Sankyoku Music


Classical Japanese Chamber Music

Shakuhachi performed in ensemble with
Koto, Shamisen, Kyoku & Voice




Chikanobu Yoshu - 1894


ELIZABETH FALCONER earned a masters licence from the Sawai Koto School in Japan where she studied under Utayumi Nagane, Kazue Sawai and Tadao Sawai from 1979 to 1990. She currently resids and teaches koto in Seattle, WA.

K6a. ISSHIN - EMERGING
Traditional & modern compositions for 13-, 17- and 20-string koto. Includes the works of Tadao Sawai, Katsutoshi Nagasawa, Miki Minoru, Robin Williamson, Shinichi Yuize and an original composition by Ms. Falconer.

CD
$17.50
K6b. WATER COLORS
New music for koto by Pacific Northwest composers.
CD
$16.50
K6c. DEEP POOL
Koto solos inspired by an art exhibition.
CD
$16.50
K6d. TAKA KOTO ENSEMBLE
Original compositions by Elizabeth Falconer and Tadao Sawai.
CD
$16.50
K6e. HANA AND THE DRAGON and Other Tales from Japan
Storytelling with koto accompaniment.
CD
$16.50
K6f. PLUM BOY! and Other Tales from Japan
Storytelling with koto accompaniment.
CD
$16.50

SAWAKO FUKUHARA began studying koto as a child with her aunt Misuyo Mizushima. She was trained as a classical koto playet until completion of the special course for traditional Japanese musicians sponsored by NHK. In 2005, she was received the Kyoto Cultural Promotion award for her work at the Udesaki School. Adept at playing both traditional and modern compostions, Sawako performs regularly with John Kaizan Neptune.



K9a [I]
NAGAREGUMO
with
John Kaizan Neptune - shakuhachi
Junko Chiba - violin

Original compositions for shakuhachi, koto & violin by John Kaizain Neptune, Tadao Sawai & Keigo Fujii.

1. Tori no Youni (Like a Bird) - by Tadao Sawai
2. Hotaru (Firefly) - by Tadao Sawai
* 3. Unfolding - by John Kaizan Neptune
4. Flowing Clouds - by John Kaizan Neptune
5. Duo Concertante - by Keigo Fujii

Produced by John Kaizan Neptune.
Recorded March 5-6, 2006.


* Neptune & Fukuhara performing Unfolding
is also available on DVD video.
Unfolding DVD


CD

$18.00

YOKO GATES (1944-1989) was born in Hamamatsu, Japan and began studying koto at the age of five. She graduated from the Tokyo University of Arts and received the Japan National Broadcasting Co. (NHK) Young Artists award for the performance of traditional music. In 1969, she married Allen Gates and moved to the United States, where she lived the rest of her life until her untimely death in 1989. She gave her debut recital in Carnegie Hall (NYC) in 1984 and performed again in 1986. Yoko Ito Gates performed widely throughout the U.S. and Canada and taught at the University of Washington, San Francisco State Uninversity, San Diego State University, Lewis & Clark College, The Center for World Music and the American Society for Eastern Arts. She founded the Japanese Music group Rei In Kai (Zero Sound) in Berkeley, CA to promote the study and performance of Japanese music.

K8a. YOKO ITO GATES

Yoko Ito Gates was a great performer, and for those who knew her closely, a wonderful teacher. This 2-CD memorial collection of her recordings includes live performances from the 1970's and 1980's. Showing the range of her interests and abilities, it features Yoko playing koto, shamisen and singing.

The earliest koto music on this CD is represented by Yatsuhashi Kengyo's Hachidan.

Classical sankyoku pieces are accompanied by two of the greatest shakuhachi players of the post-WWII era. Araki Kodo V performs on Zangetsu and Living National Treasure Aoki Reibo on Konkai.

Akikaze no kyoku is from the late classical period telling the story of an ancient Chinese emperor's fateful love for the beautiful Yang Kwei Fei.

Kobai (composed ca. 1700) is a short song from the Taisho period.

