Chamber

  • Lament for Everlasting Flower 2013

    Lament for the Everlasting Flower was written for and premiered by Ensemble Dal Niente in the 2015 Red Note New Music Festival in Normal, IL.

    The rose of Sharon, called Mugunghwa, is the national flower of Korea and it means the everlasting flower. After the war, Korea’s economic growth was remarkable. However, the rapid growth left serious side effects; materialism, considerable pressure for education, immature democracy, and most of all, the highest suicide rate in the world. Suicide is the number one cause of death for individuals between the ages of 10 and 30, and the second cause for the rest of the population. I believe suicide is homicide by society, not just an individual mental problem. There is not much I can do here as a composer, but weep for the deceased, weep with the bereaved and let the world hear this painful cry.

    This piece includes the contrast between the intense and chaotic section depicting anguish and the soft and delicate section portraying melancholy. The reoccurring rhythm throughout the slow section is cited from Sangyeosori, which is traditionally sung by coffin bearers at funerals.

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  • Arirang Fantasie for String Quartet 2013

    Composed in 2013, Arirang Fantasie for String Quartet was inspired by Arirang, the most beloved folk song in Korea. This song has been handed down through tradition for several hundreds of years allowing diverse variations. The elaboration of melody, creation of verse lyrics, and various rhythmic modes reflecting regional distinct features have all appealed to diverse artists.

    To me, the improvisational quality of the song and the deep resentment behind it have encouraged my appetite for composing this piece.

    The string quartet was the perfect tool to reflect my personal imagination of the bitter sorrow and wit carried in the original song. While the original tune is reflected to some extent in this composition, nothing is directly borrowed or quoted.

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  • 아리랑(Arirang) for Flute, Cello and Piano 2009
  • My Treasure for Eight Players 2007
  • Space for Two Cellos and Two Pianos 2004

    The intention of my composition “Space” is to inspire audiences to recognize ‘space’ as an indispensable musical characteristic. In this work, ‘space’ can mean physical space between instruments, audible space between sounds in different registers, and different kinds of tone colors and harmonies. For the most effective performance, it is highly recommended that the players are positioned in such a way that they each occupy their own space comfortably. Ideally, the players should be stationed as far away from each other as possible.

    This piece is in the basic form of ABA’. It is made up of eleven sub-sections, each showcasing different conceptions of the same material. In effort to offer a further cohesive nature, every interval and note value in this composition follows a series based on prime numbers. In this piece, the silent spaces between notes are a part of the music.

    Sonorities in section A are built around the communicative properties that result from the lingering sounds from different instruments through different directions. As a result, the performers and the audience will feel the physical distance between instruments as well as the space between notes.

    In section B, the materials which functioned as communicative properties in section A are developed without as much focus on the sonorities lingering. Once the notes start to be played at the same time in a faster tempo, the relationship the instruments had in section A evolves. The simultaneous chords and clusters eliminate the silence between sonorities and between instruments, and the music starts to be heard as an immersive cloud of sound.

    Section A’ is the re-consideration of section A, in which the cloud of sound re-emerges into its original disparate, yet linked state.

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  • Variations on Theme ‘Jonah’ for Woodwind Quintet 2003
  • String Quartet No.1 2003
  • Piano Trio No.1 2002
  • Trio for Flute, Clarinet and Cello 2002

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