Daegeum Recital—Tradition and Creativity, National Gugak Center
Bruce Crossman’s Gyeonggye: Border (solo taegŭm, voice, Korean Temple bell) was featured by Korean taegum virtuoso, Hyelim Kim at her 2022 Hyelim Kim Daegeum Recital—Tradition and Creativity, National Gugak Center, Pungryu Sarangbang (chamber concert hall), Seoul, South Korea on 9 February 2022.
The work was performed at Hyelim Kim’s taegum chamber recital at Korea’s most prestigious venue for traditional music, and launched her culturally rich and innovative monograph, Tradition and Creativity in Korean Taegŭm Flute Performance (Routledge 2021). The concert was moderated by Professor Jocelyn Clark and included traditional Korean Gugak repertoire and contemporary works by Youngdong Kim, Daeseong Kim, and two world premières by Hyelim Kim and Bruce Crossman. Gyeonggye: Border’s pulsing juxtaposed colours of the taegŭm, Korean Temple bell and vocal chant in this music are a type of symbolic life pulsing, as spirit crosses from heaven to earth and earth to heaven, as a tribute to my father—Wallace Crossman (Potocki)—and his border crossing to heaven nearly two years ago, just before the pandemic hit the world.
K-Music, Gugak FM Inc radio, Seoul, South Korea
Bruce Crossman’s music for the traditional Korean instruments taegŭm and gayageum was featured on Gugak FM radio in South Korea. The station is stated as an important disseminator of traditional music, as “Gugak FM radio is the only broadcasting station that specializes in Gugak, or traditional Korean music” and is broadcast across the Korean peninsula within the major cities, including Seoul.
Heaven to Earth Border House (taegŭm, gayageum with poetry by Kate Fagan) (performers: Hyelim Kim, Yi Jiyoung) was featured on the radio programme on the 9th January 2022 on Sunshine on the Window, “Scent of Sound,” K-Music, Gugak FM Inc, 7-8.55 with Heo Hee (host), Min Byeong-hwan (director), Lee Ye-ri (assistant director), Park Na-kyung (writer) and Shim Chang-seop (technology), Seoul, South Korea. Also, Gyeonggye: Border (solo taegŭm) (Hyelim Kim) was featured on the radio programme on the 8th March 2022 in Kim Hye-rim Daegeum Recital (Tradition and Creation) K-Music, Gugak FM Inc, 20.00-21.00 with Hyun Kyung-chae (host), Jeon Seong-hee (director), Eom Han-byeol (assistant director), Seoul, South Korea.
ANAM Set Festival, 13-15 May 2022, Abbotsford Convent, Melbourne
Fragility and Sonorousness (solo piano) will be performed by Melbourne-based ANAM virtuoso pianist, Kane Chang at the ANAM Set Festival in the ‘Sounds of an Agenda’ concerts on Saturday 14 (3.45pm) and Sunday 15 May 2022 at Abbotsford Convent in Melbourne, Australia. The festival is an outcome of a national commissioning project of Australian composers for ANAM’s virtuoso musicians. The festival will include an ABC Radio National live broadcast on The Music Show with distinguished Australian composer Andrew Ford.
The Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) noted that “The ANAM Set is arguably the biggest commissioning project ever undertaken in this country, with sixty-seven of Australia’s finest composers commissioned to write a new six minute work in dialogue with one of ANAM’s sixty-seven virtuoso musicians. It transformed the fallow time of 2020 lockdowns into an opportunity for creativity and close collaboration as partnered composers and musicians worked on their respective, highly individual works.” ANAM Set Festival will showcase Australian musical creativity in 2022 in Melbourne as “A celebration of Australian artistry, diversity and resilience…A snap-shot of Australian composition in 2021, all 67 freshly-minted works comprising the ANAM Set will be performed in the beautiful venues of the Abbotsford Convent in May.”
The Music Show, ABC Radio National, Australia
Fragility and Sonorousness (solo piano) was performed by Melbourne-based ANAM virtuoso pianist, Kane Chang on Andrew Ford’s The Music Show, ABC Radio National, 11.05am, in ‘Tailoring a composition—live from ANAM Set Festival,’ The Linen Room, ANAM Set Festival, Abbotsford Convent in Melbourne, Australia. The ABC described the show as “Three composer-performer pairings speak to Andrew Ford about their partnerships and how the pieces developed: Noemi Liba Friedman and horn player Nicola Robinson; Tom Green and violinist Claire Weatherhead; and Bruce Crossman and pianist Kane Chang.”
2022 International Music Workshop and Concert, Seoul National University, Korea
Bruce Crossman was Scholar/Artist-in-Residence at the International Music Workshop and Concert (IMWC) Seoul National University College of Music, Seoul, South Korea from 21-24 June 2022. He presented a lecture and participated in demonstrations/workshops on his composition and creative ideas as a reflective practitioner and improvisation practice as composition.
