Inclinations for Two Kotos


Title Inclinations for Two Kotos (二面の箏のための偏り)
Year 2008
Composer Takashi Koto (arranged from a harp piece)
Instrument/s 2 kotos
Commission Written for: Afternoon of Shakuhachi and Koto Music #10
First Performance (date, performers, venue) September 7, 2008, Afternoon of Shakuhachi and Koto Music #10, Ryuko Mizutani and Juliet Gravowski, Public Library of Brookline, Brookline, Massachusetts
Contact for Sheets the composer
Contact Info

Inclinations for Two Kotos (二面の箏のための偏り):
“Inclinations” was originally written 20 years ago for two harps and performed in Boston and Tokyo. When I wrote it for harps, the koto sound was actually in my mind, although I had no professional knowledge about the technique of koto. Since the Japanese composers of older generations were successful in writing works adapting the Japanese tradition, I thought there was no niche for me in the genre and stayed away from Japanese traditional instruments. Rather, I was interested in trying to search for a new way of composing music, influenced by John Cage. This is the note I wrote at the time:

What interests me most now is music structure. I have been trying to find ways of creating new music structure. In “Inclinations” for two harps, there are no conventional melodic or rhythmic motifs, only dispersed notes. Without any manipulation, the music would be chaos. But it is not. Once having been scattered at random, the notes are vertically and horizontally distorted. As a result, the density and the pitches are changed by the hands of the composer, creating a kind of coherence throughout the piece. I believe a sort of new structure was created in this piece.