Hidden PondsⅡfor 13-string koto

Title Hidden Ponds Ⅱ for 13-string koto
Year 2020
Composer Takeo Kudo
Instrument/s koto (Originally for 21-string koto; transcribed for 13-string koto : 2010; transcribed 2020)
Commission Written for Darin Miyashiro/Dedicated to Makiko Goto
Duration 7’15”
First Performance (date, performers, venue) November 2020, Darin Miyashiro, BARBARA B. SMITH: A CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. Orvis Auditorium, Honolulu, HI.
Contact for Sheets kudo@hawaii.edu
Contact Info https://manoa.hawaii.edu/music/about-us/faculty/elmer-takeo-kudo/
Notes “Hidden Ponds” was composed as the middle movement in a set of three for solo koto entitled Water Music. It is a short and quiet piece “hidden”, if you will, between the larger and more active outer movements. As one follows a stream on a quiet day, it’s not uncommon to find places where the water has branched off and pooled to form small ponds away from the constant flow of the main stream. The stillness of these small bodies of water enhances the subtle motions, colors, and textures not otherwise apparent. Like these hidden ponds, the many subtle but beautiful timbres of the koto are voiced through techniques having to do with where along its length the string is plucked, how it is attacked (e.g., with tsume or with flesh), how it is allowed to vibrate (e.g., with or without vibrato), simultaneities (densities of chords), lengths of tie between events, and having identical pitches produced on different strings. [Note: Subsequent to the first performance of this transcription, Darin Miyashiro notified me of the sudden passing of Makiko Goto (who was the first koto instructor from the Sawai school to take residence in Hawaii). It is with great sadness that I dedicate this version of “Hidden Ponds” to our dear friend and colleague who did so much to further the understanding of Japanese art music in Hawaii.] [Takeo Kudo]