The remaining four pieces show Yoko's interest in contemporary music. One koto solo, one recent piece for koto and violin, another koto solo commissioned by Yoko from the modern composer Thomas Svoboda, and finally a haunting duet, Kazuko, with Pharoah Sanders on saxophone.

Disk 1
1. Zangetsu - Fading Moon
with Araki Kodo V, shakuhachi
2. Kobai - Red Plum Blossoms
3. Hachidan - Etude in Eight Steps
4. Akikaze no Kyoku - Autumn Wind
5. Mittsu no Dansho - Three Fragments

Disk 2
6. Konkai - Crying of Foxes
with Aoki Reibo, shakuhachi
Kamijo Taeko, koto
7. Aki - Autumn
8. Mittsu no Yokyoku - Three Nocturnes
with Masaoki Inoue, violin
9. Kazuko - Peace Child
with Pharoah Sanders, tenor saxophone
Paul Arslanian, harmonium & wind chimes

Produced by Robin Hartshorne, co-director of Rei in Kai.
Dedicated to Yoko's daughter Joemy Ito-Gates.

Double Album
2 CDs

$30.00

MASAYO ISHIGURE began playing the koto and jiuta shamisen at the age of five in Gifu, Japan. After initial studies with Tadao and Kazue Sawai, she became a special research student in 1986 at the Sawai Koto Academy of Music. The aim of the academy was to shed new light on koto music by incorporating everything from Bach to jazz and thus change the koto from being thought of only as a traditional Japanese instrument into an instrument of universal expressiveness. Later Masayo Ishigure became one of a small group of virtuoso disciples of the Sawais and successfully completed the 33rd Ikusei-kai program sponsored by NHK to foster and train aspiring artists in Japanese music. In 1988 Ms. Ishigure received a degree in Japanese Traditional Music at Takasaki Junior Arts College with a concentration in koto and shamisen. Ms. Ishigure began teaching koto and shamisen in the music department of Wesleyan University (CT) as an artist in residence where she formed the Wesleyan Koto Ensemble. She also offers private lessons as the only Sawai Koto Academy instructor in the New York metropolitan area.

S-L2d. EAST WIND ENSEMBLE
Theme music from Hayao Miyazaki's movies perfomed on shakuhachi and koto.

 

CD $17.50

K2a. GRACE - MIYABI
Classical sankyoku with Marco Lienhard on shakuhachi.

CD
$17.50

REIKO KIMURA was born in Nagano prefecture to a koto–playing mother, and started koto lessons at the age of six. Lessons in piano and solfege followed soon after. In 1971 she entered the Seiha Academy of Music in Tokyo, where she studied classical koto of the Ikuta school and jiuta shamisen. On graduation she continued her studies at the training course for performers of Japanese music established by NHK (Japan's public broadcasting network). In 1977 she joined Pro Musica Nipponia, and started her studies of the nijugen. She was awarded first prize at the 1979 Pan Musique Contemporary Music Contest. Her fourth solo recital, an all–Miki program, was awarded the 1994 Arts Festival Award for most outstanding musician. Leaving Pro Musica Nipponia in 1997, she became a soloist with Miki's Orchestra in Asia.

K13a. MUSIC FOR KOTO

1. Midare
2. Shikyoku Ichiban (Poème I pour shakuhachi et koto)
3. Rhapsody for twenty-string koto solo
4. Higashi kara (From the East)
5. Ame no Uta (A Poem of the Rain)

CD
$17.50

SHIRLEY KAZUYO MURAMOTO is director of the MURASAKI ENSEMBLE and a Yonsei or 4th generation American of Japanese descent, born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. The art of the koto was passed down to her by her mother, who played as a young girl in the American relocation camps of World War II. Shirley has studied in Japan and received many awards for her distinguished playing. Shirley is the producer of a remarkable new video Hidden Legacy: Japanese Traditional Performing Arts in the World War II Internment Camps.

K1f. KOTO OYAKO DON with Brian Mitsuhiro Wong
Contemporary, jazz & classical koto duos and solos.

