The Japan Foundation
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Artist Database
Function: player Koto

Miki Maruta studied the koto under Tadao Sawai, Kazue Sawai and Takako Kikuuta, and graduated from the Takasaki College of Music with top honors, after earning a scholarship there to study koto music. For two years beginning in 1990, she taught koto music and the jiuta sangen genre as a guest musician at Wesleyan University in the United States. In 1994 she was selected for an internship in the performing arts at the Agency for Cultural Affairs and that same year played at the 12th Interlink Festival. In 1996 Maruta performed at the Tampere Music Festival and in 1998 participated in Butch Morris' "U.S. Conduction Tour." Also in 1998 she was invited to perform at a concert put on by the Korean Contemporary Music Society. Maruta appeared in a festival sponsored by Kanagawa Prefecture in 1999, the sixth "Hibiki no Renaissance," and played a concert that year together with Terry Riley. She appeared in concert in Tunisia in 2001 at the behest of the Japan Foundation. That same year she released a solo CD on King Records entitled Tori no Youni (Like a Bird). After performing a solo recital in 1995, she began giving regular live shows primarily in the Tokyo area that feature a wide range of materials, from classic pieces to first performances of classic songs, recordings, and improvisation. While doing so she has utilized her flexible sensibility and adaptability to collaborate with artists across an array of genres. Maruta's performances at music festivals both in Japan and abroad have also been warmly received.

Miki Maruta
Overseas Performances
One of Maruta's programs attempts to convey the wonderful qualities of the Japanese koto to modern times. It features a range of classic and contemporary pieces and collaborations with the koto, shamisen, vocal performance and Western instruments. The second program is a workshop that explores the possibilities of ensembles of Western and Oriental instruments, including the koto, through collaborations with composers and local musicians. It seeks to actualize new possibilities for the koto and includes improvisation. Maruta says, "I had the opportunity to play and experiment process I got aware that language barriers exist but we are able to communicate through the common language of music."

Recommended CD/DVD
Tori no Youni (Like a Bird) (CD)
KICC-343, King Records
An album of contemporary koto music, but the new is accented with sounds from the past and the beautiful, traditional tones of the koto are fully present. Played with Dozan Fujiwara (shakuhachi).