ⒸKeiko B. Goto

Malika Kishino studied Law in Kyoto (diploma in 1994). In 1995, she studied composition with Yoshihisa Taira (École Normale de Musique, Paris), Robert Pascal (Conservatoire National Supérieur Musique et Danse, Lyon) and Philippe Leroux (IRCAM, Paris).

She has received grants from the major studios for electroacoustic music including GRAME (Lyon), SWR Experimentalstudio (Freiburg), ZKM Karlsruhe and the Groupe de recherches musicales (INA-GRM, Paris). Furthermore, she has received numerous prizes and awards including First Prize in the concours of Groupe de Recherche Appliquée en Musique Electroacoustique (GRAME) and Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain in 2006, a fellowship to Academy Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart in 2008-09, a fellowship from the Landesregierung Nordrhein-Westfalen (2010-11), and an artist’s residency in Schreyahn /Germany in 2011. She is nominated for Akutagawa Music prize 2018 in Japan with her orchestra piece Shades of Ochre.

She receives commissions and is programmed in festivals such as Présences, Musica Festival, the Biennale Music en scène in Lyon, Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Bayerische Rundfunk, RBB, Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture, the Ultima Festival in Oslo, the Ultraschall Festival in Berlin, Venezia Biennale Musica. His music is performed by ensembles and orchestras such as the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Bochumer Symphoniker, Chorwerk Ruhr, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, hr-Sinfonieorchester, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre National de Lyon, NHK-Symphony Orchestra Tokyo,Tokyo, Ensemble Musikfabrik, Asko-Schönberg, Oslo Symphoniette… conducted by Pascal Rophé, Daniel Kawka, Lukas Vis, Christian Eggen, Jean-Michaël Lavoie, Bas Wiegers, Florian Helgath, Lawrence Renes, Yoichi Sugiyama. In 2014, her portrait CD Irisation was published by the Wergo label and Deutscher Musikrat. Her works are published by Edizioni Suvini Zerboni in Milan.



" Wolkenatlas "

For large orchestra divided into three groups

Suvini Zerboni



> Commissioned by Südwestrundfunk

How many stars are there? and how many clouds? - these are typical children's questions and most of these questions are fascinating, because the deeper you think about them, the more curious things become.

It was Norbert Wiener (1894-1964), the brilliant mathematician, founding father of "cybernetics" - and today half-forgotten, although his findings are in almost all control circuits used in our daily lives- who began his groundbreaking book "Cybernetics" on 1948 (German: "Kybernetik", 1968) with a German folk song. Everyone can hum it along - and it has an astonishing depth:

"Do you know how many stars stand

On the blue firmament?

Do you know how many clouds go

Far over all the earth?

The Lord God has counted them

So that not one of them will be missing

Of all the great number."

We can replace "God the Lord" at this point with "the astronomers" and "the meteorologist

" without changing anything else. This is because the questions remain the same and the will to count them too.

How many stars are there then? The astronomers have answers to it. With the naked eye approximately 6500 stars are visible with a clear view. With telescopes on earth and in space considerably more. And with the extrapolation of the cosmos immediately considerably more. Currently "Gaia DR3" is the most extensive catalogue with 1.8 billion objects, but it goes on and on until the last of the estimated ten-high 24 stars of the universe will be recorded....

Basically all stars can be counted. Composers  have often felt attracted  by the stars.

Norbert Wiener saw a polarity between the countable objects (he refers to classical mechanics, Newton´s View on space, time and motion ; everything has its place and its time, its matter and its calculable dynamics) and the objects that are only recognizable by processes, namely Clouds !

The idea about " the objects that are only recognizable by processes" has inspired me to compose a "cloud atlas". Not with graphics or position tables or with scientific means - but through music.

Music is entirely capable of representing all possible transitions from "intangible" states. Because it has so many in-betweens, so many nuances, all the dynamics, evolutions, etc. Clouds are constantly changing and appear in an infinite variety of forms: as sardine clouds, scaly clouds, speckled clouds, wrinkled clouds, pockmarked clouds, bubble clouds, glittering clouds, streaking clouds, bowl field clouds....

