DaichiFrom the The Weekend Australian

22-23 July 2006 :

New World

“THE sensuous shakuhachi flute-playing of Riley Lee takes centre stage on Daichi, a collection of pieces by the members of TaikOz broadly taking inspiration from the idea of place (daichi translates as big earth).

This can be in a literal or metaphorical sense: in Kevin Man’s Kaigan Sen he evokes the sound and feet of the coastline and Graham Hilgendorf’s Daichi takes a walk through plains and hills; Kerryn Joyce’s Recollection, on the other hand, is an exhilarating memory piece.

The joyous taiko ensemble plays its usual eclectic array of percussion instruments – tiny rin Buddhist bells, the giant Odaiko bell, all sorts of drums, cymbals and gongs — with exquisite finesse.

That’s not to say the music can’t get loud and energetic – with this group the vibrations can be every bit as physical as cosmic – but the TaikOz sound is never brash or overbearing.

The contemplative and meditative side of the ensemble is always close to the surface, enhanced in Daichi by the foregrounding of Lee’s deeply felt art, particularly beautiful in the disc’s closing track, the traditional Japanese song Esashi Oiwake.”

Deborah Jones