DRUM TAO is a famous Japanese performing group and their headquarters “Grandioso” is located in the Aso Kuju National Park in Kyushu.
I had an opportunity to visit them as part of a tour that they had organised. This place is typically not opened to the public, but if you are interested in visiting, you can do so when they hold their annual Summer Festival in August. Do check their website (http://www.drum-tao.com/) for more details nearer to the date.
The colour of the buildings are a striking contrast to the surrounding countryside and the air is really fresh here! This is their main studio where they hold their practices.
There is also a second studio for rehearsals.
We learnt that Drum Tao has their training sessions from 5am-8am daily and a lot of hard work goes into their practice sessions! New apprentices have to be mentally prepared for a tough time during their initial 1-2 years there and some who cannot make the cut will be asked to leave. Perhaps some of the newbies may try to run away if they personally feel that they cannot endure the rigorous training, but as this location is in a rather remote area, it’s quite difficult for anyone to simply “run away” as it is an extremely long walk to get to the main road and public transportation is scarce in these parts! Haha…it sounded very much like being stuck at some Chinese martial arts school hidden in the secluded mountains!
We were treated to a private performance at their main studio, but were told that we weren't allowed to take any photos or videos of the performance, so here's a picture of the drums that were setup prior to the show.
The performance was really good and I even bought one of their DVDs! If you haven't watched them perform live before, you should go get tickets if they happen to be performing at a location near you. They do have touring schedules around Japan and also at overseas venues.
After the show, we had the rare opportunity to take a picture with the performers! This is one experience of a lifetime that I will never forget!!
On the evening before my visit to "Grandioso", we had attended a special outdoor performance by Drum Tao, held at the Oka Castle Ruins in Taketa City.
Okajo Castle Premium LIVE「岡城 プレミアムLIVE」 was a project by the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Organizing Committee, to measure Olympic and Paralympic basic policy promotion.
Unfortunately it was raining heavily that day, but the show still proceeded as they had built tents over the stage. The use of umbrellas wasn’t allowed as they would obstruct the view of those seated around you, thus everyone was expected to wear raincoats and watch the show in the rain!
Although the rain didn’t relent, our spirits were not dampened and judging from the response from the audience, everyone had a great time as the performance was amazing and all the members of Drum Tao were so talented!
There were two stages at the Oka Castle Ruins and no cameras were allowed at the second stage, so I'll leave you with a video of their performance from the first stage. Enjoy! ^_^
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