Winter Hougaku (Koto) Concert

Winter Hougaku (Koto) Concert
Winter Hougaku (Koto) Concert

YIS Winter Hougaku Concert

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

7 PM - Tanner Auditorium

Highlighting middle and high school student accomplishments with the koto in the YIS Japanese Music Program, the program includes various modern Japanese works from the 20th century along with an arrangement of a classic melody from turn of the century France.


1. 花筏 / Hana Ikada - (1968) Sawai Tadao

In addition to the most common plucking technique using the thumb, this work for two standard 13 string kotos employs various strumming and scooping techniques to depict the scene of a raft of flowers gently flowing along a clear mountain stream.

Grade 6

Koto 1 - Julia Asakura, Shannina Davinta, Mai Fujishiro, Taiga Ichijo, Sojiro Nomura, Vincent Xu, Aya Yamauchi

Koto 2 - Ryuta Arishima, Anish Bhattacharjee, Polina Bryan, Le He, Eileen Sasaki, Colin Yamada, Mitsuki Yoshida

2. 花舞 / Hana Mai - (1980) Makino Yutaka

A mass of flowers, petals falling as in dance....

Rhythmic and melodic interplay between the three koto voices make this work an exciting

listening experience for those both familiar with, and new to, modern koto music. Hana is the

Japanese for flower, and Mai is dance. Flowers in Japan are very closely associated with the

seasons - the cycles of change and rebirth. Often, more than the budding and blossoming, it is

the dramatic end – the falling of petals swirling down in the breeze, which moves the heart..

Grade 9

Koto 1 - Haruna Doi

Koto 2 Anna Takahashi

Jushichigen - Kiyoka Kim

3. 流々 / Ryu Ryu - (2008) Sawai Hikaru

For two part koto ensemble, this modern work employs a variety of techniques and melodic/rhythmic patterns to portray the flow of time. Of note are the rhythmic interplay between the two koto parts and the use of pizzicato and sukui (scooping) techniques. Although challenging for the performers, these elements provide a variety of exciting moods and textures.

Grade 7

Koto 1 - Koumae Adams, Charlie Elison, Airi Katsumoto, Kensuke Ogata, Kota Ota, Kai Watanabe

Koto 2 - Yo Watanabe, Ami Nakayama, Kai Bergquist, Yuki Shu, Mikey Sato, Louis Doucet Takata

4. 石筍 / Sekijun - (1972) Sawai Tadao

The bass koto takes the lead in opening this work for three part koto ensemble. In the composer's words "the piece is not necessarily attempting to depict the actual sekijun, or stalagmites one envisions rising from the floor of a dark cave." Instead the it is hoped that the music evokes something of the expanse of history that one feels in such places and our enchantment with the tremendous beauty of nature.

Grade 8

Koto 1 - Sarasa Court, Risa Nabari, Wenyu Lu, Yoshie Yeh, Erica Loomis, Lukus Mui,

Koto 2 - Juan Davis, Ayako Maeda, Ayaka Nakasuji, Sea Tanaka, Manami Otuska, Theodore Sloan,

Jushichigen - Eric Asakura, Kalea Ema, Yuichiro Nomura

5. Pavane pour une infante défunte - by (1899) Maurice Ravel (arranged by Fujiwara Noriko)

This masterpiece was written for solo piano by the French composer Maurice Ravel, and was also published in an orchestrated version in 1910. Ravel described the piece as "an evocation of a pavane that a little princess [infanta] might, in former times, have danced at the Spanish court".[2] The pavane was a slow processional dance that enjoyed great popularity in the courts of Europe during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This arrangement for koto ensemble is shorter in length than the original, but maintains the nostalgic enthusiasm for Spanish customs and sensibilities, which Ravel shared with many of his contemporaries

Grade 10

Koto 1 - Megumi Otani, Emma Saito, Satono Toyaba

Koto 2 - Lisa Ito, Emily Saito

Jushichigen - Saya Kawabe

6. 蒼く / Aoku – "Azure" - (1983) Hideaki Kuribayashi

Often described as "radical" within the traditional world of koto, this piece has continued to turn heads since its debut. Hideaki Kuribayashi is known for his exciting rhythms and beautifully crafted melodies, both of which can be enjoyed here. Although the koto is generally played using the picks on the first three fingers of the right hand, a fast pizzicato figure using the fingers without picks develops as the main theme.

High School Ensemble

Koto 1A - Saya Kawabe, Edward Mascall-Robson, Megumi Otani,

Koto 1B - Johan Standar, Touko Matsuoka, Anna Takahashi, Emily Saito,

Koto 2A - Masaki Miyamura, Lisa Ito, Reina Kitamura

Koto 2B - Arunansu Patra, Emma Saito , Emma Detrich, Ayana Miyoshi