• Jazz Right Now: REVIEW: MIYA MASAOKA, ZEENA PARKINS, AND MYRA MELFORD – MZM

    by, Paige Johnson-Brown, JazzRightNow.com Feb 20, 2018 In tarot, The Three of Cups is often pictured as three women raising their glasses in celebration and signifies forces coming together to focus on a common emotional or creative goal. I pulled this card during a tarot reading that happened to coincide with the final moments of… More »

  • The New York City Jazz Record: MZM

    by Mark Keresman, The New York City Jazz Record November 2017 There are few high-wire acts as challenging and precarious as collective free improvisation. The results can dazzle, delightfully confound or seem like the by-product of musicians playing near each other. Myra Melford is a dynamic and flexible pianist, an acolyte of the late Don… More »

  • Dusted: Myra Melford, Zeena Parkins, Miya Masaoka – MZM (Infrequent Seams)

    by Eric McDowell, Dusted Magazine September 21, 2017 Context matters: The difference between coming to MZM expecting music for piano, harp and koto and coming to it expecting music by Myra Melford, Zeena Parkins and Miya Masaoka may be the difference between loving and hating the album. Of course, Melford, Parkins and Masaoka are three… More »

  • Downbeat: Improv Explorer

    by Ted Panken, Downbeat Magazine July 2017 Four years ago, saxophonist Anthony Braxton suggested to koto player Miya Masaoka that they improvise a concert together at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. Engaging with Braxton is not an undertaking for the faint of heart, but Masaoka didn’t hesitate. “A recording date got set up and it… More »

  • SF Classical Voice: Sound and Silence: Miya Masaoka Evokes a World of Emotions

    by Lucy Caplan, San Francisco Classical Voice May 12, 2017 Miya Masaoka is not afraid of silence. In her opera A Line Becomes A Circle, presented at Roulette on Wednesday evening, the absence of sound is often as musically significant as its presence. The piece begins with four musicians processing quietly through the audience, making barely audible… More »

  • Pitchfork: Duo (DCWM) 2013

    by, Seth Colter Walls January 10, 2017 Saxophonist Anthony Braxton’s collaboration with koto player Miya Masaoka is simultaneously dramatic and dreamy, swinging between free improv and ambient passages. The composer and instrumentalist Miya Masaoka was already well-versed in experimental practices when she showed up for a 2013 gig with saxophonist Anthony Braxton. As a specialist on the koto,… More »

  • Jazz Weekly: INTRIGUING ENSEMBLES…Miya Masaoka: Triangle of Resistance, Matt Ulery’s Loom/Large: Festival

    by George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly November 10, 2016 Music groups come in all sizes these days, sometimes even changing midstream on an album. Here are a couple examples. Miya Masaoka plays the traditional koto instrument as she leads a flexible ensemble through three originals. Richard Carrick conducts 2 violins, a viola, cello, synthesizer and… More »

  • Wall Street Journal: “‘Overtones — Harmonic Seasons’ and ‘Triangle of Resistance’”

    by Allan Kozinn, Wall Street Journal September 13, 2016 Albums from Wu Wei and Miya Masaoka meld disparate accents by combining the instrumentation and musical forms of both worlds. Over the past few decades, Asian composers with Asian roots, have melded Eastern and Western musical accents by combining the instrumentation and musical forms of both… More »

  • Herald-Tribune: Miya Masaoka finds new sounds in ancient instrument

    by Susan Rife, Herald-Tribune November 6, 2015 The Japanese koto is a traditional stringed instrument that, in the words of new-music composer Miya Masaoka, is “basically a hollow log with strings across it.” But from this very traditional instrument, which has its roots in China and is cousin to similar zither-style instruments throughout Africa and Asia,… More »

  • Cleaveland Classical: CMA at Transformer Station — Miya Masaoka

    by Mike Telin, CleavelandClassical.com February 21, 2014 Before the advent of electronic tuning devices there were tuning forks and musicians usually carried at least one in their instrument cases to use to set a pitch standard. Tuning forks also provide entertainment for people of all ages who want to experiment with sound vibrations: strike the… More »