• New Noh Opera “Long Arc of Time” Cancelled

    New Noh Opera “Long Arc of Time” scheduled for Ostrava NOVO Opera Festival in the Czech Republic 2021 has unfortunately been cancelled.… More »

  • The Boccaccio Project “Intuit (a way to stay in this world)”

    Intuit (a way to stay in this world) Library of Congress commission as part of The Boccaccio Project. For solo cello. Kathryn Bates of Del Sol, June 2020. Duration: 3 minutes. Composed by Miya Masaoka in strict quarantine in New York City 2020…. More »

  • When I Was A Plant v. 2 (Spanish Speaking plant, with climate data)

     2019 Toronto Biennale, Main Exhibition space November 14-December 1, 2019, curated by Myung-Sun Kim and Maiko Tanaka. The plant  is “speaking,” or expressing the voice of living things, which might otherwise be construed as silent, mute, and passive. The response of the plant and its root system in real time is a manifestation, metaphor of… More »

  • When I Was a Plant (for multiple plants + performers)

    November 14, 2019. Artist Talk, Post Vocal Performance, Tellings, Toronto Biennial.

  • I Am A Plant (response in image + sound)

    Materials:  philodendron, electronics, wire, video, sound, human interaction. Gutenberg Sound Art Academy, Mainz University, Germany, August, 2019.
    The symbiotic co-evolution of plants with insects, birds, and parasites resulted in a heightened sensitivity to interaction to other species, and is – in part – revealed in this interactive piece. Additionally, recent research indicates plants communicate with other species of plants sharing resources of water and warning of unfriendly fungi, insects and other environmental information.  Masaoka has been integrating plants into her art performances and installations since the late 1990’s.

  • Cubistics, a 3-dimensional score for audience mental mapping and musicians

    Cubistics is a composition for audience mental mapping and musicians by Miya Masaoka. This piece requires audience participation. The audience is requested to follow the mental mapping of a 3-dimensional shape — that of a cube — along with the musicians. More »

  • Singing River So To Speak*

    July 6, 2019
    Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Canada
    Ensemble Evolution; Commissioned work, conducted by Steve Schick; flute, clarinet, bassoon, piano, percussion,  violin, viola, cello. 
    *based on the poem by Maya Angelou, “On The Pulse of Morning”

  • Listen Ahead traffic signs

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  • Solar Wind

    Joelle Leandre (contrabasse), Rober Dick (flutes) and Miya Masaoka (koto) TRIO… More »

  • Listen Ahead: Ear Hut

    Listen Ahead consists of a series of traffic signs, and the Ear Hut, a small structure that is designed to privilege the ear over the eye, or the sense of listening over sight. There are ear-level openings in the walls allowing sounds from the outside environment into the inside. A fluidity of the interior/exterior carry meaning beyond the walls, and can be contemplated upon as those who enter can sit, relax and think.

  • O Plant!

    detail. Houseplant, electronics, wire, wood. sound… More »

  • Partial Eclipse for String Quartet (workshop version)

    Stephanie Griffin vla, Alex Shozaki Vln, Rachell Wong Vln, Michael Haas, Cello Roulette, NY… More »

  • Transient Memories

    Fridman Gallery, 2018 Materials: Glass bottles, electronics, sound… More »

  • O Plant!

    New work installation with plants and human interaction, Temple Contemporary, Tyler School of Art,  Fall, 2018… More »

  • Spectacle Exotic – A film short by Miya Masaoka

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  • Adventures of the Solitary Bee

    The Adventures of the Solitary Bee is a quasi documentary by Miya Masaoka. The work was part of a constellation of works in the mid to late nineties, where the artist used social insects noted for their social behavior and their natural insect More »

  • MZM Trio: Myra Melford, Zeena Parkins, Miya Masaoka

    Ten improvised pieces from three of the most innovative instrumentalists at work today. More »

  • Hiko Hiko alternative persona

    Hiko Hiko is a time traveler, a shamanistic figure of a non specific gender and non specific race.  They sometimes wear kimono rags and clothes embedded with percussion and tin cans trailing behind.   Hiko Hiko is said to journey to distant planets, to ancient Japan, to contemporary Harlem, and is known to make unannounced appearances… More »

  • Tilt

    20th Anniversary of Other Minds Festival…. More »

  • Heliotropism for Large Ensemble

    Performed at New Music On the Point, Vermont; Zack Di Lello, trumpet, Jessie Nucho, flute,  Brian Stuligross, violin, Cindy Lan, viola, Louise King, Cello, Will Yager, contrabass, Cole Blouin, guitar, Alec Whiting, bowed and fingered koto

