What are you looking for in pieces of new piano music? Tomoko Deguchi

Tomoko Deguchi
Photo by Ron Parks

Although I was born in Kobe, Japan, I lived in New York City for four years as a child. The experience of living in the United States during my childhood left me with a strong impression of the diversity and variety of American culture.

When I was invited to record the CD, Syncopated Lady, I was very much attracted to the idea that the pieces, while composed by Americans, featured influences outside the Western art music tradition. What I find fascinating about contemporary music is the diversity of compositional styles. The distinguishing features of many contemporary pieces are unique to that composer and sometimes unique to that piece. These features manifest themselves in a variety of ways including unique rhythmic features, textures, timbres, or exploration of extended techniques. I try to understand the particular strength of each piece, and to bring out those strengths to the fullest extent.