Tokorozawa Ballad

Title Tokorozawa Ballad
Year 2003
Composer Kaori Yonekura
Instrument/s koto, violin
Commission Written for Ryuko Mizutani
Duration 12’55”
First Performance (date, performers, venue) December 5, 2003, Ryuko Mizutani and Wakako Hanada, Tokyo
Contact for Sheets Kaori Yonekura
CD, Digital Audio CD: Centaur Records (2882); Duo Vio-LINK-oto, 2010;
Notes Kaori Yonekura’s Tokorozawa “Ballad” was written for and premiered by Ryuko Mizutani in a performance in Japan. Her piece begins and ends with a sound bell, as if defining a meditative session. The meditation reflects upon the contrast and interaction between beauty and ugliness, with the violin representing the “ugly” and the koto, “beauty.” These opposing visions are occasionally blended. For dramatic emphasis, the work can be performed by players who disregard each other. Various techniques, such as the use of microtones, sul ponticello, and glissando, are employed by the violin to create “unpleasant” noise and the effect of plying out of tune. Near the end, the koto player chants on syllables without specific meaning. The work has a calm, ceremonial character and does not express a struggle between good and evil (or ugliness and beauty) but is rather an accepting reflection upon the coexistence of the tow opposites. [Duo vio-LINK-oto]