Aya Asakura evokes the soul-touching sounds of nature on the unique 30-string Japanese Koto in a masterful solo performance.
Raindrops. Wind. Water flowing over rocks. Koto Music evokes images such as these. The koto has been played in Japan for over a thousand years and is the national instrument of Japan. The lilting, deceptively simple-sounding tones of the koto are as complex as they are meditative, and listening to a true master of this beautiful instrument can be a deeply moving experience. One such master is Aya Asakura. Aya was born in Tokyo and by the age of six had already begun learning how to play the koto. She continued to hone her skills studying performance, composition and musical theory under the late koto composer Miyashita Shuretsu. Aya went on to receive NHK Japanese music specialist training and was subsequently nominated for the “This Year’s Hope” NHK award. Her performances have appeared on NHK international broadcasts, at NHK music festivals and at the Japanese Cultural Affairs Agency Festival. She has also collaborated with “The Spring of Contemporary Japanese Music” to commemorate the one-hundredth year of Miyagi Michio and has performed with the Osaka Symphony Orchestra. In 1998 she released an original album entitled “Aya”. More recently, Aya holds workshops called “Watching the Evening Sun” at the Ryu-zen Sho-ho Temple in Higashiyama Kyoto, to which she invites a panoply of creative-minded individuals that include religious people, film directors, journalists, astrophysicists, philosophers, musicians, bureaucrats, diplomats and writers. With a unique style that combines the natural tones of rain and wind with a vast spectrum of vibrant color, Aya offers her audiences a moving, dazzling performance that is not to be missed.