Five Movements for Korean Piri and 4-speaker audio (2011) · 6 min

for Korean Piri and 4-speaker audio

Korean piri, fixed media (Mac laptop running Max/MSP)

Commissioned by and written for Gamin Kang

Program Note

Five Movements for Piri are five (approximately) one-minute compositions for piri soloist and audio accompaniment based on pre-recorded and processed piri samples, performed and recorded by Gamin Kang at the Shillman Hall recording studio at Northeastern University, Boston, MA, on March 6, 2011. Five Movements for Piri received its first performances on October 25-26, 2011, in the event “Eight Sounds: Silk & Bamboo” at the Munlae Art Factory, in Seoul, Korea.

The piri is a Korean double reed instrument, used in both folk and classical (court) music; it has a wonderfully unique and wide-range of expressive timbres. After editing the piri recordings into discreet samples, they were processed in BIAS Peak and Max/MSP. The resulting sound objects were imported into MOTU’s Digital Performer where Five Movements for Piri was initially realized as an electroacoustic work. Piri samples were layered on top of one another, transposed, reversed, and otherwise cut and spliced. The notated piri solo for live performance was drawn from the events found within the original electroacoustic composition. It is amazing how electronic the natural sounds of the piri already appear without any processing whatsoever—and Gamin is virtually unlimited as to the kinds of sounds she can get out of her instrument. I first worked with Gamin in November 2007, when she represented South Korea in the premiere performance of my composition Melody for Peace at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, written for Western orchestra and orchestra of non-Western traditional instruments from around the world. (The Paris premiere of Melody for Peace was reprised one week later by the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center—I owe special thanks to Mehri Madarshahi, who commissioned Melody for Peace, for the introduction to Gamin).

Prior to the Albany Records CD release, Five Movements for Piri was released by Gamin in Seoul, Korea, on her album “Wind and Stone” (November, 2014). Its most recent performance took place at the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC 2017) at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, China, on October 19, 2017.

View Score

Five Movements for Piri is based upon samples of piri soloist Gamin Kang recorded by Brian Dixon at Northeastern University’s Shillman Hall Recording Studio, Boston, MA on March 6, 2011. The piri solo was performed by Gamin Kang and recorded at the private studio of Joel Gordon, Watertown, MA on June 23, 2014. Five Movements for Piri was officially released by Albany Records (TROY1710) on Anthony Paul De Ritis: Electroacoustic Music – In Memoriam: David Wessel; April 1, 2018.

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