Leonard Etos unique approach to taiko (Japanese drums) and to his solo performances
is characterized by the originality of his musical creations. He creates
an astonishing range of emotions with his instruments - hopelessness,
euphoria and everything between, sweeping the audience regularly off
their feet: Eto loves dance music, and loves his audience to dance
to his music.
Leonard Eto rejects the idea that Taiko somehow equates with a solemn
mind. He wishes to move peoples hearts in a simple way and compares
his work to a street performance. Leonard is reawakening magical powers
and energy through his concerts.
The Hirado O-taiko, Oke taiko, and Chappa Cymbals may be regarded as Leonard Eto's "three indispensable instruments". They used to be considered as mere accompaniments, but Leonard gave each a greater role in his style of "Taiko Ensemble" in the 80's. As a result, these instruments gained importance not only in Kodò, the group which Leonard had directed, but in musical entertainment throughout the world.
Hirado O-taiko (Flat-bodied Big Drum): This instrument gives out brighter sounds than the full-bodied O-taiko because of its shallow body. A colorful variety of sounds can be obtained by using different Bachi sticks. Leonard Eto invented the method of using a long Bachi stick. He also devised a revolutionary style of playing this O-taiko when he was composing "Zoku", and that is to place the taiko in a slanted angle on tree stumps. The style has won much popularity ever since.
Oke taiko (Tub Drum): Oke taiko has become more or less the hallmark of Leonard Eto. Inspired by the traditional drumming methods of South Korea, China, and India, Leonard developed an entirely novel expressional style utilizing the unique sound and rhythm that can only be obtained from Japan's Oke taiko.
Chappa Cymbals (Hand Cymbals): Leonard gradually created new style and rhythm for Chappa Cymbals through years of experiments with Kodò members in the 80's. The Chappa Cymbals have thus evolved from accompanying instrument into a leading, solo instrument.