Premiere: “Right Here” by KODO, Emilíana Torrini + The Colorist Orchestra

The traditional Japanese drumming collective collaborates with an Icelandic vocalist and Belgian concept act

Belgian pop-music collective The Colorist Orchestra was founded in 2013 by Aarich Jespers and Kobe Proesmans with the intent to be rearranged to accommodate a series of singer-songwriter collaborators. They once again join forces with acclaimed Icelandic recording artist Emilíana Torrini on “Right Here,” a track from the forthcoming  Kodo Together album (out 9 July). The LP is the vision of multi-generation Japanese drum collective KODO. They’ve assembled a global roster of artists for the various tracks, in an effort to showcase the idea of working together as “one Earth,” all while expressing the power of Taiko (an ensemble of Japanese percussionists).

“There is the sound of drums and there is the sound of KODO,” The Colorist Orchestra tells us of the track’s rhythmic power. “Being invited by them to work together was without a doubt a crystal clear ‘Yes!’ Bringing the volcanic islands of Japan and Iceland together in this song through Belgian surrealism was a fantastic adventure.” A dynamic, empowered pop track, it reflects the most magnetic elements of all its collaborators.

34 performers comprise the KODO ensemble. Members are invited into the collective after two years of apprenticeship at KODO’s center on Sado island, where they are tasked with more than Taiko mastery. In fact, they must learn song and dance, as well as other traditional Japanese instruments.

Other collaborators on the album include Skream, vōx, Rufus Wainwright and Kevin Saunderson. Each track underscores the fact that music is a universal language, all while shining a light upon the unique skills of the international talent involved. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the concept was inspired by the forthcoming Olympics—though the unity here is one of rhythm, not competition.

Images courtesy of Emilíana Torrini and The Colorist Orchestra