• The Lab: Duo concert: Miya Masaoka & Hans Tammen

    February 16, 2024
    Live Performance by Miya Masaoka (koto + computer, monochord) with Hans Tammen (synthesizer)
    The Lab, 2948 16th St.
    San Francisco, CA

  • Trio Brew: Reggie Workman, Gerry Hemingway, Miya Masaoka

    CD Release Party: Trio Brew: Reggie Workman, Bass; Gerry Hemingway, Drums, Miya Masaoka, Koto and Monochord
    Out Music Festival
    February 1 2024, 8:30pm
    Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave, NYC

  • Stanford University, CCRMA solo Concert

    February 14, 2024
    7:30pm – 9:00pm
    Location: CCRMA Stage / CCRMA LIVE, Stanford University

    Miya Masaoka will present a selection of fixed media multichannel works and a live performance.
    FREE and Open to the Public.

  • DARA String Festival 2023

    DARA String Festival August 26-27
    Theater Im Delphi

    Bassgitarre: Farida Amadou
    Cello: Zoé Cartier
    Tar: Elshan Ghasimi
    Bühneninstallation: Anna Kubelik
    Koto & Elektronik: Miya Masaoka
    Bratsche & Geige: Joanna Mattrey, Grégoire Simon
    Geige & Stimme: Biliana Voutchkova

    Theater im Delphi gGmbH
    Gustav-Adolf-Str. 2
    13086 Berlin

  • Darmstadt, Germany. Open Studio Showcase: Katie Young and Olivia de Prato, Miya Masaoka

    6:30PM August 16
    Solo Violin and Electronics composed by Miya Masaoka, performed by Olivia de Prato
    Open Studio Showcase of Katherine Young, by invitation to Olivia de Prato and Miya Masaoka
    Ludwigshöhstaße 105, Darmstadt, Germany

  • Monumenta Ethereal : Still images, Rome, NYC

    This is a developing project in Rome, Italy…. More »

  • New Work for Mivos String Quartet, American Academy of Rome

    Thursday, June 8, 2023. Mivos Quartet, The Horizon Leans Forward
    American Academy in Rome: Open Studio
    Angelo Masina 5, Rome, Italy.

  • Keynote Talk: The Space Imaginary in Sound and Music, ZHDK Switzerland

    Mach 7, 2023, 15:00
    Miya delivers a keynote speech, “The Space Imaginary in Sound and Music” at the Academy ZHDK in Zürich, Switzerland.
    This is talk is based on experiences working at EMPAC, informal conversations, and researching at the Accademy of Rome, Italy during 2022-23.

    Zurich University of the Arts
    Toni-Areal, Pfingstweidstrasse 96, 8005 Zurich

  • San Francisco Contemporary Music Players

    Thursday, May 11, 2023 San Francisco Contemporary Music Players: The Dust and the Noise for cello, violin, piano and percussion by Miya Masaoka
    7:00 pm ‘How Music is Made’ Pre-Concert Talk | 8:00 pm Concert | Post-concert Party
    Herbst Theatre, SF War Memorial, 401 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco
    TICKETS General: $35, Student: $15 (more…)

  • Myra Melford, Miya Masaoka, Zeena Parkins, Pierre Boulez Saal

    Saturday, May 3, 2023. Myra Melford, Miya Masaoka, Zeena Parkins MZM Pierre Boulez Saal, Berlin, German 19 :00 Improvised Music and Jazz… More »

  • Olivia de Prato : Solo Violin, Miller Theater

    Tuesday, April 4, 2023
    Olivia de Prato Solo Violin CD Pop Up Concert, World Premiere Mapping a Joyful Path for solo violin by Miya Masaoka and works with other acclaimed composers: commissioned by the New York Foundation for the Arts. Miller Theater, 2960 Broadway, New York, NY 10027 Free admission (more…)

  • MaertzMusik Berlin, Berliner Festspiele, Germany

    Sunday, March 26, 2023 The Imaginary Decolonized Space/Place for 3 Musicians and Sine Waves/Difference Tones composed by Miya Masaoka
    MaertzMusik Berliner Festispiele

    Final night The Imaginary Decolonized Space/Place

  • Solo Contrebasse at the American Academy in Rome, Italy

    Wednesday, February 1, 2023 6 pm. The Salon at the American Academy in Rome with contrabassist Dorian Jackman offering a recital of solo works by Bach, Hans Werner Henze, Stephen Scodanibbio, and Miya Masaoka on February 1, 2023. Via Angelo Masina 5, Rome, Italy

