Variations Godlberg
The Art Of Koto

Mieko Miyazaki shows us his version of the Goldberg Variations at KOTO!
An artistic feat of very high level by an exceptional performer.
A fantastic CD that proves that Bach's music is timeless and obviously multi-cultural.
“While I intensively practiced koto to enter the Conservatory in Japan, I discovered, on my father's recommendations, the recording of the Goldberg Variations produced by Glenn Gould in 1981. This album, which fascinated the whole world, had a considerable impact on the high school girl that I was. Studying traditional music in Tokyo, I also appreciated "techno" and "bossa nova". At that time, I made a copy of the CD on tape, which I listened to day and night. This virtuoso and poetic music inspired me to dream of playing it one day on my instrument. When transcribing the piano score, I had to adapt music composed for an 88-key keyboard and requiring the use of both hands, for an instrument played with three fingers on 13 strings. It is therefore virtually impossible to play all the sounds of the original score. Furthermore, when we reduce the Koto chord, traditionally based on a pentatonic mode, to a diatonic scale, the extent is thus reduced to an octave and a half, which creates a consequent lack in the severe tessitura and acute. The particular technique of koto consisting in using the left hand resting on the strings in order to raise the note by a semitone makes it inevitable, in any transcription for koto that certain sounds of the original text therefore remain missing. Recall that the compositions for this instrument are traditionally based on 13 notes… Determined, despite this difficulty, to live the Goldberg Variations solo, I started in 2002 to transcribe the first variations. After what seemed to me to be an endless process of research and testing, I completed, 15 years later, the transcription of the entire work. The great blind master Yatsuhashi Kengyo created the style of koto currently existing in Japan, style subsequently transmitted from generation to generation from the 8th century; The year 1685, marked by the death of Yatsuhashi, is also the year of birth of Jean Sébastien Bach. I always felt something deep in this coincidence.”
Mieko Miyazaki