Almost all the singers in the 300+ member black gospel choir are Japanese; the director is Filipino, the three guest artists are Jamaican, American and Filipino. Then, after the intermission a taiko troupe (Japanese style drum team) joins the unusual choir for one number.
The camera crew is ready, the lights get bright, and with alternating strokes, the drummers pound as if harvesting the very tones. As the rhythm flows, other drums—smaller ones—join in. Suddenly the choir sings “RIDE ON KING JESUS! NO! MAN CANNOT HINDER ME!”
“Wait a moment,” you may ask. “Taiko and Gospel Music? Those two don’t go together.” And you would be right, because, to the best of our knowledge, nobody has ever done it before. But we believe the time is right. Both forms have similar roots, not among the upper-class, but among the lower-class. Both inhabit the world of pop culture. Wa-Daiko, or Group Taiko, is influenced by Jazz music, which grew out of gospel music. Most importantly, however, both forms are part of the folk/pop music culture of Japan.
Hard to imagine it? Then take a few moments to watch the following two videos
Video Below is of the Sendan Taiko troupe from Fukushima Ken, Japan (Scot Eaton, who writes for this blog, is playing the large drum on the left, in the back row)
Video Below is of the Hallelujah Gospel Family (HGF), based in Tokyo, this network of 30 choirs is lead by Ken Taylor. The soloist on this song is Ray Sidney from LA
The black gospel choir/taiko music video will be a fresh presentation of the gospel for Japan and show that Christianity is not just a Western import with no roots in the culture. That is the main reason we are making this music video; to demonstrate, not by preaching, but visually and musically that Jesus is indeed for Japan, as well as the rest of the world.
- The shooting for this music video is planned for June 20, 2009 at Rune Kodiara (ルネ小平) hall in Tokyo, admission is free of charge.
- The HGF choir is booked and we are in touch with a taiko troupe interested in participating.
- This music video is a collaboration between HGF, CAN, and Studio Re:
- Our goal is to produce a high quality music video. We are seeking a skilled music video director and $10,000 funding. If you know of anyone you think might be able to help, please write to the following eMail address: pnethercott (at) mac (dot) com