The Japan Foundation
Solo taiko drummer
He is Japan’s premier solo Taiko drummer. Born in Hiroshima, Japan. Eitetsu Hayashi started his Taiko carrier as a founding member and premier performer of the world-renowned groups “Sado Ondekoza” and “Kodo.” After leading these companies for eleven years, he became independent in 1982. He is a frontier of this new taiko music, collaborating with worldly renowned artists in various genre, including jazz, rock, folk music and dance. A side from playing taiko himself, he directs and produces entire stages to create a visually artistic music show.
In 1984, he made his Carnegie Hall début with the American Symphony Orchestra. Since then, his solo career has frequently taken him around the world and across five continents. Hayashi has originated a unique and emotive O-Daiko (big drum) solo style, with his mesmerising sound spectacles leaping beyond traditional Taiko drum performances in technique, physical stamina and expressive range. Hayashi has appeared with top orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He is also the first Taiko soloist to have performed at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Hall. Hayashi received Japan’s prestigious 47th Education Minister’s Art Encouragement Prize in 1997 and the 8th Award for Promotion of Traditional Japanese Culture from the Japan Arts Foundation in 2001.
EITETSU FU-UN no KAI
Opportunity for a great man to achieve aspirations through synergy
Top young taiko drummers active in Japan who resonate with Eitetsu Hayashi’s music make up this unit. It has a fluid membership of 10 or so drummers. In addition to performances of Hayashi’s original composition, SHICHISEI, for big taiko ensemble, the necessary number of drummers join in when Hayashi, who has a career as a soloist, creates an ensemble. “FU-UN no KAI” in the dictionary refers to a favorable opportunity for a great man to take advantage of a situation to achieve his aspirations. The phrase was put to use as the name of the unit because it reflects the spirit of the unit activities. Since the unit was founded in 1995, its overwhelming power and live performances have elicited a strong response around the country. It has participated in Hayashi’s acoustic tour as well as ensemble tours “Jakuchu / The Wings of flightless birds” , “Hikari wo Maku Hito / A Painter Who Planted The Seeds of Light” and “Mio no Hasu / A Lotus Flower Along the Water Channel.” EITETSU FU-UN no KAI has also participated in festivals like the Japan-Korea Music Festival. In addition, the members each pursue their own careers in unit and as soloists in the regions where they are from. The summer of 2005 marked the 10th anniversary of the unit. Since that time, it has started full-fledged activities as an independent unit with Shuichiro Ueda, Mikita Hase, Makoto Tashiro and Tasuku Tsuji as key members.
The unit delights the audience with an extraordinary taiko ensemble in various formats while exhibiting the individuality of each member. Inheriting Hayashi’s aesthetic sense, the unit puts on a tight show with a good, grainy sound, tone sequences that flexibly combine the slow and fast, strong and weak, and polished sound landscapes.