This is a barrel-shaped drum and is basically made of one piece of wood. In the past, the beautiful wood species Zelkova or Keyaki was used, among others. For environmental reasons, nowadays more common glued wood is also used. These very expensive drums are strung with ox skins by means of metal rivets, which makes it difficult to adjust the tension. Such a medium-sized drum easily weighs 85 kg.
De Okedo O daiko (Okedo = uit duigen gemaakt, O = groot, Daiko = trom) van Circle Percussion is de grootste taiko buiten Japan en is bij wijze van experiment speciaal voor het ensemble gebouwd. Deze gigant heeft een diameter van 1.95 m en een lengte van 2.55 m (275 Kg). Het ritme van de O daiko is eenvoudig. Aan de ene kant slaat een speler een begeleidend basisritme, waarop de speler aan de andere kant vrij kan improviseren. Als klank en ritme één worden geraken zowel spelers al toehoorders onwillekeurig in de ban van de O daiko.
Circle Percussion speelt op origineel Japans instrumentarium. De trommels zijn speciaal voor het ensemble gebouwd door de bekende en meest gewaardeerde Japanse trommelbouwer “Asano Taiko Company” uit Japan.
For centuries, the Japanese drum, the taiko, has been an indispensable instrument in Japanese life and culture. However, interest in this instrument declined sharply around the middle of the Meiji era (1868 - 1912). Fortunately, traditional percussion has been enjoying great popularity again in Japan for decades, where groups such as Kodo, and previously Ondekoza, are now flourishing.
The Japanese drum was used in ancient times for hunting, communicating, luring or scaring away wild animals and for encouraging soldiers in battle. The drum was also played by ordinary citizens to add lustre to festivities. Even today, drums still have various functions in Japan.
Around 1965, Tagayasu Den developed a new way of playing the traditional Japanese instruments. At first, he was not interested in the music. He founded a commune with mainly young people, where great physical and mental discipline prevailed.
For years, the Circle Percussion players have patiently mastered the unique Japanese playing styles developed by the famous Kodo group. These playing styles differ fundamentally from the western styles and are experienced as very spectacular by both the players and the audience.
At first, Circle Percussion limited itself to the traditional pieces such as: 'Yatai-bayashi', 'Miyake' and 'Odaiko solo'. They turned out to require a different kind of dedication than western musicians were used to. It has always been the balance between power and beauty that made Japanese drumming so difficult and intriguing at the same time.
As the group of players succeeded in mastering the discipline that Japanese percussion demanded, individual freedom became greater both physically and musically.