Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Hibiki's Vision

Four performers, eleven drums, HIBIKI were my taiko favourites at last year's Edinburgh Fringe, see here. This year they are back at the same venue, in a better time-slot, more confident, and if anything even more accomplished than before! FIVE stars in my opinion.

Here's the promotional group photo! You know, there is always a risk going back to see a performance that you've enjoyed before. Sometimes it can disappoint. Hibiki's show was the reason I went up to Edinburgh yesterday. Would the effort be worth it? Would they be as good?

They were not just as good as before, they were even better. The set-list for 'Super-cussion 2016' comprised seven separate pieces. The second of these, 'Vision', had the hairs on the back of my neck standing up. Wow!

The group compose their own work, and Hibiki has an original style. I'm no taiko expert, but I've seen a fair bit by now, and I know what I enjoy. Two new pieces, 'Tabi-no-mono' (Travellers) and 'Junction B' have been created from the inspiration the group took from appearing at the Fringe last year.

Even if you have never seen taiko before, do go and see Hibiki. They are on at Venue 43, thespace@Symposium Hall, Hill Square, every day (except the 21st) until the end of the Fringe, at 14.00.

Early for the performance, I got to meet the group again, and was able to appreciate the logistics involved in getting ready for the performance. First problem - all the drums have got to be moved to the stage, and then removed immediately thereafter as the conveyor belt that is the Fringe progresses to the next act at the venue.
The performance space is actually a couple of floors up, so the little lift was working overtime moving the drums about.

That's Natsuko in the photo above. In one performance she plays the group's biggest drum, with what looks like a baseball bat, which she whirls around one-handed! I asked if this drumstick had a name, and it seems to be called (translated) as 'bat-stick'. You have to see it to believe it!

I found this page a good introduction to the various types of Japanese drums.
There is this YouTube video of Hibiki online. Personally, I think that drums never come over well on television, or on the computer or tablet. Much, much better is the live performance, where you can feel the air vibrate and see the physicality (make that the sweat) of the performers. But the video certainly gives a taste of Hibiki! Turn up the sound.

There's more on the group's website here, where you can also read about Hibiki's story.

Not quite the same as collecting curling pins, but I'm working towards the full set!

The group state that their goal is 'to make the world a better place'. They certainly enriched my life yesterday. Many congratulations to Hironobu, Manabu, Megumi and Natsuko, and their stage director Kazuhiro Hirano. Continued success.


Pics as usual by Skip Cottage, and illustrations from various flyers. More on yesterday's Fringe adventures to follow.

1 comment:

  1. Very happy to know you like Japanese Drum, HIBIKI!
    Considering if you feel each member of HIBIKI show their individuality through their performance.

    I would like you to enjoy this PV, which are No.4 of Set-List and a music, advertising on the street,
    Hope you will enjoy HIBIKI's performance and their personalities, too!

    Harumi from Japan