  • The Long Arc of Time

    The Long Arc of Time, a new intermedia Noh opera composed, produced and directed by Miya Masaoka; poet Tracie Morris was commissioned to write the story and libretto Grey: A Tale of Time;

  • The Movement of Things

    City Halls, Glasgow, Scotland, More »

  • While I Was Walking, I Heard A Sound…

    Conducted by Robert Geary.  Performed by Volti, Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir, The San Francisco Chorale Society, and soloists. Commissioned by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on the occasion of their 10th anniversary…. More »

  • Network Of Energy

    Composed by Miya Masaoka, performed by Masaoka, koto, Mark Dresser, Bass, Stephanie Richards, Trumpet, Madison Greenstone, clr, Kjell Nordeson, Percussion, Sean Dowgray, Percussion, Andrew Drury, Percussion. Performed at the San Diego Art Museum, November, 2015 More »

  • Slivering

    The RPI Orchestra (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) conducted by Nicolas de Masion; recording and reading of Slivering, 2018… More »

  • Vaginated Chairs

    MoMA PS1, April 1, 2018 In “Vaginated Chairs”- the vagina is a site for perception, for new ways of listening and perceiving, and, as Masaoka argues, is the Third Ear. Come sit on our humming and vibrating chairs, each tuned to a specific frequency and made into a kind of loud speaker. Some participants will… More »

  • Vaginated Chairs, Kunstmuseum Bonn

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  • A Line Becomes A Circle, a new chamber Noh opera

    A new chamber opera composed by Miya Masaoka and performed by Makiko Sakurai (Shomyo), Ann Moss (Soprano), Chris Nappi (Percussion), Miya Masaoka (Koto) Roulette, 2017 More »

  • A Long Way To F#

    A Long Way to F# is a physical metaphor for over lives that at times resemble noise, chaos and undifferentiated existence, but that eventually focus onto a sharp moment of clarity. There will also be a 12 minute version available for listeners during certain hours each day…. More »

  • Four Moons of Pluto for 1 to 5 contrebasse players

    For double bass, from 1 to 5 players.  James Ilgenfritz. First performance, The Stone, 2015.  James has performed this piece many times all over the world.  It was recorded on Innova Records (Triangle of Resistance)  and also Infrequent Seams (Origami Cosmos) by James Ilgenfritz. A 5 bass player configuration was first performed at New Music… More »

  • Channeling Scelsi:  with Italian channeler Carlo Costa.

    Channeling Scelsi:  with Italian channeler Carlo Costa.
    This new work is an interpretation of Scelsi’s 1965 composition Ygghur originally written for cello.  Performed on two 13 string kotos by Akiko Sasaki and Miya Masaoka.
  • Sound Corridors at the Knockdown Center

    Multi-channel installation in cavernous space in Brooklyn, New York…. More »

  • Other Mountain

    2′ Excerpt:  Other Mountain Performed by the La Jolla Symphony. A reading sponsored by Earshot and the Center for Jazz Studies, La Jolla Symphony, San Diego. Conducted by Steven Schick. Other Mountain is inspired from an experience in 2011 near a lake on the other side of Fukushima,Japan, the location of the 2011 tsunami and… More »

  • The Dust and the Noise

    piano, percussion, violin, cello, conducted by Richard Carrick… More »

  • The Chattering of Life

    for string quartet and improvising trio 5′ excerpt The Chattering of Life… More »

  • Survival

    Jennifer Choi, vln, Esther Noh, vln, David Wallace, vla, Alex Waterman, cello. Performed at Roulette ‘Survival excerpt 5′… More »

  • The Long Road

    A piece in the evening – length work Triangle of Resistance string quartet, percussion, koto, analog modular synthesis… More »

  • A Crack in Your Thoughts

    Koto, Laser Koto and electronics, The Walk Art Center Gallery, 2012 A Crack In Your Thoughts Excerpt… More »

  • Warsaw

    Warsaw, excerpt gestures, violin, cello, 2 vocalists, video projections, koto, violin, cello, 2 vocalists… More »

  • Stemming

    Stemming for 1-4 players  bows, string instrument, processing  … More »

  • Swimming Through Madness

    Duo for two 13 string kotos. With Akiko Sasaki, Miya Masaoka, The Stone and Roulette… More »

  • Jagged Pyramid

    Scored for open instrumentation… More »

  • Movement Research

    A commission working with Chinese Checkers, Movement Research and Steve Paxton. Performed at Judson Church, New York City… More »

