Rushing Spirit Breath
for Taegŭm and Percussionist (voice, crotales, Filipino kulintang [8 bossed gongs], suspended cymbal, 2 Peking Opera gongs [high, medium], Korean ching and k’kwaenggwari, Japanese Temple bowl [high] (with bead striker), 2 tom-toms [middle, low], bass drum) (2017); duration: 7′ 01″; publisher: Australian Music Centre
score available from Australian Music Centre
Rushing Spirit Breath explores the Korean Sanjo concept of scattered melodies that gradually accrue tension, in my case, to express the Judeo-Christian idea of the Holy Spirit presence as being something that rushes into being. The work is structured as a series of accruing segments. It emerges from breath-like stillness of fluctuations of taegŭm breath and emergent percussive colours into fast, wild ranging register colour and upper emergent membrane excitations of the flute together with percussive barrages at the climax. The final segment keeps this momentum with high long-breath phrases on taegŭm, shrill and fluctuating, over metal and skin percussion punctuations to recapitulate the quieter low breathed opening as a more tension filled, ecstatic atmosphere coda to the work. Symbols of Judeo-Christianity open and permeate the work through whispered sprechstimme utterances as transcriptions of glossolalia—speaking in tongues—that gradually merge with the Korean words of joy and inner spirit rhythm connection in “chŭlgyŏyo, möt.”
dedication note: Hyelim Kim and Claire Edwardes
It was first performed by Hyelim Kim (taegŭm) and Claire Edwardes (percussion) as part of the Creativity Unlimited Music Festival 2017, on the 11th August 2017, at Western Sydney University with support from the School of Humanities and Communication Arts.