CD
$15.00
K1d. KOTO & SHAKUHACHI with Shigeo Tachibana
Gaikyoku. Ensemble music for strings and wind.
CD
$16.50
K1e. BIRDS & DRUMS CD
Orignal compositions as well as pieces composed by jazz greats Duke Ellington & Horace Silver, John Lennon & Paul McCartney and others.
CD
$16.50
K3c. MAGENTA $16.50
Orignal compositions.
CD
$16.50
K1b. KOTO IMAGES
Classical koto pieces.
C
CD
$10.50
$16.50
K1a. MURASAKI ENSEMBLE-NIJI
Original compositions, traditional & jazz.
C
CD
$10.50
$16.50

TADAO SAWAI was born in Aichi Prefecture in 1937. His father was a shakuhachi performer and at around the age of 10 Sawai began to study the koto. In 1959 he was chosen by the Japanese national broadcasting company NHK as the best new performer, and from that time forward he began to be active as a performer and composer of contemporary music.

In 1960. he graduated from the traditional music department of Tokyo National university of Fine Arts and Music. He has performed widely throughout Japan and the world and his compositions are among the most widely performed in the koto world.

Sawai Tadao, master of the Japanese koto, founder of the Sawai Koto School, prolific composer, teacher, and visionary leader in the world of Japanese music, died on April 1, 1997 at the age of 59.

Sawai's Genius Revitalized Modern Koto
By Elizabeth Falconer

"Sawai's most recent recordings include a CD of his works entitled "Sanka" (Song of Praise) on the Kyoto Records label (KYCH-2010) with English and Japanese liner notes and, just out this spring, "Koto Music: Tadao Sawai Plays Michio Miyagi," a Playasound production that includes liner notes in English, French and Japanese (PS 65180). These are both gems, contemporary classical koto music at its finest, and we are lucky to have them available. "

K7a. TADAO SAWAI PLAYS MICHIO MIYAGI [I]

One of Japan's most celebrated koto performers honors the instrument's most renown composer.

1. Tegoto (First Movement - Tegotofu)
2. Tegoto (Second Movement - Kumiuta)
3. Tegoto (Third Movement - Rinzetsu)
4. Mizu no Hentai
5. Seoto
6. Onoe no Matsu

CD
$17.50

TOMOKO SUNAZAKI is internationally recognized as a master of the Japanese koto. She holds a master teaching degree from the Miyagi Ryu and co-founded the famous Koto Trio in Japan. From the age of six, Sunazaki was trained in the direct lineage of the famous koto performer and composer, Michio Miyagi. At the age of 14, she had already earned her teacher's license in koto from the Ikuta School. Later she earned her Bachelor and Master degrees at the Tokyo University of Fine Art, and subsequently joined the faculty there. In 1981, Sunazaki-san was awarded a teaching degree from the Miyagi Koto school, which is a rare honor.

K5a. TEGOTO

This collection of recordings covers a wide spectrum of Japanese koto music. The compositions span three centuries, from ancient traditional to modern Western influenced pieces. Undoubtedly, the most impressive element of the releases is the artist herself, the world renowned Tomoko Sunazaki.

Michio Miyagi's works are an integral part of each of the releases in this collection, performed with respect and devotion. Miyagi was one of the first to integrate Western inspiration into koto music, an aspect Sunazaki-san found especially important. By recording traditional Japanese music, Western classics, and the delicate blend of both, she hoped to expand the perceived limitations of the koto.

1 Sea of Spring - Miyagi
2 London No Yoru No Ame [London in a Rainy Night] - Miyagi
3 Shinsencho Bukyoku - Yuize
4 Koto Tanshishu - Miki
5 Tegoto - Miyagi
6 Mittsu No Dansho - Nakanoshima, Nakonoshima
7 Kamimu - Sunazaki, Yamamoto
8 Midare - Kengyo, Sunazaki



CD
$18.00
S6g. SEOTO: SOUND IN THE RAPIDS with Masayuki Koga
Koto & shakuhachi duets.
C
$10.50

NANAE YOSHIMURA was born in Tokyo and began to study the koto from the age of three, receiving her teaching license with the Matsu-no-mi Kai of Ikuta school koto performance at the age of sixteen. She studied the classical repertoire for koto and jiuta shamisen with Soju Nosaka of the Kyãshã lineage, and contemporary works for koto and nijugen (twenty–stringed koto) with Nosaka's daughter, Keiko Nosaka. She has been especially active as a specialist on the latter instrument since the early 1970s.

