Charles Amirkhanian Collection ➔ Composer-to-Composer Festival: Day 2 Discussions, Jin Hi Kim and John Cage (August 16, 1989), 3 of 4

Digital Audio

Event Type
Interview and Music
C Amirkhanian
Program Series
Composer-to-Composer Festival
Program Length
88 min
3 of 4
| broadcast
| 1989-08-16 | created
A recording of the afternoon composer presentations at 2:00pm with Jin Hi Kim and John Cage on August 16, 1989 in Telluride, Colorado during the 1989 Composer to Composer Festival.

Charles Amirkhanian introduces Jin Hi Kim. She beings by explaining her musical upbringing in Korea and how she was looked down on for learning traditional Korean music when she was studying due to the westernization post-Korean and Vietnam War. She explains the difference between court music and folk music and the lack of the role of “composer” in traditional Korean music. She then plays an example of traditional Court Music.

After the example she talks about mixing her background in classical Korean music with western instruments and the difficulties associated with it. The next example she plays is “Linking” for string quartet performed by the Kronos Quartet. She also plays a violin and cello duet (Kee Maek) which she says is meant to approximate the Korean leading tone and she explains that it is semi-improvised.

She moves on to talk about Korean folk music and plays an example. She also explains that when she notates music, it’s closer to court music, and when she improvises it’s closer to folk music. Next she plays a recording of an improvised set with Henry Kaiser, followed by a set she did with Elliott Sharp, and lastly an electronic work she made sampling her komungo.

After discussing her desire to mix forms and how she decided to come to the United States, she finishes by taking questions from the composers.

Charles Amirkhanian then introduces John Cage.

Cage begins by explaining that individualism is based on two things: what one asks themself to do, and what one agrees to do. He then discusses the duality between these things and the problems with saying “yes” and the problems with saying “no”. He also talks about his work on the “Freeman Etudes” and “The Beatles 1962-1970”, both of which were being composed at the time. Cage also laments on what drew him to participate in the Composer to Composer festival, which happened to coincide with the Telluride Mushroom Festival that year.

He goes on to talk about meeting Irvine Arditti and his performances of his (Cage’s) work and how it inspired him to continue writing the “Freeman Etudes”. This meeting inspired Cage’s notation “play as many notes as possible” and influenced his overall philosophical outlook on the piece. He also discusses the difficulties of working on a piece that he hadn’t worked on in eleven years and his justifications for “starting over”.

Cage discusses how his music relates to his political views as an anarchist, his work with orchestras, and his newly composed works for small ensembles (numbered pieces).

He finishes by talking about his notational techniques and takes questions from the other composers.

Note: Amusingly or annoyingly, the sound of landscape maintenance is intrusively heard at various points in the recording.
New music
Musical Selections
[excerpt of traditional Korean court music] (2:00) -- Linking [excerpt] (1986) (2:05) -- Kee Maek [excerpt] (1986) (2:15) -- [excerpt of traditional Korean folk music] (1:10) -- (improvisation for komungo and electric guitar) (1:33) / Jin Hi Kim and Henry Kaiser -- (improvisation for janngu and saxophone) (1:12) / Jin Hi Kim and Elliot Sharp -- Komungo Permutations (1988) (3:15) / Jin Hi Kim -- [excerpt of komungo with mukha veena] (2:28) / Jin Hi Kim and Joseph Celli
Kronos Quartet
David Harrington, violin (Linking)
John Sherba, violin (Linking)
Hank Dutt, viola (Linking)
Joan Jeanrenaud, cello (Linking)
Henry Kaiser, electric guitar (improvisation)
Jin Hi Kim, komungo (improvisation, Permutations, unidentified excerpt); janggu (improvisation 2)
Elliot Sharp, saxophone (improvisation 2)
Joseph Celli, mukha veena (unidentified excerpt)
Folk music -- Korea
String quartets
Improvisation (Music)
Tape music
Chance operations
Composition (Music)
Digitized with support from the National Recording Preservation Foundation, The Copland Fund, and the Association for Recorded Sound Collections.