I’ve concluded a brief but meaningful 2-day stay in Seoul. Having come to know this place quite well over the years, I always look forward to its energy, delicious food, and warm people. During this visit, I enjoyed a deeply felt performance of my piano work, Inner Truth, by Eunmi Ko, as part of the inaugural Dot the Line Festival at Ewha Womans University.
Although I composed the work for Eunmi as part of her Tributes to Isang Yun centennial project, for various logistical reasons, this was the first time she performed the piece. (It was previously performed in Chicago and Hong Kong.) I can say without reservation that it was worth the wait, for hers was a performance of total commitment and deep emotion. I was especially struck by Eunmi’s understanding of the work’s architecture. Her sense of tension, drama, and pacing aligned nearly perfectly with how I conceived the piece. Throughout her performance there was never a doubt that the climax was on the way, no matter how long it was in coming. What a pleasure it was to hear this performance, as well as the work of so many other interesting composers.
Later this morning I will board a plane for the US as I travel to Troy, New York for a week of workshops and a premiere with members of the Albany Symphony, conductor David Alan Miller, and composer Christopher Theofanidis. The physics behind the reality of boarding a flight at 10am, traveling fourteen hours, only to arrive at a destination on the same day—once again around 10am—elude my pitch-and-rhythm-based brain. Nonetheless, I look forward to catching up on some movies I’ve missed…and perhaps some sleep as well!