The Koi Pond

Title The Koi Pond
Year 2010
Composer Richard Belcastro
Instrument/s koto, clarinet, piano, violin, cello
Commission Chamber Music Now
First Performance (date, performers, venue) March 19, 2011, Masayo Ishigure and Ensemble CMN, the Chapel of St. Joseph, St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia
Contact for Sheets
CD, Digital Audio
Contact Info
Notes The work seeks to bring the outside world into the home through a unique work suggestive of cascading waterfalls. The idea of the water surrounding the space caught my interest but more specifically the Koi Pond. Koi are a very social fish that appears to enjoy human contact, I think this alone has given the fish a unique place in my mind and I couldn’t think of a better focus for this work. The piece is a collection of five duets for each of the ensemble members and the Koto as well as a final movement for the full ensemble. The intent was to explore different ways in which the Koto could behave in each context. Though the instrument have a tremendous repertoire in Japanese traditional music it’s use in a Western context has been limited. I am honored to have had the chance to explore this instrument with the help and input of Masayo Ishigure and I hope you enjoy my perspective on composing for the 13 String Koto [Belcastro].