Appreciation of music and musical instruments can surpass all national and cultural boundaries. Yuhei Motoyama, an expert Taiko drummer from Japan was in Kerala, recently, as part of a cultural exchange program between Japan Foundation, Delhi, and the Vayali Folklore Group, Thrissur. The celebrated Takio expert Yuhei Motoyama conducted a fusion-presentation Mazhathalam’ (Rhythm of rains), along with the Vayali Bamboo Folks from Thrissur.
Yuhei Motoyama had spend over a week’s time in Thrissur and Palakkad districts and engaged in interaction with percussionists such as Chenda, Maddalam and Ilathalam artist and conducted eight open performances in and around Kerala.
The interactions with the percussionists from Kerala enabled Yuhei Motoyama to understand the common threads in Japanese and Indian percussion traditions. The performances of the Japanese drummer conducted along with the Vayali Bamboo Folks created a mesmerizing experience of rhythm and music for the audience.
Yuhei Motoyama started playing Taiko since the age of 12 in a Japanese Drum group, Hatoyama Koinnokai. While playing in the group for 10 years, he trained himself not only in composing pieces but also playing in various places, including Alaska, USA. When he was 18 years old, he moved into Tokyo and joined a Japanese professional drum organization, Oedo sukero kutaiko. Currently he is the member of ‘Indra’ group from Japan which is involved with the mission popularizing Taiko in India and promoting cultural exchanges between the two countries.
Yuhei Motoyama, said that the exposure provided by the percussionists from Kerala has enriched his understanding of the world of drums and expressed interest to promote cultural exchanges and joint performances with Kerala’s drum experts in the future also. “It was a unique experience to associate with Thirumattakodu’s Vayali Folklore Group, the only music band in the country that uses instruments specially designed out of bamboo. Their lead instrument flute and other bamboo-based instruments such as Mulam Chenda, Mulam Thudi, and Mazha Mooli have inspired me a lot. I will come back to study more on how application of bamboo-based products can improve and sustain Japanese instrumental music sector,” he said.>/p>
It was Yuhei Motoyama’s third visit to India. He had performed at Bhubaneswar in 2013 and in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Coimbatore in the last year.