  • Houseplants and Extreme Weather Data Report: Warsaw, Poland

    Sunday, February 5, 2023 When I was Plant installation and talk 17:00 (5pm)
    Installation with Houseplants, EEG sensors, electronics, printed papers with extreme weather data, sound, human and plant interaction. Centrum Sztuki Włączającej / Teatr 21 Centrum Sztuki Włączającej / Władysława Skoczylasa 10/12, 03-465 Warszawa, Warsaw, Poland

  • Nuova Consonanza, invited judge for music competition award, Rome, Italy

    December 10, 2022. Nuova Consonanza. Mattatoio La Pelanda
    piazza Orazio Giustiniani 4 Rome, Italy
    Winners of the Competition for Nuova Consonanza will be announced, Miya Masaoka and 2 other judges will be introduced.

  • William Parker CD Release

    William Parker, Miya Masaoka and other artists. Release 2022… More »

  • Grammy Nomination 2022, Jane Ira Bloom: Best Immersive Audio Album with guests

    Grammy Nomination 2022, 65th Annual Grammy Awards: Jane Ira Bloom: Best Immersive Audio Album: Picturing the Invisible – Focus 1. Mastering Engineers Morten Lindberg, Ulrike Schwarz, Jane Ira Bloom – Clarinets, Miya Masaoka, Koto, Mark Helias, Bass and others… More »

  • UnStumm | Transatlantic Movements telematic : real-time performances with dance, video and sound in mixed reality.

    Thursday, November 10, 2022, With UnStumm | Transatlantic Movements, Claudia Schmitz and Nicola L. Hein, Masaoka and other aratists from Argentina, US and Germany to a telematic real-time performances with dance, video and sound in mixed reality.

  • Peripheries: Harvard University, Center for the Study of World Religions

    Inner Sounds: an essay by Miya Masaoka and other artists Peripheries: work that explores the interstices between discourses, traditions, languages, forms, and genres. Harvard University, World Religions a Journal of words and images. Issue 5. Published January, 2023.… More »

  • EMPAC: Talk: The Space Imaginary in Sound and Music: New Work for Violin and Sine Waves:

    Wednesday, November 7, 2022. 7pm : EMPAC premiere for violin and sine waves for the Wave Field Synthesis Array and virtuosic violinist Olivia de Prato. Talk: Multi-Dimensional Spatiality in the 15th Century and Now. On the corner of 8th Street and College Avenue / Troy, NY 12180 (more…)

  • BANG ON A CAN : Longplay 2022

    Sunday, May 1, 2022 1:15, Robert Black, solo contrebasse, Four Moons of Pluto composed by Miya Masaoka. Mark Morris Dance Center, Brooklyn, NY

  • Governors Island, Harvestworks Residency and Commission. Building 10a, Nolan Park, Soft opening June 2022

    Resonant frequencies meet parabolic surfaces made from clay of the earth, animals of the sea, and met with the activity of human toil. (more…)

  • 10,000 Tones for PEACE Benefit Arts for Arts

    Friday, March 18, 2022, 10,000 Tones for PEACE Benefit 7pm The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center
    Miya Masaoka One String, Ned Rothenburg – Reeds, 50 musicians and dancers NY, NY 107 Suffolk St, New York, NY 10002

  • ISSUE PROJECT ROOM: 2021 Benefit

    Wednesday, October 13, 2021, 7:30pm, Yamaha Artists Services, New York. New Work, Signing, collaboration: Miya Masaoka and Joanna Mattrey. Duo collaboration premiere of these two artists


    August 25-27, 7pm, 2021 OSTRAVA DAYS 2021 BANDA II: MIYA MASAOKA: THE ENERGY BURNS FROM WITHIN for orchestra, conducted by Petr Kotik. Triple Hall Karolina, Music of Today Festival, 11th Bienale, Ostrava Center for New Music, Ostrava, Czech Republic. Masaoka Talks and Meetings August 22-28

  • John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship 2021

    April 2021: Guggenheim fellowship

    Miya has been named one of the awardees of the 2021 John S. Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship for Musical Composition, given to individuals who have demonstrated exceptional creative ability in the arts. For a full list of 2021 awardees, see here.


    Masaoka has been awarded a commission to compose a new work for the legendary EMPAC Wave Field Synthesis Array, a system endowed with an unbelievable number of 558-channel discrete loudspeakers.

