Lange war die Insel wie abgeschnitten vom Rest der Welt, ihre Kultur ein Rätsel. Selbst heute erscheint diese auf dem neuesten Stand des technischen Fortschritts agierende Wirtschaftsmacht in Vielem seltsam antiquiert. Manch eine Verhandlung mit Firmenbossen scheiterte an der Missachtung von Ritualen, die ins frühe Mittelalter zurückreichen. Wer geschäftlich mit Japan zu tun hat, sollte sich in die hier vorgestellte Musik einhören. Wer meditiert oder gar Zen praktiziert, wird manches kennen, kann jedoch auch einige Überraschungen erleben.

Seit ihrem 6. Lebensjahr in der angesehenen Schule des Kotomeisters Michio Miyagi unterrichtet, trat Frau Sunazaki nach ihrem ersten Solokonzert in Tokyo 1974 regelmäßig im japanischen Rundfunk auf und veröffentlichte zahlreiche Schallplatten. Um das große Potential der Koto zu demonstrieren, spielt sie auch westliche Klassik und vor allem, wie hier, zeitgenössische japanische Werke, u.a. von Miyagi, z.T. im Duett mit Flöte.

the project

This splendid 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. She is internationally recognized as a master of the Japanese koto. From the age of six, Sunazaki was trained in the direct lineage of the famous koto perforrmer 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, Madame Sunazaki was awarded a teaching degree from the Miyagi Koto school, which is a rare honor.

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 Madame Sunazaki 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.

Drawing from Sound of Silk Strings (1984), Spring Night (1984) and Moon at Dawn (1986) this compilation CD presents a delicious sampling of Sunuzaki's most elegant and most exciting perfomances.

Special note should be taken of the beautiful release Tegoto: Japanese Koto Music. From the stunning rice paper booklet to the choice of titles, this compilation is clearly an artistic masterpiece. This sampling of Madame Sunazaki's most elegant and exciting performances is the perfect choice for the audiophile interested in koto music.

discography

tracklist

1 Sea of Spring by Michio Miyagi from Moon At Dawn 5'56"
2 London no Yoru no Ame by Michio Miyagi from Sound of Silk Strings 3'51"
3 Shinsencho Bukyoku by Shinichi Yuize from Spring Night 9'37"
4 Koto Tanshishu Minoru Miki from Sound of Silk Strings 9'53"
5 Tegoto by Michio Miyagi from Sound of Silk Strings 12'26"
6 Mittsu no Dansho by Kin'ichi Nakanoshima from Sound of Silk Strings 9'08"
7 Kamimu by Hozan Yamamoto from Spring Night 8'05"
8 Midare by Yatsuhashi Kengyo from Sound of Silk Strings 7'48"
  Total Time:   67'44"