Interview with Kozue Matzumoto, Los Angeles, California

Born and raised in the Tohoku (東北) area in Japan and having lived in Tokyo as well, Kozue is now based in the Los Angeles area. She has played the koto since she was three years old under Ikuta-ryu (生田流) Miyagi-kai (宮城会) and holds a semi-master title (準師範). She has also played the shamisen and the shinobue since she was very young. In North America, she has been collaborating with various musicians and movement, visual, installation, and other types of artists. Not only does she play traditional, contemporary, and experimental music, she also improvises, composes, and creates mixed media arts. She has contributed her koto sounds to 2020 Tokyo Olympics (postponed) as well as Ghost of Tsushima, a PS4 game released in 2020. She has participated in various projects and performances including at Center for World Music (San Diego, CA), SASSAS (Los Angeles, CA), Washington Street Art Center (Boston, MA), and Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble (Vancouver, Canada), to name a few. A Japanese music ensemble instructor at California Institute of the Arts, she has been invited as a guest lecturer by schools in California and also travels throughout the U.S. for lectures, master classes, and workshops. She studied improvisation, composition, and music technology, and graduated with a Performer-Composer MFA from California Institute of the Arts.
Interviewed by Raquel Paraíso, 10/14/2020.