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Karen Tanaka Joins PSNY

We're thrilled to announce that PSNY is now representing three works by Karen Tanaka, who has one of the most unique compositional voices of her generation. Hailing from Japan, Tanaka has lived and worked in Tokyo, Paris, Florence, and Los Angeles, and the cultures and environments of each location have contributed to her compositional work. Since studying and working at IRCAM from the mid-1980s to the early 2000s, Tanaka has worked with computers to explore the beauty of sonic structure and tone colors, an inward journey that is always mediated by her consideration of the listener's experience in a concert hall. 

In 2012, Tanaka became a fellow at the Sundance Institute's Composers Lab, where she was introduced to the world of composition for film while studying under Hollywood's leading composers, editors, and sound designers. Blending natural and electronic sounds, Tanaka's current work even more powerfully evokes images of nature, and plays with the intricacies of natural sound.

Tanaka's instrumental work often explores the intertwining of sound and nature, with many compositions drawing on themes of the environment, landscapes, or natural phenomena. PSNY has made three of Tanaka's chamber works available, each involving the piano. 

For solo piano, Water Dance focuses on "texture and timbre in piano, in order to project images of fluid and elusive phenomenon, water and shimmering light. [...] The repetitive patterns gradually change just as the water flows continuously and never the same phase." In addition to this solo piano work, PSNY now offers Ocean for piano and violin, and Enchanted Forest for piano and horn. 

Check out some excerpts from Enchanted Forest here:

Tanaka's scoring for Acho on the Road, a 2013 animation, has been heard at over 20 film festivals internationally. Check out the full animation below. 

 

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