Early music concert from the Silk Road
Take a journey down the Silk Road on Thursday, Feb. 13, with musicians Tomoko Sugawara and August Denhard.
Presented by the City of Edmonds Arts Commission and the Edmonds Library with support from Friends of the Edmonds Library and the Early Music Guild, the concert starts at 7 p.m. in the Edmonds Plaza Room, 650 Main St, Edmonds, and it is free and open to the public.
Tomoko Sugawara, kugo harp, and August Denhard, lute, will travel the Silk Road from east to west, blending musical colors to create new sound portraits from the varied cultures along the ancient trade route.
The artists each bring perspectives from different musical worlds as they create seamless connections of song, rhythm, and improvisation.
The kugo (often called the angular harp) arose in Mesopotamia around 1900 BC and soon spread to other regions of the Near East, eventually becoming a favorite instrument in local Islamic cultures where it survived until 1700 AD.
Ms. Sugawara was born in Tokyo, Japan, and began playing the Irish harp at age 12.
She took up the concert harp at 16, and it was her main instrument when she graduated from Tokyo University of Fine Arts.
She has given numerous solo recitals on the concert harp and the kugo in major international venues, such as the World Harp Congress (in Prague 1999, Amsterdam 2008 and Vancouver 2011), Columbia University, Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, UC Berkeley, The British Museum (London), Medelhavsmuseet (Stockholm), and the Ethnological Museum (Berlin).
Her kugo CD, “Along the Silk Road,” was released in April 2010.
August Denhard, a performer on lute, theorbo, and Baroque guitar, has appeared with Baroque Northwest, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, and many other ensembles specializing in early music.
He performs regularly in a lute song duo with tenor Eric Mentzel, with whom he is currently recording a CD of songs by the English Cavalier poets.