Arts and Entertainment

Bloedel Reserve hosts Mother's Day concert of traditional Japanese music

The Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island will host a concert of classic music for koto from 17th century Japan with Takako Sato, shown at left, and Mitsuko Toyama on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 13.  - Photo courtesy of The Bloedel Reserve
The Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island will host a concert of classic music for koto from 17th century Japan with Takako Sato, shown at left, and Mitsuko Toyama on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 13.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of The Bloedel Reserve

Takako Sato and Mitsuko Toyama will play classic music for koto from 17th century Japan, as well as contemporary pieces, at an informal concert at Bloedel Reserve at 1 p.m. Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 13.

The performance will take place on the deck of the Japanese Garden Guest House overlooking the Stone Garden.

Sato, a Bainbridge Island resident, has been a volunteer at Bloedel Reserve several years, and the two women have been collaborating on koto music for a decade.

The koto is a Japanese horizontal harp about six feet long, made of hollowed paulownia timber, with two sounding holes on the back. The traditional koto has 13 strings of silk or nylon with each string tuned by a moveable bridge, while modern variations have 17 and 21 strings.  The koto is played with three picks placed on the thumb, index and middle fingers of the right hand. The koto’s traditional music is composed in pentatonic (five-note scale).

Paulownia wood is harvested from the Paulownia tomentosa or Empress Tree. There is a large Empress tree located near the Gate House at Bloedel Reserve, which should be in full bloom with fragrant pale lavender flowers on Mother’s Day.

The concert is free with admission to the reserve.

 

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