The thunderous boom of the Taiko drums, the magical sounds of the shakuhachi and fue flutes, and the beautiful tones of the Koto stringed instrument resonated throughout the Student Life Center on Tuesday, February 12, as the Taikoza Drummers performed at this month’s Student Life and Activities Live@Lunch event.
Marco Lienhard, artistic director of Taikoza, and group member Marguerite Bunyan entered the room shaking instruments that sounded similar to Spanish maracas, instantly capturing the audience’s attention and silencing the myriad conversations taking place. A hush came over the room. Leinhard and Bunyan picked up their sticks, and started beating the drums to create pulsating rhythms. The beats boomed louder, then softer, then louder again, until they reached a crescendo. Then, silence. In contrast to the reverberating beats, the silence was palpable. Applause filled the Navesink room in the Student Life Center where more 250 students were gathered.
A series of sets ensued with instrumentation that mesmerized the audience. Japanese folk dance and costumed characters enhanced the music performance, keeping the energy high and the audience engaged. Between each set, Lienhard explained the story behind each performance and the location in Japan where the song, dance, or characters originated. “Every performance that accompanies the Taiko drum, whether it is the addition of other musical instruments or dancing, has significant meaning. These drums were used to tell stories and to communicate between villages, during battles, and during religious ceremonies,” Lienhard said.
This event was sponsored by Brookdale’s Asia Society and Student Life and Activities. For a list of more activities visit the calendar of events at www.brookdalecc.edu or call 732-224-2500.