Ash : Bass
Yuki : 13-string Koto & 17-string Koto
Ten is an instrumental world music band based in Los Angeles that blends the ancient sound of the Japanese koto with contemporary music instruments like the bass and drums. The name of the band means "Heaven" in Japanese.
Ten was founded in Tokyo, Japan in 2005 by husband and wife Ash (Bass) and Yuki (13-string koto & 17-string koto).
Ash came up with a new idea that blends rock music and the Japanese traditional instrument without a guitar by meeting Yuki who has given body and soul to the koto.
Ten released two EPs, performed many concerts, went on tours all over Japan, appeared at several Jazz festivals and did several acoustic shows in Japan. In June 2009, Ten moved to New York. Then, for a year and a half, Ash and Yuki devoted much time to preparing for there American debut.
On April 23, 2011, Ten was invited to “Anime Boston 2011” as a guest. Anime Boston is an annual three-day Japanese animation convention held in Boston, Massachusetts. At that time, they occupied all floors of the Hynes Convention Center and also their attendance hit a new record of 17,236. On July 3, Ten appeared at “j-Summit New York” where they collected donations for the victims of Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of March 11, 2011. Ten also earned new fans by taking part in “Steampunk Anachronism III : Vacation to Edo” in NYC on August 21.
Ten's dark and heavy music style consists of the traditional Japanese instrument "koto" (箏), bass and drums. The music is characterized not only by the sound of the traditional koto, but also by the unique blend of sounds produced by the other instruments. All music is written by Ash. All koto parts are composed on Ash’s 7-string electric guitar. Yuki adapts the “guitar part” into the way the koto should sound, changing the technique from classical to Ten’s style. Ash also creates the tone color of the koto. Therefore, Yuki has to operate multi-effect pedals and various compact effects pedals with her feet in addition to the conventional koto technique.
In June 2014, Ten moved to Los Angeles...
A new song "Relapse Into Silence" was nominated in the World Music category of the 2016 American Songwriting Awards.
About the koto
The koto (箏) is a traditional Japanese stringed instrument. This wooden (Paulownia) instrument is about 180 cm long and has 13 strings which are strung over 13 movable bridges along the length of the instrument. Players use three finger picks (on the thumb, forefinger, and middle finger) to pluck the strings, and the pitches can be adjusted by moving these bridges before playing. The koto is made in the image of the dragon. The parts of a koto are called Dragon-head, Dragon-tail and Dragon-tongue.
The 17-string koto (十七絃 jushichi-gen) was developed by koto master Michio Miyagi (宮城道雄 / 1894-1956). It's considerably larger than a normal koto. It's one octave lower than the koto and it has a deeper sound.