USHIO TORIKAI
July 2015

Mount Vernon, NY – “I am a self-taught 62 years old Japanese immigrant woman composer. I have researched in musical fields including European classical music, traditional Japanese music, ancient Japanese and Asian music and computer/electronics music for my life long journey to learn about myself, discover my music (if there is any) and explore the world and human society through music which I am able to relate closest with. I have been blessed to have opportunities to compose works in instrumentation, ranging from Western orchestral instruments to traditional Japanese ones; computer/electronics to reconstructed ancient Asian instruments; and Western Choir to Japanese Buddhist monks’ chants. I also had opportunities to collaborate with wonderful people in other artistic fields, such as theater, dance and visual arts. I felt very lucky to have relate myself to music, including when I saw a brightest and happiest body expressions by a heavily disabled person who could make one sound out of an instrument after our one hour collaborative effort and when I learned so very deeply about incredible “positivity” of humankind: the fundamental human desire to hear new sounds and unheard music through reconstruction and reintroduction of the kugo, an ancient Asian angular harp whose origins can be traced back more than three millennia and had been unused for over 1200 years in Japan.”

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Other residencies at The Millay Colony

1990 residency