something inexplicably subtle

Western Sydney University

Music & Music Therapy Discipline Research Seminars 2020 

Something Inexplicably Subtle: Intercultural and Interdisciplinary Lateral Thinking

‘something so inexplicably subtle that it can only be felt deep in the heart…[it] comes down from heaven to stay in the human mind…It touches the heart of everyone…and activates his spirit’ (gayageum master, Hwang Byung-ki, 2002)

‘a misty compass for creation in the core of my being’ (architect, Hiroshi Naito, 2014)

I am struck by the intimate rumblings of sound as heaven touches earth in Korean gayageum sounds, as paralleling East Coast Australian Sydney bush sounds, where its alive stillness surprises me—angular branch rhythms shimmer in the still pond momentary ripples and frogs’ boisterously lopsided rhythmic exchanges cut chunkily through the air. As creatives we move from the mysterious ‘misty compass’ for our spiritual, or ‘affective flux’ expressions within the materiality of sound, crossing landscape borders of Naito’s figurative and literal landscapes. In what ways can we connect and enrich each other in intercultural and interdisciplinary exchanges?

Bruce Crossman, Discipline/Professional Field Leader, Music & Music Therapy


Seminar 1: Thursday, 5-6.30pm, 15 October 2020—Zoom link

Improvisatory Flow as Practice-led Research Energies beyond Borders: Migration between Argentina, Australia, United Kingdom and Korea towards finding Creative Moments and Affective Fluxes of Connection in Sound

Chair: A/Prof Bruce Crossman (Discipline/Professional Field Leader, Music & Music Therapy); panelists: Professor Roger Dean (MARCS), Joseph Tabua (HDR, SHCA), Dr Andrew Milne (MARCS/SHCA), Felix Dobrowohl (MARCS), Jo Truman (HDR, SHCA), and special guest Dr Gerardo Dirié, Head of Composition, Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University.

The session features creative collaborations between WSU research teams Dean-Tabua and Milne-Truman, and special guest, the Argentinean-born Australian composer Dr Gerardo Dirié’s electroacoustic collaboration with Korean musicians taegŭm performer Hyelim Kim and singer Dami Im. Here, electronically refracted nature’s stillness and taegŭm membrane beauty vibrate as one pulse of life.


Seminar 2: Thursday, 5-6.30pm, 22 October 2020—Zoom link

Heaven-to-Earth Inspiration 1: Gugak Performers & Australian Composers: Crossing cultural borders electronically between Korea and Australia to explore the inexplicably subtle pulses of sound that stir from heaven and connect human hearts creatively

Chair: Associate Professor Sally Macarthur (SHCA, Director of Academic Programme, Music); panelists: Dr Waldo Garrido (SHCA) with special guests Professor Yi Ji-young (Korean Music Department, Seoul National University) and Dr Hyelim Kim (Visiting Research Fellow, Bath Spa University, UK)

Creatives: Joe Tabua (electric guitar) and Jess Irish (voice/violin) with research students in traditional Korean music—Gugak—on gayageum and haegeum


Seminar 3: Thursday, 5-6.30pm, 19 November 2020—Zoom link

Heaven-to-Earth Inspiration 2: Gugak Performers & Australian Composers: Crossing cultural borders electronically between Korea and Australia to explore the inexplicably subtle pulses of sound that stir from heaven and connect human hearts creatively

Chair: Associate Professor Diana Blom (SHCA, Music); panelists: Professor Roger Dean (MARCS), Mr Vincent Tay (Film, SHCA) and special guest Prof. Kim Sngkn (Professor of Composition, College of Music, Seoul National University).

Creatives: Robert Moss (guitar, voice), Jin-ju Yang (gayageum) and Alex Frendo (guitar), Waldo Garrido (electronics/bass) with research students in traditional Korean music—Gugak—on gayageum and haegeum


Something Inexplicably Subtle: Special Guests

Yi Ji-young is considered one of the most important Korean gayageum players of our time with a legacy stretching from traditional sanjo to contemporary avant-garde repertoire. Her level of excellence is attested to by performances across the world at the highest levels, including the National Gugak Centre (Korea), Edinburgh Festival, France’s MIDEM (key industry event), and important orchestras such as Shanghai Orchestra, Kyoto Orchestra, Jerusalem Philharmonic Orchestra, KNM Ensemble Berlin and leader of the CMEK (Contemporary Music Ensemble Korea). She is currently a professor of Gayageum Performance at Seoul National University—Korea’s leading university.

Hyelim Kim is a world-renown traditional Korean taegumperformer and intercultural improviser, who is a Visiting Research Fellow, Bath Spa University (UK). She has worked with Australia’s leading intercultural improvisers including Simon Barker (drums) and Peter Knight (trumpet) and collaborates with leading musicians all over the world, recently performing on BBC Radio 3 with Nils Frahm and Ghostpoet as part of Late Junction Sessions. She has also graced the stage at the London Jazz Festival and Omi World Music Concert (New York) using her instrument to promote exchange with a wide-variety of musical cultures.

Gerardo Dirié is a world-renown composer who has had many awards and performances in the United States, Latin America and Europe. In July 1994, he was a prize winner in the National Tribune of Electroacoustic Music in Argentina. As a result, his piece Tu casa o este océano was selected for performance at the 1994 International Tribune of Electroacoustic Music in Paris and at the International Tribune of Composers (UNESCO) in Finland. Dirié has been very active in bringing Latin American art music to a wider audience, especially as Assistant Director of Indiana University’s Latin American Music Center. He is currently serving as Head of Composition, Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, in Brisbane, Australia.

Sngkn Kim is a highly respected composer and cultural organiser who is currently a professor of composition at the Institute for Traditional Music at Seoul National University.He studied Korean traditional music at Seoul National University. After graduation he moved to Berlin in order to study composition with György Kurtag and Paul-Heinz Dittrich at the Hanns Eisler Academy of Music (Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler). In the early 90s, the young composition student had a fateful encounter with eminent composer Isang Yun, who spent the last years of his life in Berlin. Since then, Kim has made an effort to preserve and promote the legacy of the world’s most influential Korean composer. Back from Germany, he played a crucial role in the foundation of the Tongyeong International Music Festival (TIMF).

Registration Details:

Organiser: Bruce Crossman

Email: b.crossman@westernsydney.edu.au

for Zoom link

Seminar 2: Thursday, 5-6.30pm, 22 October 2020—Zoom link

Heaven-to-Earth Inspiration 1: Gugak Performers & Australian Composers