  • Seeking a Sense of Somethingness (out of nothingness) TIME : SPANS FESITVAL 2021

    TIME : SPANS 2021: EMPAC WAVE Field Synthesis Showcase: 3D compositions by Miya Masaoka, Nina Young, Bora Yoon, Pamela Z. Thursday August 12 to Monday August 16. The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, 450 W 37th Street, NY, NY

  • New Noh Opera “Long Arc of Time” (postponed due to Covid)

    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.

  • Allgemeine_Zeitung_Mainz_Seite_15

    2019-08-24_Allgemeine_Zeitung_Mainz_Seite_15… 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. (more…)

  • Cubistics: A 3 Dimensional score: performance, video, sculpture

    Cubistics, a 3-Dimensional Score
    December 15, 2019 20:00
    Masaoka, Kaffe Matthews, Andrea Parkins
    Silent Green, Gerichtstraße 35, 13347 Berlin, Germany

    Past Events

  • 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

    More »

  • 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. (more…)

  • Park Ave Armory Artist Studio: UPDATED PROGRAM

    Programmatic Updates to Miya Masaoka’s Armory Performances (including interactive work with plants)

    The program for Miya Masaoka’s upcoming performances at Park Avenue Armory on Wednesday, March 13, have been updated. In place of The Long Arc of Time Noh opera, the program will now include a number of new works by Masaoka, performed with her close collaborators and colleagues. The evening will present the premiere of Songs of Lost Dreams, a new work written for soprano Kamala Sankaram and percussionist Chris Nappi. The Momenta Quartet will perform Survival, along with guest violinist Clara Kim, and bassists Robert Black, James Ilgenfritz, Shayna Dulberger, and Zach Rowden join us to perform Four Moons of Pluto. Masaoka will also perform her work Don’t Kill Plants (Leaves are Murder, Meat is Murder). The program concludes with a performance of States of Being, States of Becoming by S.E.M. Ensemble, with Petr Kotik conducting.

  • JACK Quartet, Premiere: Partial Eclipse

    April 30, 2019, 8:00 PM
    Gould Memorial Library Rotunda
    2155 University Avenue
    Bronx, NY 10453

    Works for String Quartet by Chris Otto, rags for 3 string quartets (2 pre-recorded and 1 live)
    Miya Masaoka, Partial Eclipse, commissioned by Jack Quartet (Premiere of Final Version)

  • • As a 2019  Park Avenue Armory Studio Artist,  Miya Masaoka work The Long Arc of Time will be presented  March 13, 2019. Inspired by the writings of Octavia Butler and together with her collaborators – Noh actors and musicians from Japan – she creates a work that is deeply felt through the music and… More »

  • • Miya Masaoka is creating a new sound installation for Caramoor Innovations in Sound 2019 near Katonah, New York… More »

  • • In July, 2018, Miya was at Darmstadt for the first time, participating in two panels called, “Architecture,” and another on Diaspora and Sound. She also had a film short screened…. More »

  • • Miya Masaoka at Montalvo Artist Residency:  For three weeks in August, 2018, Miya resided in the beautiful Santa Cruz mountains, at the Montalvo Artist Residency. This was a treasured gift to have focussed time to work, create and share ideas with other residents, including Hans Tammen, Dafna Naftali and others.  … More »

  • Episode 101 with Jeremiah Cymerman… More »

  • New Music Box: Social and Sonic Relationships… More »

  • Darmstadt Summer Courses: Sound Art Screening

    July 18, 2018
    Adventures of the Solitary Bee, a film short by Miya Masaoka

  • Rubin Museum of Art “The World is Sound” — You Can’t Close Your Ears

    Contributor Miya Masaoka reminds us that the field of sound art is relatively new in the world…. More »

  • Miya Masaoka named Assistant Professor of Practice and Director of Sound Art MFA at Columbia University School of the Arts

    [need more detail?] Miya Masaoka was named Assistant Professor of Practice and Director of Sound Art MFA at Columbia University, School of the Arts…

    Miya Masaoka named Park Avenue Armory Studio Artist 2019

    [need more detail] Miya Masaoka was named Park Avenue Armory Studio Artist 2019… More »


    by, Paige Johnson-Brown, 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 »

  • Wall Street Journal

    Triangle of Resistance review 2016

  • 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, 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 »

  • The Wire: The Reach of Resonance

    by Dan Warburton, The Wire The Reach of Resonance Steve Elkins (Director) Candela Films 2010, 118 mins Focusing its attention on four mavericks of New Music – Miya Masaoka, John Luther Adams, Jon Rose and Bob Ostertag – this entertaining and thought-provoking debut from Steve Elkins sets out to find music in the unlikeliest of… More »

  • SF Asian Music Examiner: Koto and electronics featured at the Garden of Memory, Oakland.

