Manufactured by Taikos, the drum is 72 inches in diameter and weighs approximately 700 pounds. It’s so huge that it won’t fit through the loading bay, says Takos owner Jesse Maddox. The only other odaiko drum of this size is owned by Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas, he continues.
Sure, there are bigger drums in the country, but the style is mainly bass drums, which have a thin shell, less dynamic sound and are less skillfully played, Maddox says. The University of Utah wanted a certain aesthetic, both visually as to how the drum looked and how it would be played -- all directions pointed to an odaiko. The playing style is like a mix of yoga, tai chi and drumming technique, which is physically demanding, Maddox says. At the school where Maddox teaches, 45 minutes of each two-hour training session are dedicated to a physical workout before the drum is ever touched.
The Utes’ new massive drum will be played by a foreign-exchange student who has studied with Yamato, a well known Taiko troupe in Japan, says Maddox. The arrangement was written by a University of Utah music professor.
Now, it seems, the first hurdle for Season No. 2 in the PAC 12 is figuring out how to get this new drum through the loading bay.
Photos courtesy of Taikos.