Chung-sung-gok

Instrumentation | piano trio

Year | 2012

Duration | 26'

Premiere | Premiered by Julia Conner, Korynne Bolt, and Jungyoon Wie at the Charles E. Gamper Festival of Contemporary Music Concert, Bowdoin International Music Festival (Brunswick, ME) in 2013

Note | Chung-sung-gok (2012) for piano trio, written while I was a college student, was the very first piece I created using a Korean traditional melody. Translated as the song of the clear, high sound, Chung-sung-gok is originally a piece for daegum, a large Korean bamboo flute. The beauty of this melody lies in the contrast between long notes and the fast improvisatory gestures that are used as ornaments. Dissecting the melody in this piano trio took me on a wild journey of appreciating and incorporating microtones and ornamentations that came from this aural tradition. The 3-note melodic fragments (0,1,4) and (0,3,4) are used primarily as a motivic idea, and their transformations and the interplays amongst them drive this piece forward.