    Johnathon Bakan, SF Asian Music Examiner June 23, 2011 The concert took place at the Chapel of the Chimes a large Gothic columbarium nestled at the end of Piedmont St. in Oakland, CA. The concert called “Garden of Memory” was a summer solstice celebration concert that featured the best avant-garde, progressive, electro-acoustic, and new music…

    Conversation with Miya Masaoka and Vijay Iyer… More »

  • Ecouterre: LED Kimono Reacts to Music, Motion to Create Interactive Light Show

    by Jasmin Malik Chua Dec 3, 2009 The past and future collide with composer Miya Masaoka’s LED Kimono, a high-tech garment that cuts a time-honored silhouette. But the kimono, which has 444 individually controlled LEDs embroidered along the voluminous length of one sleeve, isn’t just a flashy fashion statement—it’s also an interactive light-and-sound instrument that…

    The Wire: For Birds, Planes and Cello

    by Brian Morton, The Wire August 2008 Messiaen talked about the”sovereign freedom” of birdsong. Through the open window to my right I can hear the calls and songs of a white throat, a willow warbler, more distantly nesting sandpipers, and a solitary depressed buzzard, all working together in an extraordinary (if presumably accidental) counterpoint. I… More »

  • The New York Sun: Classical Creature

    By Alan Lockwood, The New York Sun January 10, 2008 Miya Masaoka may work in classical composition, but her tools are anything but classical. Bees, plants, cockroaches — these are the tricks of Ms. Masaoka’s trade. The composer and koto player has worked for two decades at expanding compositional and performance parameters, embracing jazz improvisation,… More »

  • Los Angeles Times: “Koto tradition melds with high-tech mode”

    by Josef Woodard, Los Angeles Times January 27, 2007 Masterful and conceptually restless koto player Miya Masaoka has made it her business to usher the Japanese instrument into contemporary contexts, combining respect for tradition with new musical applications. At REDCAT on Thursday in the first of three varied evenings in the CEAIT Festival — for the… More »

  • “Miya Masaoka – Sylvie Courvoisier – Peggy Lee – Trio”

    by Josef Woodard, January 27, 2007 Au rayon improvisation libre, un trio forcément fortement original composé de Miya Masoaka au koto, Sylvie Courvoisier au piano, et Peggy Lee (pas la chanteuse, une autre) au violoncelle. L’ensemble est invraisemblablement virtuose et maîtrisé, le mélange de timbres est tout à fait réussi, ce qui n’avait rien d’évident… More »

  • Wired: “Musician Plucks Sound From Lasers”

    by Alexander Gelfand, Wired November 20, 2006 Lasers are nifty things. Since their invention at Bell Labs in 1958, they’ve been used to perform eye surgery, target smart bombs and carry zillions of bytes of data along fiber-optic cables. Nonetheless, it took decades for someone to figure out that these highly focused beams of light could… More »

  • The Wire: Cross Platform

    by Rob Young, The Wire February 2006 Rare are the moments when TV’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here and experimental music find themselves on the same page. But Miya Masaoka’s multimedia performance piece Ritual With Giant Hissing Madagascar Cockroaches (1996) provides just such a moment: In the late 90s, the San Francisco… More »

  • San Diego Union-Tribune: For Birds, Planes & Cello

    by George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune 2005 Call it pure coincidence or a happy case of musical serendipity. Either way, two of this month’s most arresting new albums feature the cello, although the manner in which it is used on Miya Masaoka and Joan Jeanrenaud’s “For Birds, Planes & Cello” is dramatically different that on… More »

  • Sound Noise Music Network: For Birds, Planes and Cello

    by Stephen Fruitman, Sound Noise Music Network Nov 7, 2005 You would have to look long and hard to find a CD whose contents are more accurately and honestly described by its title. For this is indeed a recording consisting of birds, planes and cello. On March 15, 2004, in the company of recording engineer… More »