Probably the cultural highlight of IMWC 2022 for Crossman, was the concert at the National Gugak Center—Korea’s most important traditional music venue in the intimate acoustics of the Pungnyu Sarangbang. In Crossman’s Gyeonggye: Border (solo taegŭm) he was graced with a wonderful performance by a postgraduate student of SNU. In Gyeonggye, the taegŭm performer, Sungdong Lee, had a great sense of integrating the phrase, a beautiful sense of the nongŭm noise colours, and an expansive sense of the overall structure revealing the frailties of bamboo breath and reed membrane unpredictability of spirit.
Two composers were thrust into the vibrancy of creative workshops with SNU undergraduate Korean traditional performers and students from the Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music in Thailand. Experimental saxophonist/improviser-composer Ulrich Krieger (California Institute of the Arts) and Bruce Crossman (Western Sydney University) were Scholars/Artists-in-Residence at Seoul National University and worked with two teams of students bristling with performative and imaginative talent towards an end-time concert—a sort of battle of the bands between a reinvented Pansori tale (except they killed the heroine off) and a traditional Korean instrumental rendering of a Lou Reed song. Crossman was particularly proud of his group, Team Pansori (Pansori singers Hye Yui and Soyeon Lim, taegŭm Hyunsoo Park, sanjo gayageum Minjoo Kang, 25-string gayageum Seunghye Kang, trombone Songklod Nunthakasem and double bass Putter Ru), with their amazing coloristic sensitivity, alive virtuosity, and creative invention.
The International Music Workshop Concert (IMWC) 2022 was organised by Professor Kim Sngkn and his colleagues at the Korean Music Department, College of Music at Seoul National University with sponsorship from both SNU and the Australian Embassy in Seoul. The Australian Embassy in Seoul staff, including Australian Embassy, Republic of Korea Chargé Alexandra Siddall, attended at both the National Gugak Center and the various lectures at Seoul National University.
2022 PUENTE Festival Interoceánico, Valparaíso, Chile
Dancing Deep-Sadness (for string orchestra) will be performed by Luis José Recart Echenique (conductor) and Orquesta Marga Marga, at the 2022 PUENTE Festival Interoceánico: Encuentro interoceánico de culturas (2022 BRIDGE Interoceanic Festival: Interoceanic Meeting of Cultures), Valparaíso, Chile.
Dancing Deep-Sadness was commissioned by Dr. Andrián Pertout and is dedicated to Luis José Recart Echenique (conductor and artistic director) with Orquesta Marga Marga. The music was developed for the Orquesta Marga Marga, based in Chile, during a time of sadness for me, after the passing of my father before the chaos of the worldwide pandemic numbed emotions. The music works as a type of sad emotional residue in its static chromatic sonorities where hints of dance energies—Afro-Cuban salsa son clave and free-jazz energy—crash into distilled spectrums of interval-rich clusters and shimmer chords in slow slabs of sound, inspired by the ritualised stasis of Japanese Gagaku music. The living life thread through these oppositions is a changing timbre coloured solo viola line inflected with Korean gayageum-like rough ‘inside-the-note’ colour changes that gradually accelerando to an intensification dance moment and then rallentando to almost nothing, ended by a sudden salsa flourish.
Dancing Deep-Sadness was premiered by Luis José Recart Echenique (conductor and artistic director) with Orquesta Marga Marga at the opening night Tuesday 15 November of the 2022 PUENTE Festival Interoceánico: Encuentro interoceánico de culturas, Teatro Municipal de Valparaíso in the UNESCO world heritage city of Valparaiso, Chile.
Luis José Recart Echenique (conductor) and Orquesta Marga Marga at Festival Puente, Liceo Politécnico, Concón, Valparaíso, Chile on 15 November 2022 (Photo: Orquesta Marga Marga)
Research Creation Showcase 2022: Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Western Sydney
Bruce Crossman, Hyelim Kim, and Pedro Velasco’s short film Gyeonggye: Border will feature at Research Creation Showcase 2022: Western Sydney University, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Theatre venue, on 3rd November 2022. The event is presented by the School of Humanities and Communication Arts at Western Sydney University in association with Casula Powerhouse.
The concept for the film Gyeonggye, was a type of travel metaphor (not literally) but within Korean traditional Gugak performance movement through physical locations of gravestones and pathways into the hidden bush within a London cemetery (Abney Park in Stoke Newington) as a journey of grief and where colour comes through gently as abstractionist painting approach to show some burgeoning moments in nature as a metaphor to suggest healing processes amidst grief.
The filmmaker Pedro Velasco perfectly caught the shift between worlds with suggestive early morning light changes amidst Buddhist symbols of Korean Temple bowl and Gugak taegŭm performer transforming in light as frames to the film. In the middle, as she promised, Hyelim ripped up the score using the aleatory to attack with breath and rip into the buzz of the reed membrane (ch’ong) amongst flourishing court taegŭm tuning on accelerating and deaccelerating and mobile segments. Poignantly, Velasco contrasted this heavenly exuberance in Hyelim’s playing with shots in nature of passageways with hints of gravestones—the ironic tension underscoring and heightening the sadness of loss.
Seoul National University, Graduate School of Music, Department of Music Doctoral Program (III) Eonhwa Lee Gayageum Recital
Bruce Crossman, Bower: Keobeu Nolae for solo sanjo gayageum (2022), performed by Eonhwa Lee at SNU 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.