hack.

Inspired by Noh playwright and theoretician Zeami’s once secret 15th Century treatise Fushiukaden and featuring internationally acclaimed Taikoz with guest artists including shakuhachi Grand Master Riley Lee and vocalist/percussionist Jess Ciampa

Seven Flowers sees an extension of Taikoz’s musical palette: WA composer Stuart James’ atmospheric Kinabuhi | Kamatayon for Gamelan gongs and electronics sits aside a song by Taikoz Artitsic Director Ian Cleworth scored for voice, taiko, percussion and electronica, while a ‘re-imagined’ Shinto prayer contrasts with Swiss composer Fritz Hauser’s Shong – a drum solo played with hands, brushes and voice!

“The flower is the mind, the seed is technique.”
Zeami Fushikaden (The Transmission of Style and the Flower)

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.

"When Riley Lee enters for his turns with his bamboo flutes to play shakuhachi, one is aware that we are in the presence of a master, similarly, one is moved to believe the mastery charisma exuded with the presence and playing, by the leader of this extraordinary company, Ian Cleworth, particularly with his mesmerising and startlingly wondrous solo on drum."  Kevin Jackson, Kevin Jackson’s Theatre Diary

"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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