A virtuoso of the traditional Japanese zither known as koto, Michiyo Yagi has devoted much of her career to making music that sounds simultaneously ancient and futuristic—developing extended techniques and incorporating electronics, but also preserving the uniquely resonant character of the instrument in its most primal form.
Michiyo Yagi studied the traditional Japanese transverse harp known as the koto under the late Tadao Sawai and Kazue Sawai, and graduated from the NHK Professional Training School for Traditional Musicians. During her subsequent tenure as Visiting Professor of Music at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, U.S.A. she premiered numerous modern compositions for koto and came under the influence of maverick American composers such as John Cage, Christian Wolff, Conlon Nancarrow, and John Zorn.
For her Pierre Boulez Saal debut, she is joined by three extraordinary musicians in a program of compositions and improvisations. The first set will feature Yagi in a duo with Japanese composer Dai Fujikura on synthesizer, performing music based on their 2022 album Bibi. Norwegians Eivind Aarset and Jan Bang, both longtime collaborators of Yagi, will be heard in the program’s second half, which blends Yagi’s koto with Aarset’s electric guitar and Bang’s live sampling and remixing.
Michiyo Yagi with Dai Fujikura, Eivind Aarset and Jan Bang
Friday, 10.2.2023 | Doors 19:00 | Starts 19:30 CET
Pierre Boulez Saal | Französische Straße 33D in 10117 Berlin-Mitte