Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Higashi kara (From the East) - Reiko Kimura
This exquisite recording presents five pieces from the repertoire of koto performers in the field known as 'gendai hogaku,' or contemporary music for Japan's traditional instruments. Performers in this field play on the traditional 13-string koto and two of its 20th century variants: the jushichigen ('17 strings', bass koto) and nijugen (literally '20 strings' but now as a rule with 21).
Performers in this field have generally undergone early training in the classical repertoire, but it is very uncommon for them to include pieces from that repertoire in their solo or group recitals. This trend is indicative of a shift in direction, away from the vocal towards the instrumental that is currently shaping the future of new composition for the original and newly-developed versions of Japan's traditional instruments.