Shoko Hikage, koto Jonathan Segel, violin Recorded in September 2002 at the Magnetic Satellite in Oakland Ca. Mastered in March 2003 at the Headless Buddha Mastering Lab by Myles Boisen. What the Critics are Saying: Hikage's approach to the koto is traditional; it doesn't involve a lot of extended techniques and retains a distinctly Japanese ethos, much like the master koto improvisor Kazue Sawai. Which does not mean that her palette is restricted. Her use of wide dynamic shifts and her quick response to Segel's mood swings keeps her on top of things. Segel makes use of about every extended technique in the book, from whisper quiet scratching to the harshest possible playing. ...in general the interplay taking place is exemplary, and their resourcefulness in answering each other's calls provides a fascinating display. Francois Couture, All Music Guide ...perhaps, call it pleasantly mystifying. Kurt Gottschalk, The Squid's Ear.
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