Thinking Being Irresistibly Burnt: The Music of Hy
Prior to the 1960s, most Korean musicians only received training in western classical music. However, beginning with the compositions of Gayageum virtuoso Hwang Byung-Ki (b. 1936), an increasing number of artists began exploring the possibilities inherent within Korea's own musical traditions. This new musical style was termed "Shin Gugak" (New Traditional Music) or "Changjak Gugak" (Creative Traditional Music). Hyejin Yoon was born into a musical family; her father was a composer and her mother, a professor of music education. Despite this, Yoon did not even hear traditional Korean music until she was in her teens. Yoon attended Seoul National University from 1989-1995, where she studied Korean music composition and later continued her studies at Visva-Bharati University in West Bengal, India where she received her PhD. In Musicology in 2002. Following her return to Korea, Yoon has been a lecturer on Korean composition and World Music at Seoul National University, Hanyang University, among others. Throughout her career, Yoon has continuously explored Korean musical identity and the philosophical/aesthetic basis of Asian music, publishing numerous articles in leading academic journals. Yoon's compositions are delicately inscribed on the surface of silence, utilizing the distinctive colors of Korean traditional instruments to create an intoxicating sonic web that transcends conventional definitions of "harmony" or "counterpoint." The current program presents a selection of works commissioned by the Korean traditional music ensemble, Jeong Ga Ak Hoe. Featuring the nearly half-hour long ensemble piece, Thinking Being Irresistibly Burnt, (inspired by Samuel Beckett's "composition about composition," Words and Music), Yoon's music evokes the nearly stationary beauty of Korean Gagok (lyric song), the hypnotic, percussive rhythms of traditional shaman music and the exquisite refinement of Julpungnyu, the music of the ancient scholars.