Tonia Ko

List of Works

Instrumental - Large Ensemble

Simple Fuel for large ensemble (11 minutes)
(flute, oboe, clarinet,  alto/bari saxophone, horn, 2 percussion, harp, piano, 2 violins, viola, cello)

Very Tall Very Bright for chamber orchestra (8 minutes)
(flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, 1 percussion, electric guitar, piano, 2 violins, viola, cello, bass)

Strange Sounds and Explosions Worldwide for orchestra (8 minutes)
(3 flutes/piccolo, 2 oboes/English horn, 3 clarinets/bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, 3 percussion, piano, harp, strings)

Eyelids are Islands for chamber orchestra (11 minutes)
(flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, 1 percussion, celesta, 2 violins, viola, cello, bass)

Dwellings for wind ensemble (10 minutes)
(piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, English horn, E-flat clarinet, 3 B-flat clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, euphonium, tuba, piano, harp, timpani, 3 percussion)


Instrumental – Solo and Chamber

Flock for saxophone quartet and electronics (10 minutes)

Plain, Air for string quartet and electronics (40-45 minutes)

Moves and Remains for solo violin (10 minutes)

Phenomenal Hum for piano, four hands (9 minutes)

Hum Phenomenon for clarinet, piano, violin, cello (6 minutes) 

Highwire for oboe and electronics (10 minutes)

This | Face | Now | Here for three B-flat clarinets (8 minutes)

Reaction (Axis III) for flute and piano (9 minutes)

Tribute (Axis II) for violin and piano (11 minutes)

Elegy (Axis I) for cello and piano (13 minutes)

Covers and Uncovers for flute, b-flat clarinet, horn, percussion, violin, viola, cello (12 minutes)

Games of Belief for solo piano (13 minutes)

Real Voices and Imagined Clatter for four percussionists (12 minutes)

Gone Flying for B-flat clarinet, viola, cello, and bass (8 minutes)

Breath, Contained II for bubble wrap quintet and live electronics  (13 minutes)

Blue Skin of the Sea for solo marimba (21 minutes)

Breath, Contained for bubble wrap solo and live electronics (5-7 minutes)

Escape-Landscape for string quartet (8 minutes)

Plush Earth in Four Pieces for violin and piano (9 minutes)

Melting Points for flute, clarinet, percussion, piano, and string quartet (6 minutes)

Hush for percussion and cello (12 minutes)

Still Life Crumbles for violin and double manual harpsichord (7 minutes)

Glass Echoes for solo horn (6 minutes)

Siteless Structures for solo piano (11 minutes)

Spindrift for violin (5 minutes)



Between Us for mezzo-soprano and cello (6 minutes)

From Ivory Depths for SSAATTBB chorus (9 minutes)

Without Color for youth SSA chorus (3 minutes) 

Smoke and Distance for mezzo-soprano and piano (8 minutes)


Breath, Contained

Bubble wrap–noun. A type of polyethylene wrapping containing many small air pockets, used as a protective covering when transporting breakable goods.

In this ongoing project, the seemingly mundane object transforms into a flexible musical instrument, emitting sounds that are equal parts whimsical and haunting. The rich sound world of bubble wrap is explored through guided improvisation, augmented by simple processing techniques. By willing these air bubbles to express,  performers attempt to release its breath.

In March 2015, Sandbox Percussion and Michael Compitello premiered a 13-minute quintet that expanded on my original solo piece, along with Steve Reich's Music for Pieces of Wood and Mark Applebaum's Straitjacket.  The concert was held under Cornell University's expansive Sibley Dome. In addition, we wanted to create an experience that is both visually and sonically immersive. Along the back wall, easels showcased some of my paintings for bubble wrap, consisting of large-scale panels.



Small and Large Improvisation (2016)


Quintet for five players and live electronics (2015)


Various recordings (2014)

Solo with live electronics (2013)