A suite of four short, contrasting pieces.

gayageum solo / 10 min.

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Program Note

After the exhilaration of composing and hearing Nonghyun, my quintet for gayageum with string quartet, I wanted to try my hand at solo gayageum music. Gayageum, a traditional Korea zither, has a large repertory in many styles. I decided to compose for sanjo gayageum, the traditional 12-string version, and to write four little pieces in four different styles. The first is fast, splashy, virtuosic. The second is pensive and approaches a traditional gugak style. The third, requiring several of the strings to be retuned, clips along in a quirky, mechanical way. The fourth relies mostly on open strings and rolls with a certain nobility. HyoJin Kang, who generously helped me with technical aspects of composing Nonghyun as well as these pieces, gives the premiere October 23, 2019, in Seoul.