(Uminari) – Ocean Sounds

海鳴り (Uminari) Ocean Sounds – Yukiko Ishii (1999)

This upcoming woman composer has created here an unusual combination of textures with the Tsugaru Shamisen and koto. These two plucked instruments are rarely heard together and are surprisingly contrasting in range and texture. The piece is a product of Ishii’s imagination of timbres depicting the energy in the swirling sea.

The first section is led by the rhythmic melody of the shamisen over the constant deep drive of the bass koto; the middle section is led by the gentle melody of the bass, while the shamisen sails above. The final section merges the two contrasting texture into one powerful voice, producing an energy reminiscent of a strong current.