"氣 CHI" by Mei-Yi Lee / Ji Youn Kang
featuring Henry Vega
"氣 CHI" : The ancient Chinese described it as "life force," and is frequently translated as "natural energy" or "energy flow". The literal translation of "氣" is "breath", "air", or "gas."
'CHI' is a concert program with the music pieces that are created by the composer Ji Youn Kang(KR) and the percussionist Mei Yi Lee(TW). They have collaborated together since 2009, created pieces for percussion, newly made instruments, objects, and Electronics based on Korean traditional ritual music that are transformed into a complete, new music scene. Such powerful and experimental music that they create is certainly distinctive to any other contemporary program because of the way they unfold the musical and sound materials, their powerful presentation on stage, and the strong sounding result by real time live processing with Electronics : it is truly human, primitive, yet sensitive, and at the same time touches one's deep inside with its dominant rhythmic narrative.
In this program, Henry Vega, one of the innovative composers in Electro-acoustic music is participating.
All right reserved.
Ji Youn Kang, Composer www.jiyounkang.com
Ji Youn Kang(Seoul, Korea, 1977) is a composer and sound artist based in The Hague, The Netherlands. After finishing her study in composition at Chu-Gye University of Arts in South Korea, she moved to The Netherlands and achieved her Masters' degree both in Sonology at The Royal Conservatorium and in Composition at Conservatorium van Amsterdam.
Her objectives and interests revolve around the creation of her own musical language that (re)presents the Korean tradition and cultural elements using materials from Korean music as well as newly created sounds. Most of her music pieces have been composed based on the rites of Korean Shamanism, and many of them were written for the WFS system (192 loudspeakers www.gameoflife.nl), exploring the relationship between musical and physical spaces. At the same time she has been composing Live Electronic pieces for both traditional and non-traditional instruments, exploring mostly the primitive, empowering rhythmical elements and the noisy sound sources that the Korean ritual music involves.
She is also active as a solo performer (aka KANG www.jiyounkang.com/kang.html) mainly seeking for the ways to combine three different sound area on stage; acoustic instruments, analog and digital sound with handmade analog synthesizers with live processing on laptop.
Her pieces have been performed in many different venues and festivals such as La Biennale di Venezia(IT), Gaudeamus Muziekweek(NL), Sonic Acts(NL), STRP(NL), SICMF(KR), Sonar(ES), Synthèse(FR), TodaysArts(NL), MISO(PT), Audiopolis(ES) and Festival de Música(ES). Currently She is one of the research associates in Sonology continueing her research on sound and space and electronic music composition.
Mei-Yi Lee, Percussionist www.sonolabduo.com
Mei-Yi Lee, Taipei 1982. Percussionist and Performer based in the Netherlands. After achieved her bachelor degree at the National Taiwan University of Arts, she moves to The Netherlands to continue her postgraduate studies at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague under the supervision of Fedor Tunisse, Luuk Nagtegaal, Hans Zonderop. In 2013 she concluded the “Konzertexamen” degree under the guidance Marta Klimasara at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Stuttgart, Germany, with the support of the Fonds Podiumkunsten and Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds from The Netherlands.
She is highly interested in experimental music, interdiciplinary, collaboration with different field of arts such as dance, theatre, visual and performance art. Her repertoire includes Alvin Lucier, John Cage, Iannis Xenakis, Kaija Saariaho, David Lang, Louis Andriessen, Roger Reynolds, Franco Donatoni, Cort Lippe, Hugo Morales Murguia, Ji Youn Kang and other contemporary composers.
Presently she is a member of SonoLab and iOFloat (Taiwan) , and she has been one of the guest performers for different ensembles such as Slagwerk Den Haag, Asko|Schoenberg Ensemble, Insomnio Ensemble, NJO, the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra and collaborated with theater groups including Veenfabriek, De Nieuw Amsterdam, Diamantfabriek, Het Zuidelijk Toneel; as active performer, she has worked with Steven Schick, Henry Vega, Elsa May Averill, and performed in important concert halls and festivals from Europe and Asia such as Tokyo Wonder Site, Gaudeamus, Donaueschingen Festival, Incubate Festival, Holland Festival.