  • Plants Derail Model Train

    The culture of the Cold War spawned many small laboratories with independent researchers and offshoot government agencies. Free-lance engineers and ESP (extra sensory perception) investigators conducted experiments with plants and tried to use plants’ unique electrical response in espionage, long distance communication, including ways of apprehending terrorists by using plants to sense stress levels of… More »

  • LED Kimono Project

    Custom designed and built responsive wearable electronics, electronics, reader, dancer.  See LED KIMONO project website. LED KIMONO Excerpt  LED responds movement, sound.   Miya Masaoka, koto and dress design, Mariko Drew, Dance, Arnold Davidson, reader.  Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago…. More »

  • Off A Craggy Cliff

    For two telematic ensembles, of open, unspecified instrumentation. Performed by Rennsselaer Polytecnic  Ensemble (RPI) led by Pauline Oliveros and Stanford University Ensemble led by Chris Chaffe…. More »

  • The Butterfly’s Logic

    4 percussionists, amplified metal percussion… More »

  • Balls

    piano, Disclavier, ping-pong balls.  Commissioned by Kathleen Supove, Flea Theater, New York City… More »

  • Pieces For Plants (performance and installation)

    Early Version  at Chapel of the Chimes, Oakland, CA.  An Interactive installation for Philodendrom, electrodes, computer… More »

  • Things in an Open Field

    Things in An Open Field Laser Koto and electronics. Redcat Theater, Los Angeles, 2006… More »

  • Chironomy

    5 players in 2 groups. clarinet, vocalist, synthesizer in group 1, 2 computers in Group 2, streaming audio and projected video of childrens’ hands gesturing… More »

  • KOTO

    Solo 21 String Koto and tape written for Alonzo King and Lines. Premiered at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco More »

  • Inner Koto

        Inner Koto:  Multi-channel work commissioned by Engine 27 and Harvestworks…. More »

  • For Birds, Planes and Cello

    cello, field recording (tape)… More »

  • Koto In the Sky

    Laser Beams reach across the alley way in San Francisco, with participants waving broomsticks on on fire escapes to trigger sounds…. More »

  • What is the Sound of Naked (Asian) Men?

    8 musicians and streaming brain wave data, video projection, performed by SF Sound ensemble More »

  • The Bee Projects (1996-2001)

    Cell Space, San Francisco Electronic Music Festival  2000 8 channel (a-dat) Recorded bee sounds spatialized with early software (C sound), speakers in a large circle. (to be  linked in Review section)  Review: Classical Voice: CONTEMPORARY MUSIC REVIEW Electronic Music, A Blast, A Vision May 5, 2000   By Thomas Goss Give some people an amp, and they can’t… More »

  • It Creeps Along

    Bang on a Can Allstars:  Clarinet, cello, guitar, percussion, bass, piano, Laser Koto (gestural controller) People’s Commissioning Fund  … More »

  • Thinking Sound

    There were many version of this piece.  Brain data output was sonified and  processed with signal processing.  IBVA (Interactive Brain Visualization Software) developed by Masahiro Kohata. Piece composed by Miya Masaoka.  (Brain output from various participants, including Saimin Li).  The ensemble SFsound perfomed the piece at Yerba Buena Center Gardens…. More »

  • Music For Mouths

    4 saxophones… More »

  • Dark Passages

    Music composed by Miya Masaoka, Libretto by Thulani Davis, Directed by Ellen Chang. A multimedia oratorio with readers, actual activists and resistors, string quartet, Buddhist chanters, actors, projected slides, video. Ruminations on Japanese American concentration camp survivors and WW II wtih Buddhist chanters, live ensemble, video and still projections, archival footage and actors/readers.  Dar Passages… More »

  • What Is the Difference Between Stripping and Playing the Violin?

    Creative orchestra and tape…. More »

  • Twenty-Four Thousand Years is Forever

    Chamber orchestra and tape; 2 shengs, 2 saxophones, clarinet, percussion, 2 violins, cello, bass, koto (1997). Commissioned by Asian ImprovArts, in commemoration of the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The recording of this piece is included in the CD…. More »

  • Bee Project #1-6

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  • Ritual for Giant Hissing Madagascar Cockroaches

    For performer, laser beams, interactive software, cockroaches. (Roaches’ movement interrupts sensors triggering audio samples of their hissing sounds) (1995-98) Ritual For Hissing Madagascar Cockroaches excerpt… More »

  • Unearthed/Unbound

    Solo 21 string koto commission from Jill Togawa solo dance; Symphony Space, 18th St., Los Angeles. 1993. Recorded on Compositions/Improvisations 1994… More »