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Rushing Spirit Breath : for taegŭm and percussion

by Bruce Crossman (2017)

Work Overview

Rushing Spirit Breath explores the Korean Sanjo concept of scattered melodies that gradually accrue tension, in my case, to express the Judeo-Christian idea of the Holy Spirit presence as being something that rushes into being. The work is structured as a series of accruing segments. It emerges from breath-like stillness of fluctuations of taegŭm breath and emergent percussive colours into fast, wild ranging register colour and upper emergent membrane excitations of the flute together with percussive barrages at the climax. The final segment keeps this momentum with high long-breath phrases on taegŭm, shrill and fluctuating, over metal and skin percussion punctuations to recapitulate the quieter low breathed opening as a more tension filled, ecstatic atmosphere coda to the work. Symbols of Judeo-Christianity open and permeate the work through whispered sprechstimme utterances as transcriptions of glossolalia-speaking in tongues-that gradually merge with the Korean words of joy and inner spirit rhythm connection in "chŭlgyŏyo, möt."

Work Details

Year: 2017

Instrumentation: Taegŭm, percussion (1 player: voice, crotales, Filipino kulintang [8 bossed gongs], suspended cymbal, 2 Peking Opera gongs [high, medium], Korean ching and k’kwaenggwari, Japanese Temple bowl [high] (with bead striker), 2 tom-toms [middle, low], bass drum).

Duration: 6 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Advanced — Complex rhythmic detail and changing colour nuances

Dedication note: Dedicated to Hyelim Kim, Claire Edwardes

Written for: Claire Edwardes, Hyelim Kim

Commission note: Composed as part of the Creativity Unlimited Music Festival, 10-11 August 2017, at Western Sydney University with support from the School of Humanities and Communication Arts

First performance: by Hyelim Kim, Claire Edwardes at Traditional Noise & Contemporary Spirit Concert (Playhouse, University of Western Sydney, Penrith Campus) on 11 Aug 2017

The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc associated with this work:
Korean Sanjo, Judeo-Christianity glossolalia, Filipino kulintang percussion music, free jazz improvisation

Performances of this work

11 Aug 2017: at Traditional Noise & Contemporary Spirit Concert (Playhouse, University of Western Sydney, Penrith Campus). Featuring Hyelim Kim, Claire Edwardes.

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