Mood Indigo, the popular IIT-Bombay fest, along with Ferriswheels entertainment started the Mood Indigo World Fest last year. Consider it a mini fest inside one of Asia’s biggest fest, where there are groups invited from over the world to perform. This year the visiting countries were Italy, Sri Lanka, Romania, Serbia and Japan. While Italy showcased flag throwers and Sri Lanka, Romania, Serbia performed folk dances, the headlining act for the night was surely the Japanese Taiko drummers.
Taiko (太鼓), means drums in Japanese, is an ancient Japanese form of percussion, but more often used to mean the relatively modern art of Japanese drum performances. Some of these drums are ingenious while some have been adapted from other cultures. The drums used by the group varied in sizes ranging from Shime-daiko which are generally rope tensioned drums and about the size of snare drums to Nagado-daiko with characteristically deep, reverberating sound and about 1 meter in length.
Although traditionally, taiko have been used in very specific ways and in certain combinations of instruments, modern groups do not suffer such restrictions. Their performance mostly followed a jo-ha-kyū (beginning, middle, end/rapid, sudden, urgent, and emergency) structure, with the drummers providing the vocals as well as some of the drummers shifting to flute for parts of the piece. The performance significantly sped up towards the grand finale and left the audience wanting for more as the whole auditorium roared into a standing ovation.