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CANCELED: Duologue between Konghou & Kugo: New Work by Masatora Goya

Sunday, May 24, 2020 1:30 pm

Flushing Town Hall
137-35 Northern Boulevard Flushing, NY, 11354 map

Composer Masatora Goya presents a new duo piece for konghou and kugo, ancient Asian harps with the same roots, as the culmination of his Exploring the Metropolis Con Edison Composers Residency at Flushing Town Hall. Recently revived once-extinct harps, konghou (China) and kugo (Japan), meet once again in New York City to find a new story.

Konghou and kugo were popular in China and Japan before 10 AD, but both went extinct shortly after. In the late 20th century, however, both harps made a comeback, yet in distinctively different styles. Chinese konghou today resembles European concert harp; its range is slightly narrower (36 strings against 47strings of grand harp) but the strings are double-sided. Meanwhile, Japanese kugo tends to be built by individual player’s taste and does not have a uniform shape, but oriental harp specialist Tomoko Sugawara rebuilt her kugo true to the picture in the ancient scroll, which became a much smaller harp (19 strings). The duologue between konghou (Lucina Yue) and kugo (Tomoko Sugawara) harkens back to the long history of cultural trade between China and Japan. In Flushing, NYC where Asian population flourishes, composer Masatora Goya explores the new possibilities in two distinctive yet closely related instruments to honor the tradition and find a new story.