Ice Flowers

Title Ice Flowers
Year 2004 (revised version 2008)
Composer David Liptak
Instrument/s koto, violin
Commission Written for the duo of Pia Liptak, violin, and Ryuko Mizutani, koto
Duration 14’39”
Contact for Sheets American Composer Edition
CD, Digital Audio Recorded on Centaur Records (CD 2882, 3056);;
Contact Info
Notes I wrote the music for Ice Flowers during the summer of 2004, although the imagery that suggested the music and the title came from a series of photographs of frost patterns on the windows of my home that were made the previous winter. Among Pia’s many talents is a refined eye for images and design, and these photographs are hers. I decided to use the 13-string koto, and I also determined that I would set the tuning of the instrument at the beginning of the piece and use it throughout. The tuning was determined by aligning the pitch of the koto’s 13 strings to the 3th, 4th, and 5th partials of each of the strings of the violin, arranged from lowest to highest string, which duplicates a pitch. The sound is nearly diatonic.The rhythmical quality of the piece is varied although I used methods and notation that allowed me to imagine the pacing as it relates to “breathing,” in contrast to the placement of beats that align with the regularity of “walking.” The music is organized into 13 sections, with some aspects of “arch” structure to the way the form is presented Each section is focused upon a specific quality, and there are seamless connections between parts.Ice Flowers is written for the duo of Pia Liptak, violin, and Ryuko Mizutani, koto [Liptak].