Henry Vega, Composer www.henryvega.net
Henry Vega, born in New York City (1973), is an active composer and performer of new music whose works appear in productions of theatre, dance and concert music that focus solely on modern artistic trends. His music ranges from virtuosic instrumental writings to subtle colourful compositions orchestrating traditional instrumentations with the world of electronic sound. His current interests lie within theatrical settings of his music in combination with video in the space of minimal aesthetics that cross simple harmonies over noisy counterpoints.
Vega’s works have been performed at venues in Europe and the Americas while based in The Netherlands. Has been commissioned by ensembles such as the MAE, VocaalLab, Ensemble Integrales, the Ragazze String Quartet, the Roentgen Connection and vocalist Anat Spiegel.
Many of his works have been composed for instruments combined with the computer as a live instrument creating new sounds for his compositions that fuse instrumental virtuosity with digital manipulations. This combination has influenced the way the music sounds as well as an inspiration for how to approach acoustic instruments and scores.
His latest releases include ‘Wormsongs’ (2011 - arteksounds.com) and 'Stream Machines' (2013 - arteksounds.com) a collection of five commissioned works composed in his micro-minimal style.
Logo, Flyer design : Thijs Geritz (www.thijsgeritz.nl)
Sound Engineer : Joel Thurman
Sit-Kim-Gut (2011) for Gongs, Voice, and Live Electronics
The piece uses crude materials and usual/unusual instruments to create a continual flow that is both ritualistic and human. These instruments are not only there to be played directly, but also to give an opportunity to the performers to control, react to, and deactivate them, developing a more bi-directional relationship with the instruments. Special care was taken to pick and create instruments that can interpret and amplify minute and tender bodily gestures as large and harsh musical ones. This performance borrows characteristics of the Korean ritual of Sit-Kim-Gut, which aims to clean the body and spirit of the living and to comfort the deceased. The harsh, heavy, noise material, together with a exciting rhythmic development leads the whole to the moment.
Rock’n Beat (2010)
Intermezzo: it is supposed to be performed underneath a table, completely covered and two performers are playing secretly inside. The objects(instrumnts) are already setup as a little stage, and the objects were shown on screen from the beginning of the evening. When the performance starts, the audience can notice that what they are watching is actually set up for a performance, not a static one. Yet there is a question if it is pre-recorded or a live, until the performers come out from the table after the performance. The visual image of the performance and the sound that is played are exaggerated and overwhelming, while the music itself includes humor.
Hui-Mo-Ri (2012~2013) for Friction Plates
Performers: Sonolab Duo (Vitaly Medvedev, Mei-Yi Lee)
Instrument design: Wen Chin Fu
Creating music for an unconventional instrument challenges the composer, performer, and instrument builder to discover the artistic quality from the characteristics of the building materials such as wooden and metallic plates, its shape, and motion. The primitivity and mechanics of the new instrument has provided a direction to a musical development, new techniques to perform, a space for the treatment of the sounds with electronics. More importantly it invites the human breath into it.
Hui-Mo-Ri is the quickest rhythm form in Korea, literally meaning ‘fast like the tornado.’
Turnstijl for Turntables and Computer (by Henry Vega)
Composer/Performer: Henry Vega
Turnstijl sums up the sound of a whole record in the same way a sand clock accumulates every grain into a particular end of the glass. That sound becomes the source for the performance which can take on different directions as partly improvised and partly composed sections weave into each other.
Bamboo (2014) for Two Bambusoides and Computer
One of the most distinctive characteristics of the traditional bamboo flute in East Asia is its disonance, frictional tone color, and airy noise. Even with its quite unstablity in tone, it takes a strong role in many Ensemble music as well as the symbolic meaning. This piece is created upon the goals to create an interesting ways to reveal its characters, starting from the consideration on how to explore and utilize its physical body and its sensitivity, and well integrate the means of electronics.
Jing (2009~2010) for Jing and Computer
Jing is one of the most representative metallic instruments from Korea, typically used in a supporting role, mostly in ritual and folk music. In this piece, the Jing becomes the main actor, revealing its own character through the performer who activates, de-activates, and controls the instrument and its behavior. The live electronics expands the possible space for the Jing sounds to be explored, and together they create a continual flow that is both ritualistic and human.
**Apology for the sound quality. Due to the level of the sound in the concert situation, the live sound recording could not be done cleanly.
- Program note (pdf)
- Bio (pdf)
- Technical Rider (pdf)
Contact name: Ji Youn Kang
email: info [@] jiyounkang.com
kingeve [@] gmail.com