Black Rock, CT
Born 1957, Ichon, South Korea
My life-work and mission has been to establish a balance between Asian and Western aesthetics through my cross cultural compositions, performances, lectures, and writings. Over twenty years I have developed the compositional concept of Living Tones, with a central premise that each tone is alive, embodying its own individual shape, sound and sub-text. The timbrel persona of each tone generated is treated with an abiding respect, as its philosophical mandate from Buddhism, a reverence for the "life" of a tone; the color and nuance granted each, an articulation from Korean Shamanism.
Traditionally, komungo was only performed by male Confucian scholars for their meditation, and used in the court music orchestra and the ensemble of aristocratic lyric songs. My compositions represent an evolution of the instrument into the twenty-first century, which I have performed in concerts with American Composers Orchestra, the Kronos Quartet, Xenakis Ensemble, and the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society. I have created interactive pieces for the world's only electric komungo and MIDI computer system and cross cultural works that emphasize an inclusiveness of ethnic influence in moving towards a blurring of global delineations.
1985 M.F.A. in Electronic Music/Composition, Mills College
B.A. in Korean Traditional Music, Seoul National University
Studies in traditional Korean music, National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts, Seoul
2001 Eternal Rock I for komungo and orchestra; commissioned by and premiered with American Composers Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, New York
2001 Komungo, selection of komungo and electric komongo solos, recorded on OO Discs, USA, and Seoul Record, Korea, CD.
2000 Touching the Moons, multi-media interactive performance; commissioned by The Kitchen through funds from Art International Inroads and the National Endowment for the Arts in a consortium with MASS MoCA.
1997 Dragon Bond Rite, cross-cultural mask dance music drama; commissioned by Japan Society through funds from Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust and Rockefeller Foundation; performed at The Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C., and The Festival of Asian Art, Hong Kong, 1998.
1995 Living Tones, selection of bi-cultural compositions written for Korean and Western instruments, recorded on OO Discs, USA, and Seoul Record, Korea, CD.
1992 Nong Rock for string quartet and komungo; premiered with Kronos Quartet, Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, New York, and San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts.
2001 Wolff Ebermann Prize, International Theater Institute, Germany, for Touching the Moons
2000-01 American Composers Orchestra Composer Fellowship for Eternal Rock I
1996 Artist in Residence, Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Study and Conference Center, Italy
1996 Djerassi Resident Artists Program Fellow
1993 Asian Cultural Council Fellowship, Japan