Paul Winter Consort Gives Influencing Exposure To The Koto

By virtue of his Grammy Awarding winning album, Miho”Journey To The Mountain, Paul Winter and his consort have opened the door of exposure to a very unique genre of oriental music, especially focusing on a Japanese musical instrument, the koto.

The Koto is a 13-string musical instrument made of wood with plastic or silk strings. This national instrument of Japan is believed to have been introduced from China in the 7th to 8th century. Around the 16th century, a Buddist priest residing in the mountains of Japan began to compose ‘tsukushi goto’ style music for the koto.

Paul Winter formed a consort group of American instrumentalists during the late 1960s and as the group traveled around the world, Winter became enthralled with musical sounds made by creatures such as wolves, birds and whales. He began creating a music-ecology genre later dubbed ‘earth music’ mixing sound recordings and the koto.

In 2010, Paul Winter decided to record an album at Miho Museum in the area of Kyoto to combined music of nature and mankind. For this very special album, Winter chose to accompany the creatures on French horn. Among the sounds he captured was the song of the Japanese rush warbler.

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