Miya Masaoka

Miya Masaoka (born 1958 in Washington DC) is an American koto player, avant-garde musician and composer.

Life and work

Masaoka was trained in Japanese music at Suenobu Togi and then studied at the San Francisco State University (until 1990 ) and Mills College (until 1991 ) with Alvin Curran. In the early 1990s she worked with Pharoah Sanders, Wadada Leo Smith and Henry Kaiser.

She was known primarily with multimedia stage projects. 1996 was the Bee Project # 1, were mixed with the buzzing of bees and live music. Large media attention was What Is the Difference Between Stripping & Playing the Violin?, A demonstration for band, two exotic dancers and tape, performed on a street corner in San Francisco in 1997 ( and recorded) was.

Since 1996, she released albums of his own, besides, she worked with musicians such as Steve Coleman, George Lewis, Biggi Vinkeloe and Ben Goldberg; Since 1997 she plays with Fred Frith and Larry Ochs Trio Maybe Monday. She is the founder and director of the San Francisco Gagaku Society.

Masaoka kompoinierte a ballet, a piece for the tenth anniversary of Buena Center for the Arts for choir, children's choir and soloists, pieces for chamber orchestra, gagaku instruments, the Rova Saxophone Quartet and other ensembles.


  • Unearthed / Unbound for koto solo, 1993
  • Bee Project # 1 for koto, violin, percussion and live bees, 1996
  • What is the Difference Between Stripping and Playing the Violin?, 1997
  • 24,000 Years Is Forever for orchestra and tape, 1997
  • Dark Passages multimedia piece with the writer Thulani Davis, 1998
  • Ritual, inter -species collaboration with giant Madagascar hissing cockroaches. , 1997-99
  • Music for Mouths, 1999
  • Bee Project # 5 for koto, computer and live bees, 2000
  • It Creeps Along for koto, laser and PowerBook, 2000
  • What is the Sound of Naked Men? , 2001
  • Thinking Sounds, 2001
  • Koto Koto solo and tape, 2001
  • Pieces with Plants, interactive piece for Philodendron and performer, 2002
  • Koto transliteration, Volume 1, 2002
  • While I Was Walking, I Heard A Sound ..., 22003

Disco Graphical Notes

  • Crepuscular Music with Tom Nunn, Gino Robair, 1995
  • Compositions / Improvisations, 1996
  • Monk 's Japanese Folk Song with Andrew Cyrille, Reggie Workman, 1997
  • What Is the Difference Between Stripping & Playing the Violin? with Anthony Brown, India Cooke, Trevor Dunn, Liberty Ellman, Glenn Horiuchi, Vijay Iyer, Mark Izu, Elliot Humberto Kavee, George Lewis, Hafez Modirzadeh, Jim Norton, Toyoji Tomita, Francis Wong, Kei Yamashita, Lee Yen, 1997
  • For Birds, Planes and Cello, 2005
  • While I Was Walking, I Heard a Sound ..., 2005