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Kingyo Obsession


Kingyo Obsession (2017)


[A] for four voices (SATB)

[B] for six voices (SMzCtTBarB)

[C] for mixed choir

Commissioned by Soundstreams (Canada)

ca. 5 min.​


Watch audio-score video HERE

Purchase PDF score (USD15) HERE

Award and Honors

10th JFC Composition Prize Honorable Mention (Japan)

2022 San Francisco Hot Air Music Festival Call for Scores (USA)

Program Note

I am lying on my back at the bottom of the lake, gazing upward at the blue water and white light piercing through the water's surface. Suddenly, with a muted "plop", a plump yet small goldfish drops into the water, swiftly swimming out of my view. A brief moment later, another goldfish plops into the water.  The intervals shorten, and soon, goldfish rain down in rapid succession, filling the once empty pond with slimy, shiny, and oxygen-hungry fish. Just when I think I can't breathe anymore because I'm packed side by side with the goldfish like a can of sardines... poof! I wake up, only to see the same view of the lake's surface from its bottom. Moments later, a muted "plop" reaches my ears.

"Kingyo" is a Japanese word meaning "goldfish".

On Composition

Kingyo Obsession uses voiceless plosive consonants for the most of the piece, symbolizing the sounds of a goldfish. The work was commissioned by Soundstreams for the 2017 Soundstreams Emerging Composers Workshop, and was composed while in residency at the Ragdale Foundation in the United States. It was premiered by Sara Schabas, Shauna Yarnell, Sean Clark, and David Roth in the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto, Canada, as part of the 21C Music Festival. Kingyo Obsession has been performed with a SATB vocal quartet, a vocal sextet (ekmeles; 2023), and a choir (Polycoro Chamber Choir; 2018).

Past Performances

May 26, 2017 (World Premiere)

21C Music Festival

[Video Archive]

Temerty Theatre, Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto, ON, Canada

Sara Schabas (Sop.), Shauna Yarnell (Mezzo-Sop.), Sean Clark (Ten.), David Roth (Bar.)

March 1, 2018

Cluster: New Music and Integrated Arts Festival

FortWhyte Alive Alloway Reception Centre, Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Performed by Polycoro Chamber Choir

April 6, 2018 (Japan Premiere)

Tokyo Media Interaction: Acousticlub Vol. 3

[Video Archive]

Suginami Kokaido, Tokyo, Japan

Performed by Sakiko Shiga (Sop.), Reina Takeuchi (Mezzo-Sop.), Shota Shimomura (Ten.), Motoki Okiyama (Bar.)

Nov. 22, 2019

The 10th JFC Composers Award "Voice, now"

[Audio-Score Archive]

Toppan Hall, Tokyo, Japan

Performed by Mikiko Kamiya (Sop.), Kie Irisawa (Mezzo-Sop.), Seiji Kanazawa (Ten.), Eitaro Matsui (Bar.)

Oct. 30, 2021

Kunitachi Prize Award Ceremony

[Video Archive]

Kunitachi College of Music, Tokyo, Japan

Performed by Nanao Yamada (Sop.), Maika Oguri (Alto), Natsuki Kawakami (Ten.), Motoharu Kawashima (Bar.)

March 6, 2022 (Online)

2022 San Francisco Hot Air Music Festival

San Francisco Conservatory of Music, San Francisco, CA

Sara Schabas (Sop.), Shauna Yarnell (Mezzo-Sop.), Sean Clark (Ten.), David Roth (Bar.)

March 10, 2023 (US premiere)

Tesselat feat. Ekmeles

[Video Archive]

The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, New York, NY

Ekmeles Vocal Ensemble: Charlotte Mundy, (Sop.) Elisa Sutherland (Mezzo-Sop.), Jonathan May (Counter-Ten.), Tomás Cruz (Ten.), Jeffrey Gavett (Bar.), Steven Hrycelak (Bass)

Past Exhibitions

Aug. 11, 2017

Japan-China Tour: Xiamen Concert

Xiamen University,  People's Republic of China

Audio/Video exhibition of Kingyo Obsession

Nov. 1 - 31, 2019

Then, What If?

Five Points Gallery, 33 Main Street Torrington, CT 06790 USA

Audio/Video exhibition of Kingyo Obsession

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