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Program for Motoko Honda

Sunday, April 10, 2022 at 4 pm

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Motoko Honda, piano
The Emergent Piano


All compositions by Motoko Honda

Ascending Steps (2018) for prepared piano

Open Space (2022) for prepared piano

Metal Harp (2019) for prepared piano

Presence (2014) for prepared piano

Perspectives (2017)

Hoshi no Uta – Cosmic Elegy (2016)

The Perfect Shadow of an Imperfect Realm (2017)

Waves (2018)

Collective Consciousness #1 (2022)

*The word “Emergent” in philosophy refers to “a property arising as an effect of complex causes and not analyzable simply as the sum of their effects” (Lexico).

Artist Statement

I believe Music is like Life itself, inherently unpredictable and often surprising, and at its best when breathing freely and carving its own path. The communal experience of perceiving sounds as Music can create universal and timeless connections and allows us to transcend our human nature. Music reveals our true nature, and the act of creating music is the most humbling experience, sharing indiscriminately our flaws, wonders, torments, and joys. And the process of creating and experiencing Music can bring us together regardless of cultural, linguistic, and artistic differences and correlates to universal Life.

My artistic sense began developing early in my childhood as I was constantly making up songs about anything I saw and experienced. When I began my piano studies, the song making explorations transferred over to my instrument playing and I started improvising deeply personal and emotional piano music. Despite my early enthusiasm, the road to master my instrument has been long and hard (and still ongoing). Learning to control the piano and express your emotions with precision requires endless effort and practice. Still, my early creative experimentations and life experiences helped shape my musical identity.

Throughout my life, music has allowed me to break through the walls of my surroundings and envision previously unattainable perspectives. I embrace my instrument and challenge its limitations by using nontraditional techniques, not just for experimentation’s sake but to better express my feelings and emotions.

My music is not meant to be grandiose nor dazzling but rather a simple reflection of what I am experiencing each moment in my unpredictable life. I see myself as a translator of the world surrounding us, creating bridges between cultural and individual differences, and hopefully giving all of us hope for a better life and the courage to search and accept our true nature.

About the musician

Critically-acclaimed Japanese-born pianist/composer/interdisciplinary creator Motoko Honda has created a distinctive sound through her holistic approach to music, her collaborative sensibility to multiple art forms and inspired use of innovative technologies. Portrayed as a “Keyboard Alchemist”(Chris Barton, Los Angeles Times) and the “Embodiment of a Muse” (Greg Burk,, Honda has fascinated critics and audiences alike with her genre-defying innovative approach to piano playing and composing: “Imagine Radiohead teaching Franz List how to rock a Kaoss Pad; or John Cage facing off with Bud Powell over prepared piano”(Matthew Duersten,

With stylistic influences ranging from jazz to Indonesian music and contemporary prepared & electrified piano, Honda is a musical force of nature, bringing a unique creative sound to her solo works and wide-ranging collaborations. Her music transports audiences on sonic adventures that transcend the boundaries and conventions of traditional contemporary music concerts.

As an active pianist-composer, band leader, and interdisciplinary creator, Honda has been commissioned to produce a multitude of works that have been presented at music festivals and venues by major organizations throughout the U.S. and abroad. She also frequently appears as a guest performer-lecturer at various universities and institutions worldwide to share her unique perspective on graphic scores, contemporary composition techniques, improvisation, interdisciplinary/collaborative media works, electro-acoustic esthetics, and extended piano techniques. Her recent appearances include the S.F. Music Day at Herbst Theater, University of California Santa Cruz, Rice University & Moody Center for the Arts, Houston, Kala Art Institute, Berkeley, Montalvo Arts Center, Saratoga, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, and Angel City Jazz Festival, Los Angeles.

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