Mayumi Kato Piano Music - Now on Streaming Platforms!

Update for Mayumi Kato fans: Mayumi's piano music is now on streaming platforms as requested.

Hello, I’m Paul Barton. I’d like to talk to you about our friend, the Japanese composer, Mayumi Kato, and tell you a little about how we met 12 years ago here on YouTube. And, most importantly, update Mayumi’s fans about the new ways to listen to her music online that you’ve been asking for, for some time.

A bit of background: My wife Khwan and I moved from France to Thailand in 2006. As an expat amateur piano player living in Asia, I was curious to discover piano music with the harmonies and scales associated with the traditional Asian music I could occasionally hear played around me. I started this YouTube channel almost 16 years ago, in 2008. I searched YouTube for oriental piano music. YouTube was really just beginning as a video sharing platform back then. “Oriental Wind” by Mayumi Kato came up. I clicked on it — and from the very first bars I fell in love with the music and badly wanted to play it.

In those days, YouTube was also a networking site, so you could easily message other YouTubers directly from your channel. I messaged Mayumi, but, if truth be told, I didn’t expect her to actually reply to me, but I was thrilled when she did. About that first message I sent Mayumi 12 years ago she remembers, in her own words: “When you and I first made contact, I don’t think I even had music notation software. All I had was the handwritten sheet music. But I would do anything to get you to play “Oriental Wind”. I downloaded sheet music software and learned how to use it from scratch. From there, the day I was able to share my sheet music began”. And, not so long afterwards, Mayumi sent me her first score PDF, the sheet music for “Oriental Wind”. I asked Mayumi whether she’d mind if I recorded this piece for my channel - and once again, she enthusiastically agreed and that’s when our musical collaboration here on YouTube and friendship began.

If you’re curious to know more about Mayumi, with Mayumi’s permission, I can tell you a little bit about her. Mayumi lives in Nagoya, Japan. Nagoya is a big modern city and shipping port, roughly situated in the middle of the island of Japan on the Pacific coast. Nagoya Castle is possibly the best known historical building and of it Mayumi writes: “My ancestors were samurai at Nagoya Castle. My composition “Samurai Father,” which I dedicated to Paul, tells the story about my background”. After I’d recorded “Oriental Wind” I was very keen to play more of Mayumi’s music. Mayumi looked backwards at all her piano compositions written up to that time, and one by one, she typeset them with the new notation software. Mayumi sent all her PDFs across to me, and with a lot of pleasure, I had the privilege to record every single one of them. To date, there’s over 90 pieces in our Mayumi Kato - Piano Music YouTube playlist, which is linked below.

Some years back we began making CDs of Mayumi’s music, but it was just at a time CDs were on their way out. We managed to make 3 separate CDs and were about to make the 4th when Covid came along and the duplicator we had used in Thailand went out of business. But, just as CDs were on their way out, streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music were growing in popularity. Just recently, a mutual friend in the USA with music and computer expertise noticed we probably needed a bit of help getting up to date with the new ways people are listening to music, and with a lot of skill and kindness, organized everything for us that would have otherwise been impossible for us to do on our own. Fans of the piano music of Mayumi Kato have asked many times if her music is available online on streaming platforms, and - at last! we can say finally - yes it is. All 4 piano albums are now available on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, and Deezer. I’ve added all the relevant links in the video description below.

If you’d like to play Mayumi Kato’s piano for yourself, you can purchase and download her scores from the MyMusicSheet website, similarly linked below. One of the musical highlights of the past 12 years, for me, has been opening my Gmail and seeing a new message from “mayu❤️” and a PDF attachment. When I see that, I know it’s going to be a great day. As to the future, Mayumi and I look forward to continuing our musical collaboration in the new year ahead and sharing all new music with you here on YouTube as well as her streaming platforms. We feel especially honored as Mayumi has just written a new piece for our daughter Emilie to play, it’s called “Khwan” and is about a mother’s love. It is a beautiful piece and we look forward to sharing it with you soon.

To end, I’d like to play out with a short composition, under one minute Mayumi wrote the other day inspired by the sound of a traditional Japanese instrument, the Koto. If you are today, like I was 12 years ago, looking for something different to play on the piano, perhaps you’re curious to know what piano music would sound like with an oriental flavor, I recommend you start with this piece “KOTO for OLYA”, and it’s a good place to enter the musical world of this amazing contemporary composer, Mayumi Kato. If you’d like to support Mayumi on her networking sites, her Facebook and Instagram are linked below. She’d love to know if you enjoyed what she composes, after all, she composes her music with the aim it somehow finds its way to you.

Thanks for watching, stay safe.