  • Jazz Fest: Miya Masaoka

    by Alexander Varty June 30th, 2005 Unconventional instrumental techniques noted at the Saturday performance by koto player Miya Masaoka, trombonist George Lewis, cellist Peggy Lee, and flautist Nicole Williams: suction-cup trombone, in which Lewis plunged the mouthpiece of his horn against his face to produce various intestinal gurglings; Mitchell’s application of a house- painter’s brush to the strings and soundboard… More »

  • Le Figaro: DANSE Pour la première fois en France Alonzo, le

    by René Sirvin, Le Figaro December 3, 2004 Fidèle à sa politique d’ouverture, Guy Darmet présente dans sa Maison de la danse à Lyon un chorégraphe noir américain encore inconnu en France, Alonzo King, dont les oeuvres sont pourtant au répertoire d’une cinquantaine de compagnies à l’étranger. Après des études classiques à American Ballet School,… More »

  • Album Review: While I was walking I heard a sound…

    by Margaret Leng Tan, New York City May 22nd, 2004 The world would be a poorer place if When I was Walking I Heard a Sound had not been created. At the very least, my own life would be that much poorer if I had not discovered this amazing work by Miya Masaoka. I was… More »

  • Downbeat: “caught: Guelph Gains Momentum”

    by Greg Buium, Downbeat Volume 70 – Number I January 2003 Guelph can safely be put up alongside Tampere, Nickelsdorf or Victoriaville as one of the world’s small, out-of-the-way creative music metropolises. This year’s Guelph Jazz Festival, Sept. 4–8, again proved that its smart, progressive programming has few peers. Its menu commonly sets off rich helpings of… More »

  • Cadence: “Observations: Guelph Jazz Festival, Sept. 4–8, 2002”

    by Frank Rubolino, Cadence October 2002 For the ninth exciting year, the Guelph Jazz Festival presented an outstanding array of artists in action at this viewer-friendly late summer event. Drawing talent from the international community, this year’s festival compressed an abundance of music, visual art, dance, panel discussions, workshops, theater, film, and lectures into a highly… More »

  • Electronic Musician: “Electric Ladyland”

    by Bean with Gino Robair, Electronic Musician  April 1, 2001 Artists who customize or build instruments to realize their singular artistic visions often make the most exciting music. Three female performers who take that route — Krystyna Bobrowski, Miya Masaoka, and Kaffe Matthews — make groundbreaking music that transcends gender and conventional musical expectations. Composer and… More »

  • SF Weekly: “Border Crossings”

    by Sam Prestianni, SF Weekly July 26, 2000 Using everything from kotos to cockroaches, synthesizers to strippers, Miya Masaoka is redefining the musician’s creative process. To take advantage of her artist-in-residence tenure this past spring at the Headlands Center for the Arts, San Francisco kotoist Miya Masaoka had to haul her weird wired world to the… More »

  • Metro Active: Challenging the Koto-Monster

    by Marianne Messina, Metro Active July 2000 Tradition meets the cutting edge when Miya Masaoka manipulates her koto. ALTHOUGH MIYA MASAOKA plays the Japanese koto, an instrument wrapped in more than 1,000 years of tradition, there isn’t much that’s traditional about her. Masaoka has taken her “note-bending zither,” her refined technique, her Gagaku (formal court…

    San Francisco Classical Voice: Electronic Music, A Blast, A Vision

    by Thomas Gross May 5, 2000 Give some people an amp, and they can’t wait to see just how loud it can go. Leather-jacketed juvenile delinquents who preen at heavy metal concerts have no idea of the true limits of auditory toughness. When they walk into a rock concert, the blast from the immense speakers… More »

  • New York Press: “The Queen of the Bees”

    by Sam Prestianni, The New York Press March 4, 1998 She’s jammed with a few thousand bees and let giant cockroaches cross her naked flesh. She’s played with strippers on the street for lunchtime passersby and rocked the conservative Monterey Jazz Festival with bracing noise experiments. A forward-thinking composer-improviser with world-class skills and vision, Bay Area… More »

  • San Francisco Bay Guardian: “Miya Masaoka Trio: Monk’s Japanese Folk Song (Dizim)”

    by Derk Richardson, San Francisco Bay Guardian January 28, 1998 THE NOVELTY of hearing Thelonious Monk’s “Epistrophy” or “‘Round Midnight” performed on a Japanese koto quickly dissolves into wonderment in the early moments of Miya Masaoka’s new CD — and into unconditional acceptance of the 21-string zither as a jazz instrument. Since releasing her 1993 debut… More »