Heaven to Earth: Border House
for Taegŭm and Sanjo Gayageum in F (12-strings) (NB the score is written in F for the sanjo gayageum part, sounding P5 lower) (2019-20); duration: 18′ 05″; publisher: Australian Music Centre
score available from
Heaven to Earth: Border Housefor taegŭm and sanjo gayageumexplores ideas from recent bespoke Korean architecture, where the traditional house (hanok) is transformed in recent small dwelling architecture by the concept of adaptation through non-family members’ usage of the spaces through creating ‘additive’ changes to repurpose the space as a wider social space. The music reinterprets this idea as an intercultural, multidisciplinary arts space for interaction between cultures. The music is arranged in rough-hewn sections to reveal material sonic roughness but within an overall triangular structural frame, paralleling other East Asian architectural approaches, such as the way Chinese architect Jiang Ying sets cube-like rooms in zig-zag arrangement in Z Gallery across the rough concrete of the cavernous space of the renovated Honghua Dyeing Factory (Williams 2019, pp.90-93). The form falls into seven sections: A—Distilled Breath; B—Colour climax; C—Colour Breath; D—Symmetrical Stasis; C’—Colour Breath; B’—Crazy Colour Climax; A’—Distilled Breath. The music is arranged as a series of balances: distilled breath, colour breath, colour climax, and a balanced stasis section. The seven sections orientate around a gradual revealing of a golden section form that cuts loose in the sixth section’s aleatory and sonority richness.
Heaven to Earth: Border Housewas written for Hyelim Kim (taegŭm) and Yi Ji-young (sanjo gayageum) in collaboration with poet Kate Fagan. It is part of a multidisciplinary creative project between Korea and Australia with traditional Gugak performers Hyelim Kim and Yi Ji-young, performance poet Kate Fagan, jazz bass performer Waldo Garrido, and filmmaker Vincent Tay.
The work was recorded by Yi Ji-young and Hyelim Kim at Seoul National University, Korea and in London, United Kingdom in November 2020.