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Holiday Concert by Oregon Koto-Kai

Delight and relax in the soothing sounds of holiday music played on a koto harp at the Portland Japanese Garden. While koto music plays, ikebana flower arrangements will be created and be left for display. Famous Japanese wintry stories (Buying Some Gloves) will be read aloud.

Oregon Koto-Kai is giving a beautiful musical gift this holiday season accompanied by an Ikebana (Japanese traditional flower arrangement) live demonstration.

For those who appreciate the koto, well known as a Japanese traditional instrument played in classical style, this concert might be a “surprise gift”!

Koto is a string instrument which has over a thousand year history in Japan. Regular koto has 13 strings tightly stretched on the top of the paulownia body and its bridges are movable so that you can make various different scales, not only traditional Japanese pentatonic scales. From late 1960s, western music composers discovered the way to adopt Japanese traditional musical instruments into their works. At the same time, Japanese composers tried to incorporate western musical elements in to their work.

As a result, numerous beautiful “new Japanese music” was created. In the 1990s, koto master Elizabeth Falconer, originally from Oregon, started to compose many beautiful and unique music. That led a stream of new enthusiasm to encourage non Japanese composers to create music using the koto.

Koto has been played in Oregon for quite a long time and this instrument is becoming well known in this diverse community. Oregon Koto-Kai is trying to open another door to invite people to enjoy an unusually beautiful and peaceful music concert.  With the Standard Christmas numbers on kotos, Ikebana arrangements will be created and our Storyteller will weave a winter story along with music inserted in each section of the story. Meanwhile, the projector will show lovely pictures from the book.