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Work

Heaven to Earth: Border House : for taegŭm & sanjo gayageum (F)

by Bruce Crossman (2019)

Work Overview

Heaven to Earth: Border House for taegŭm and sanjo gayageum explores ideas from recent bespoke Korean architecture, where the traditional house (hanok) is transformed in recent small dwelling architecture by the concept of adaptation through non-family members' usage of the spaces through creating 'additive' changes to repurpose the space as a wider social space. The music reinterprets this idea as an intercultural, multidisciplinary arts space for interaction between cultures. The music is arranged in rough-hewn sections to reveal material sonic roughness but within an overall triangular structural frame, paralleling other East Asian architectural approaches, such as the way Chinese architect Jiang Ying sets cube-like rooms in zig-zag arrangement in Z Gallery across the rough concrete of the cavernous space of the renovated Honghua Dyeing Factory (Williams 2019, pp.90-93). The form falls into seven sections: A-Distilled Breath; B-Colour climax; C-Colour Breath; D-Symmetrical Stasis; C'-Colour Breath; B'-Crazy Colour Climax; A'-Distilled Breath. The music is arranged as a series of balances: distilled breath, colour breath, colour climax, and a balanced stasis section. The seven sections orientate around a gradual revealing of a golden section form that cuts loose in the sixth section's aleatory and sonority richness.

This piece is part of a multidisciplinary creative project - Heaven to Earth Multimedia Expressions: Border House Sanjo Fragments and Korean-Australian Improvisations with Filmic Interactions - between Korea and Australia with traditional Gugak performers Hyelim Kim and Yi Ji-young, performance poet Kate Fagan, jazz bass performer Waldo Garrido, and filmmaker Vincent Tay. The project was awarded a RIF Collaborative Funding Grant from the School of Humanities and Communication Arts at Western Sydney University.

Work Details

Year: 2019

Instrumentation: Taegŭm, sanjo gayageum in F (12-strings).

Duration: 15 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Complex rhythmic detail and changing colour nuances

Dedication note: Dedicated to Hyelim Kim, Yi Ji-young

The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc. associated with this work:
Free jazz; Matthew Shipp Trio; Korean court music ; Aak and contemporary sanjo performance by Hyelim Kim (taegŭm) and Hwang Byungki (gayageum); Judeo-Christian glossolalia; Korean bespoke architecture (John Hong); and Chinese architect Jiang Ying’s cube-like zig-zag structures.

Recipient of RIF Collaborative Funding Grant, School of Humanities and Communication Arts, Western Sydney University.

Subjects

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