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Preview: Explorations – Sungji Hong’s Black Arrow

June 2, 2010

I know I’m a little late in getting this up, which I apologize for.  Regardless, tune in tonight to hear Sungji Hong’s Black Arrow.  Here are some performance notes she prepared for the piece.

In Black Arrow, written for bass clarinet and tape, bass clarinet solo part consists of three ideas as follows: the quiet timbral trills, abrupt slap tongues in low register and ghostly fleeting key slap scales. The whole piece develops around or between these three gestures turning on themselves or going through transformations. The latent energy seems to waver in a very low register but gradually the sounds creates a space filled with a strong directional kinetic energy. The succession of rising scales, lofty multiphonics and huge intervallic portamenti intensify the energy and constantly keep up the extreme tension.
Black Arrow was completed on the Greek island of Crete in early 2005 and received its first performance on 11 March 2006 at the International Electroacoustic Music Festival Spring in Havana, Cuba.

The piece was written for Sarah K. Watts, who  can be found on the Internet here.  Of note, she’s actually currently on the US East Coast and will be performing at Stony Brook University Thursday June 3rd.  Her playing on this track is insanely good.  I bet she’s just as impressive live.

Also, here’s an abbreviated biography of Sungji Hong.

Sungji Hong’s creative output includes works ranging from solo instruments to full orchestra, as well as choral, ballet and electroacoustic music. Her works have been commissioned by the Fromm Music Foundation (Harvard University, USA), the Tongyoung International Music Festival (Korea), the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra (Korea), Keumho Asiana Cultural Foundation (Korea), the Foundation for Universal Sacred Music (USA), the International Isangyun Music Society (Germany) and the MATA Festival (USA).

Her music has been performed in over 35 countries and 122 cities. Her music has been widely broadcast in over 30 cities around the world and has been recorded and released on the Dutton label and by ECM Records to critical acclaim.

She has won the European Competition of the State Conservatory of Thessaloniki (1st Prize), the Temple Music Composition Prize (1st Prize), the Crwth Competition (1st Prize), the international competition for original ballet music at the ISCM World Music Days – Slovenia (1st Prize), among others.
Sungji Hong graduated from Hanyang University in Seoul (BA Hons), the Royal Academy of Music in London (MMus) and the University of York (PhD).  She lives as a freelance composer in Thessaloniki, Greece.

I hope you can tune in tonight (6/2) around 8:30pm!

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