Kotoringo 「Kotori= bird」+「Ringo= apple」
The name “Kotoringo” is a combination of sounds taken from the Japanese words for small birds (kotori) and apple (ringo).
The name comes from the fact that Kotoringo had always kept a pet bird since childhood, and because she used to eat an apple every day. The computer she uses in composing music is also an Apple.
Kotoringo was born in Osaka on July 17, 1978. Later Kotoringo moved to Fukuoka, and then to Nagoya, both in Japan. Kotoringo started playing the piano at age five, and began composing music at age seven.
After graduating from high school, Kotoringo entered the Koyo Music School in Kobe, Japan. In 1999, she was accepted by the Berklee College of Music, where she majored in Jazz composition, arrangement and piano.
At Berklee, Kotoringo received numerous awards, including the piano department’s Achievement Award. During this time, she took part in the recording of the album, “Finder’s Keepers” with the Contemporary Jazz Big Band led by Michael McAllister, a classmate, accomplished guitar player, and recipient of numerous awards, including the The ASCAP Foundation Young Composer Award. Kotoringo performed for three years as an accompanist for the voice department at Berkelee and as a pianist for a church in Boston.
After receiving her degree in 2003, she moved to New York and spent a year performing at Detour, Garage, Kaveha’s, and St. Nicks.
In the fall of 2005, Kotoringo began to make music compositions and demo tapes at home. The following March, a composition she sent to Ryuichi Sakamoto’s “Radio Sakamoto” Audition Corner (broadcast on J-WAVE, a Tokyo-based FM station covering the Kanto Region) caught Sakamoto’s attention. Later, a second single she submitted to the program, “Nichiyo Machi” (Waiting for Sunday), was broadcast on air. These events lead to her participation in the LOHAS Classical Concert in Kyoto produced by Ryuichi Sakamoto in June, 2006.
In November of the same year, she made her debut with the release of her first single, the Ryuichi Sakamoto produced “Konnichiwa, Mata Ashita” (Hello, See You Again Tomorrow), a tie-in song for the Gekkeikan company’s “Tsuki” commercial. Sakamoto was impressed by the multitude of Kotoringos’ talents: the originality of composition, the superb performance on piano, her pure and virginal singing voice crossed with the sounds of electronica, all combined to give the effect of visual imagery coming to life from actual pages of a musical score…just like looking at a picture book.
Official Website: http://kotringo.net/