The ideas that shaped Yoshimura's selection of the music on this disc were: music for the koto developed and reached its completion in the Edo period, and the pieces chosen should reflect the flow of that history; they should be representative, and set out in the order in which they were composed; the pieces should also be selected for the representative status of their composers and those selected according to these three criteria should perform a well–shaped program complete in itself. The result was the selection of Rokudan, Midare, Zangetsu, Gondan-ginuta and Chidori.

K12a. THE ART OF THE KOTO, VOL. 1:
Works from the Edo Period

This recording, the first of three volumes reflecting on the history of the koto, brings together five representative pieces from the classical repertoire for the Japanese koto, composed between the mid–17th and mid–19th century.

1. Rokudan
2. Midare
3. Zangetsu
4. Godan-ginuta
5. Chidori

CD
$17.50

K12b. THE ART OF THE KOTO, VOL. 2:
From Yatsuhashi to Miyagi

Volume 2 of this series comprises six pieces ranging from the core classical repertoire of the 17th century to new works composed in the first decades of the 20th cenury.

1. Shiki-no-kyoku
2. Hachidan
3. Kaede-no-hana
4. Onoe-no-matsu
5. Seoto
6. Haru-no-umi

CD

$17.50

K12c. THE ART OF THE KOTO, Vol. 3:
Works for Nijugen

The third volume of The Art of the Koto focuses on the second half of the twentieth century. It comprises five works written between 1969 and 1989 for the nijugen, a version of the koto with 21 rather than the traditional thirteen strings. This instrument was developed through co-operation between the composer Minoru Miki and the virtuoso koto performer Keiko Nosaka in 1969.

1 Tennyo (Miki)
2-6 Itsutsu no Shohin: Nishikigi ni yosete (Nagasawa)
7-8 Aki-no-kyoku (Miki)
9 Nanae (Nishimura)
10 Kamu-Ogi-Guoto (Sato)

CD
$17.50

K12d. THE ART OF THE KOTO, Vol. 4:
Works of Miki & Yoshimatsu

with Pro Musica Nipponia

Volume 4 contains three more compositions for the nijugen-koto and an ensemble of Japanese traditional instruments, played by members of Pro Musica Nipponia (Nihon Ongaku Shudan).

1. Concerto Requiem (1981) Yume-awase, yume-tagae op. 74a (1998/9)
2. Mizu no Yume (Dream of the Water)
3. Ki no Yume (Dream of the Tree)
4. Hi no Yume (Dream of the Fire)
5. Kumo no Yume (Dream of the Clouds)
6. Sora no Yume (Dream of the Sky)
7. Tatsuta-no-kyoku (1971) (The Venus in Autumn)

CD
$17.50

ANTHOLOGIES

K4a. JAPANESE KOTO MUSIC
Accompanied by shakuhachi & shamisen. Ikuta Ryu.
C
$10.50

K4b. JAPANESE KOTO CONSORT
Shakuhachi, koto, jushichigen, shamisen & voice.

C
CD

$10.50 $18.00
K4c. JAPANESE MASTERPIECES FOR KOTO
Koto & shakuhachi in ensemble. Ikuta Ryu.
C
$10.50
K4d. SPIRIT OF THE SAMURAI
Shakuhachi, reiken & hoteki accompany the poetry of Abe Shufu.
C
$10.50
K4e. THE SOUL OF THE KOTO - Vol. 2
Performed by master musicians of the Ikuta Ryu.
CD
$18.00

K4f. JAPANESE KOTO ORCHESTRA
Five kotos, hoteki, shamisen and shakuhachi performed by
Koto Ensemble of the Ikuta School.

CD
$18.00

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