SHEET MUSIC: Cassiopeia Marimbana
The original “Cassiopeia” was composed for a 21-string koto quintet with the five kotos set-up in an order similar to the Cassiopeia constellation. (Cassiopeia forms a ‘W’ in the sky with five stars and is located very near the Pole Star. Half of the night the constellation is upside-down forming a ‘M’.) The highest koto is on the left, a bass koto is on the right, the main soloist is in the middle, and the other two are behind them and sometimes give a percussive-like effect. This idea brought a brilliant tone color and nice balance that expressed a human desire of long, endless emotion and affection. “Cassiopeia” was commissioned by “21-string Ecole” and premiered in 1982 in Tokyo, Japan. The adaptation works to emulate the sounds of the koto including slides, bends and glisses. Different grace note figures are used to create these effects including dead strokes, playing on the nodes and open tones. The world & PASIC premieres of this adaptation were performed on November 2 &
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