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Recording Project: Music of Kotoka Suzuki

Recording works for strings and piano with Spektral Quartet and Cristina Valdes.


I’m thrilled to be working on my first debut solo album with the Grammy-nominated Spektral Quartet and phenomenal pianist, Cristina Valdes.   This album will highlight my instrumental works, many with electronics that have not yet been published.   They are all intimate in setting that reflec on life, breath and wind.

I’ll be recording three works for this album: “Minyo” (1997 /15:00) for string quartet, “Breath in Quiet” (2014 / 8:00) for violoncello and thread, and “Shimmer, Tree | In Memoriam Jonathan Harvey” (2014 /15:00) for solo piano and electronics.  “Breath in Quiet” was commissioned by the McCormick Foundation and written for the cellist Russell Rolen (Spektral Quartet) in 2014 and premiered at Constellation in Chicago in May 2014.   I will be recording “Shimmer, Tree” with Cristina Valdes whom I have collaborated on various projects since 2007.

The recordings of these three works with Spektral Quartet and Cristina Valdes will take place in Chicago between spring and summer of 2019.

I can’t wait for these recordings to all come together for my new debut album!


string quartet (1997)

Although this is an older work, I still feel deeply connected to it.  The work consists of five short movements, which are largely influenced by Japanese folk music.  Elements of folk music can be heard directly in the variations of pitch and rhythm.  Strings also imitate the sounds of the traditional instruments commonly used in folk music: shamisen (guitar), koto (harp), taiko (drum), and voice.

Breath in Quiet

violoncello and thread (2014)

Breath is a simple gesture. Made without consciousness, it contains subtle changes that can have tremendous meaning. This work is inspired by the conceit that subtle differences can be contained in the same gesture. Shifting in sonic color and rhythm, this wok transforms throughout the duration of the composition.

Shimmer, Tree | In Memoriam Jonathan Harvey

piano and electronics (2014)

This two-movement work is written in memory of the British composer, Jonathan Harvey.   I vividly recall a particular moment as we sat together by a window one sunny afternoon in California discussing music. In the middle of his sentence, he paused and looked outside the window, mesmerized by a tree as its leaves gently swayed in the wind. He then softly said, “Do you see how beautifully that tree is moving?”. This piece depicts the image of this moving tree. The second movement is loosely based on his work, “Bhakti”.

Project Media

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Features: Kotoka Suzuki

This is a performance of “Minyo” by Arditti. I will be recording this work with the Spektral Quartet.

Hidden Voices (2003)
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Performance by Cristina Valdes of my solo piano work “Hidden Voices”.

Start and End Dates



Chicago, Illinois

Project Created By

Tempe, Arizona
Kotoka Suzuki / 鈴木琴香 is a composer focusing on both multimedia and instrumental practices. She has produced several large-scale multimedia works, including spatial interactive audio-visual work for both concert and installation settings, often in collaboration with artists and scholars from other disciplines.  Her work engages deeply in the visual, conceiving of sound as a physical…

In Collaboration With

Seattle, Washington
Chicago, Illinois


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