Bower: Keobeu Nolae details

Eonhwa Lee (gayageum) Seoul National University Arts Center, Concert Hall, Tuesday 20th December 2022

Bower: Keobeu Nolae (2022) for Solo Sanjo Gayageum in F with Korean Temple bowl (wooden striker) and Voice (chanter)


duration: 10′ 01″
publisher: Australian Music Centre

score available from

Australian Music Centre

program note

Bower: Keobeu Nolae, the latter part meaning “curving song” in Korean, is inspired by Kate Fagan’s poem “Bower” about the curving sonic beauty of bowerbirds in nature as a type of natural retreat within East Coast Australian bush touching eternity, away from the negative in life. In this sense the structure is a type of parabola curve moving symmetrically from stillness accruing to frantic bluesy movement of multiple motifs, before falling back to stillness. Formally, the structure is viewed as: A B A’ B’ C [a’ b’ c] B’’ A’’. Its content uses various nonghyeon bending techniques of the gayageum with string pressing techniques on chords and appoggiatura notes, arpeggios, and alternating patterns at the climax, with more distilled sounds flanking this through bellbird like harmonics woven amidst Korean Buddhist Temple bowl resonances and Judeo-Christian glossolalia—prayerful chanting—to suggest the eternal, whilst fragments of the bowerbird poem are whispered as a type of nesting thread throughout the music. The music becomes a sonic nest with symbols of spirit amidst glistening nonghyeon colour changes to suggest the curving song of nature.

Figure 1: Bower: Keobeu Nolae, bars 1-29

dedication note:

Lee Eonhwa (solo sanjo gayageum performer)

first performance:

Bower: Keobeu Nolae for solo sanjo gayageum (2022) was first performed by Eonhwa Lee at Seoul National University Graduate School of Music Doctoral Program (III) Eonhwa Lee Gayageum Recital, Seoul National University Arts Center, Concert Hall, Tuesday 20th December 2022, 18:30, Seoul, South Korea.

Inspiration

Figure 2: The creatively inspiring Mulgoa Nature Reserve in Western Sydney (photo: Bruce Crossman)

Figure 3: Seoul National University Graduate School of Music, Department of Music Doctoral Program (III) Eonhwa Lee Gayageum Recital programme, 20 December 2022


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