Up and coming composer, Naoko Ikeda, began the Willis presentation, sharing a little bit of her background and the inspiration of William Gillock in her own life as a pianist. In reference to her compositions she says, “When I compose I always consider the educational benefits of the piece.”
Each attendee received a complimentary copy of her new book, Miyabi: 5 Japanese Impressions for Piano Solo. The book is written for early intermediate students.
She played of each of the lovely, lyrical selections. My favorite was the last one – Soft Rain. She also has two volumes of a book called, Duets in Color. The first contains a piece in each of the major keys, and the second contains one in each minor key. She recommends performing them in pairs, for example playing the one in C Major from book one followed by the one in c minor from the second book. She and a duet partner demonstrated this with several selections. Scarlet Hearts from Book 1 was especially nice.
The other book in our packet was Jazz It Up! Mid-Intermediate Piano Solos of 7 Familiar Favorite Folk Songs.