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Kazue Sawaï

If the koto has produced headway in the current music, if it is continuing to grow just a little out of its traditional Japanese clothes, it really is because of Kazue Sawaï. Convinced which the instrument will probably be worth greater than a put in place a museum or traditional music hall, she’s used upon herself to impose the koto in contemporary configurations, from avant-garde concert music to free of charge improvisation. Through the Sawaï Koto Institute in Tokyo, which she co-founded with her hubby Tadao Sawaï, she’s taught many youthful koto improvisers, including Shoko Hikage, Elizabeth Falconer, and Brett Larner. Her discography contains albums released on Japanese, American, and Western european labels. Sawaï began koto research at age eight. She graduated in the Tokyo School of Great Arts and Music after learning with the professional Michio Miyagi, developer in the 1920s from the bass koto. Keeping track of 17 strings rather than the traditional 13, the bass koto became her preferred instrument. She begun to play skillfully in 1978, currently alongside her hubby, himself a author of renown although with nearer ties to custom. Her initial musical companions included pianist Aki Takahashi and percussionist Sumire Yoshihara. She made an appearance at the Celebration d’Automne in Paris, 1978 and produced some more Western european apparitions within the next few years. Through the 1980s she gradually developed her full of energy style. On the turn from the 1990s, Sawaï begun to get noticed with the American avant-garde community. She made an appearance two years within a row (1989-1990) on the Bang on the Can celebration, premiering music by John Zorn, amongst others. Her agreement for four bass kotos of John Cage’s Three Dances gained her worldwide acclaim. For some time she became extremely dynamic on the free of charge improv entrance, playing frequently with bassist Tetsu Saitoh, Hideaki Kuribayashi (among her learners), and France saxophonist Michel Doneda. The untimely loss of life of her hubby in 1997 brought a hiatus to her profession, but with the turn from the millennium she was back again to performing and documenting.

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