Kagemusha Taiko Group.

40-second demo from 2017.

Kagemusha Taiko Group.

Final part of “Island Hopping”, performed at the 2nd European Taiko Concert Night, Dusseldorf, March 2017.


Brother Drum

“I cast my net into the sea,
 Will you haul it in, alongside me?
 Will you share the feast in the morning sun?
 Will you be my friend, my Brother Drum?”

To find out more about Brother Drum, follow this link to a short documentary film about the project.


We can marvel at the way of the samurai of Japan, but for a heroic code of fearlessness and honour we can also look to Anglo-Saxon culture.


This song is an elegy. The extract show here features Pippa Kirby (taiko), Michael Brailey (violin), and Shogo Yoshii (kokyu).


A “whirligig” is a toy that is whirled rapidly round, or a kind of merry-go-round; it’s also an ancient instrument of torture, consisting of a pivoted wooden cage in which the prisoner was spun round. The concept behind this piece is the action of turning the taiko logo (mitsu tomoe) into its Kagemusha Taiko form: the main players trace a line around three drums which form the circles in the centre of the tomoe. These are the lines of the “Celtic knot” that forms our logo, which is also very similar to a three figure shape seen in Breton and Celtic Christian calligraphy.
This performance was recorded at Sidmouth International Folk Song and Dance Festival, and includes an opening dance by Great Western Morris.

The Green Man

In this video, Kagemusha Junior Taiko Group perform The Green Man, by Jonathan Kirby, on the opening night of the 1st UK Taiko Festival, July 2005.
The Green Man is a blatantly pagan image that nonetheless appears in churches and cathedrals all over Europe, and beyond. The Green Man is the archetype of our relationship with nature, the communion or fusion between man and the vegetable world. To quote Mike Harding from his book on the subject, “All flesh is grass, and the Green Man, perhaps better than any other image, illustrates the principle of death and corruption, resurrection and rebirth.”



Kagemusha Taiko Group perform “Tearaway” at 6th UK Taiko Festival, July 2010.


A Rock and a Hard Place

Kagemusha Taiko Group perform “A Rock and a Hard Place” at the 8th UK Taiko Festival, 2012.
Adrian Freedman played the shakuhachi.


A Good Death

“A Good Death” is a composition in three parts: (i) Dignity, (ii) Love, (iii) Legacy.
“Some time ago, I chanced upon a radio interview on the subject of end-of-life care. The person being interview used the term “a good death” and suggested that this involved 3 things: Dignity, love and legacy. I knew immediately that I would have to compose something on that that theme.
Taiko is more than just the skilful playing of drums and percussion. It’s a holistic art form involving mind, body and spirit. Taiko is about being present, about being in the moment, and about respecting life. This is why I thought it was an appropriate medium for a composition on A Good Death, because you can only truly respect life if you also respect death.”

Kindred Spirit

Kagemusha Junior Taiko perform at the Music For Youth Schools Prom in London’s Royal Albert Hall, November 2008.


Kagemusha Taiko perform “SlipJig” at the Taiko Nation concert(s) forming part of the 1st World Taiko Gathering, held in Los Angeles, August 2014. “SlipJig” is a composition based on the rhythms of an old English dance tune called “Sir Roger de Coverley”.

The Gift

“Omiyage” is the Japanese word for “gift”. It is also the name of a composition by Shoji Kameda which he gave to the taiko community and which inspired the style of this piece. “The Gift” is a thank you not just to Shoji but for the gift of taiko as a whole.
This recording of The Gift was made at 12th UK Taiko Festival and, appropriately enough, includes a guest appearance by Shoji.


Island Hopping