Aiko Shimada & Elizabeth Falconer (Japan/USA)
University, she received a master's degree in cross-cultural communication. It was during this time that she started playing music and became interested in writing her own music. She has released several CDs under her own label, Bera Records. Today she lives in a small suburb outside of Sacramento with her son and husband, enjoys organic cooking and gardening.
Elizabeth Falconer first went to Japan in 1973 as a high school exchange student who wanted to go to France, but was instead sent to Japan. She began studying the classical 13-string koto in Japan in 1979, where she resided until 1990. She began her work of composing and arranging music in the late 1980's. She earned her master's license from the Sawai Koto School and holds a PhD in International Education. She has collaborated with a wide range of artists and worked as a professional musical storyteller; her recordings can be found on the Koto World label. She lives in Renton, Washington, and works as an educator at Renton Technical College.