There is also an atlas for the clouds, the "International Cloud Atlas", which classifies 27 different types of clouds into ten main types, divided into three altitude levels: low clouds (stratus), medium clouds (altocumulus), and high clouds (cirrus).

In my piece "Cloud Atlas" I try to represent the infinite variety of shapes, colors with the huge palette between white and gray and their mutability through the sounds. The orchestra, which remains on the stage, is divided into three groups representing: stratus (low clouds), altocumulus (middle clouds) and cirrus (high clouds) - each group has a specific sonority and, moreover, also its own tempo level, time course and its own essence, direction, shape, gesture. And their specific height.

The layers flow between order and indeterminacy (chaos?), sometimes overlapping, often separated from each other... - more will probably not need to be said, you can hear it.

I was very fascinated by the idea of creating my own cloud atlas using sounds. One thing was clear to me: it is a musical work - matter formed by sound - not a scientific concept. And my music is subject to forces that lie entirely in the sonic. I cannot claim to be able to dispose of it freely, because, once set free, the sounds develop a life of their own, follow their own drives - but we "arrange" where it should go. I form the piece - and learn from it.

Another thought: clouds are ciphers of transience. But what would we be without them, without the clouds?

Malika Kishino (June 25th 2022)

" Prayer / Inori II (2011-2017) "

Pour 2 Soprano, 2 Alto, 2 Tenor, 2 Bass

Editions Suivi Zerboni


Prayer / Inori II is a new version for 8 voices of Prayer / Inori which was composed for mixed choir a cappella just after the devastating East Japan Earthquake on March 11th 2011. The piece was written as a tribute to all the victims of the Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Disaster. 

When I think of human voices, I am immediately reminded of a particularly intense childhood memory. 

In my childhood, I often heard the voices of chanting Sutras. They were sung together by both Buddhists priests and the local old women. 

The tempo and tunes sung by the old women were slightly different than those sung by the priests but still had the overall effect as being one powerful voice. The chanting of Sutras is in fact praying but for me, the singing and the praying were inseparable.

The human voice is the most direct medium for expressing ourselves. And I guess that singing and praying have the same roots.

The poem that I chose for my piece is by Rabindranath Tagore and is entitled “fruits gathering No. LXXIX, and describes praying. It was originally written in Bengal and was translated into English by Tagore himself.

The text portrayed for me a transformation from an introverted murmuring to a releasing of fearless freedom.

I was especially attracted by the idea of “fearlessness”. I discovered that our breathing rhythm affects our fear and memory.

If we’re afraid, our breathing and heartbeat are faster. On the other hand, deep long breaths calm the mind and release us from anxiety.

Following up on Tagore´s universe poem, I attempted to represent my image of praying using sound material such as voice vibration, deep sighing, and breathing which allows us to feel the warmth of life or indeed its clarity and coldness. In certain sections each singer spells out the words. These individual moments overlap and produce considerable energy.

In this composition the idea that numerous microcosms (single people) can form macrocosms, appealed to me.  A single note consists of a mixture of partials and a composition is an aggregate of single notes.

The image of human´s murmuring in their prayers on the earth and progressively gathering energy and achieving a higher level, reminds me of the process of a fundamental note that is being constantly transformed and thereby revealing its partials and creating a rich sound cosmos.

Cologne, 23th September 2017, Malika Kishino

" … Kaum einen Hauch… (2018) "

Pour 10 musiciens

Editions Suivi Zerboni


Über allen Gipfeln

Ist Ruh',

In allen Wipfeln

Spürest Du

Kaum einen Hauch ;

Die Vögelein schweigen im Walde.

Warte nur! Balde

Ruhest du auch.

… Kaum einen Hauch… is based on the lyric Wanders Night-song II by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The piece is composed by two parts, Through the whole piece, a motif which presents “breathing” (inhale and exhale) provides basis for the flow of music. First parts are constructed by 9 small parts (breathings) which are divided by three groups. Each group represents different additional elements, such as smooth linear movement (flow), impulse (heartbeat) and fragment of quote as symbol of the warm traces of a memory. Through 9 times of different length of breathings, the music gradually agitates and reach the hilltops.

Second parts represents calm, peace and rest. As Goeth said, above all summits Is quiet now. Here, You sense Hardly a breath but deep stillness.

06.Mai 2018, Malika Kishino