Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Support independent student journalism. Support independent student journalism. Support independent student journalism.
The Dartmouth
May 28, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Yamato gives Hop a 'heartbeat'

Yamato, the Drummers of Japan, will wrap up the Hop's line-up of visiting performers for Fall term tonight at 7 p.m.
Yamato, the Drummers of Japan, will wrap up the Hop's line-up of visiting performers for Fall term tonight at 7 p.m.

Yamato, whose name is derived from the Japanese city where the group is based, is comprised of young male and female musicians. The main instrument employed by the drummers is the taiko, a massive, double-faced drum whose origins can be traced to ancient Japanese battlefields.

The company has received worldwide acclaim including accolades like the Spirit of Fringe Award, which the group earned at their first international performance at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1998.

"Shin-on," the title of Yamato's current tour, means "heartbeat" in Japanese. Through drumming, Yamato will provide its audience with a glimpse into the heart and soul of Japanese musical tradition. As Yamato's website states, the mission of the Shin-on tour is to prove that the "drumbeat, like the heartbeat, is the very pulse of life."

A typical Yamato performance is an energy-infused, strikingly physical experience. The drummers, positioned in sturdy, wides stance behind their instruments, dance to the rhythm as they strike their drums, each beat in perfect unison. Their arms move furiously as they produce sounds ranging from soft taps to loud booms. Their conspicuously intense concentration does not deter them from interacting with each other. Rather, the drummers spontaneously communicate through passionate yelps and screams.

Today's performance will begin at 7 p.m. A discussion with Yamato will follow the show.