Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Ha-Yang Kim is a cellist and composer of striking originality whose musical influences draw equally from a range of western classical music, American experiementalism, rock, jazz, and improvised music, to non-western musical sources from Bali, Korea and South Indian classical music. For her second CD on Tzadik presents a major new composition for string quatet, performed here by the world renown JACK quartet. Dedicated to Jewish poet Pual Celan, Threadsuns combines traditional sounds with extended string techniques to create a poetic world of lyricsm, harmony and texture. A major new work by this cutting edge composer from Korea.
Audio Mixer: Hahn Rowe .
Recording information: EastSide Sound, NYC.
Korean composer Ha-Yang Kim manages to draw in both Eastern and Western influences, and, more unusually, to apply extended string quartet technique to both. Threadsuns is inspired by a poem of the same name by Romanian Jewish writer Paul Celan, and in the CD package you get a somewhat Rilkean quote from the work, in German and English, but little other commentary. It's a string quartet in three sizable movements, lasting about 45 minutes in all, and in each movement quite a few sound worlds go by, reflecting such sources as American modernism (George Crumb would seem to be an influence), noise rock, and Asian traditions, including those of the composer's native Korea. The variety, though, is counterbalanced by an equally rigorous structure. The three movements fall into the classical fast-slow-fast pattern, and the individual movements orbit around resting places of conventional sound production. The furious but controlled playing of the JACK Quartet is an attraction here; the work could hardly have found more sympathetic interpreters. All that remains as an obstacle is the taste of many listeners, which will certainly be assaulted by this music, but it's very far from dull. ~ James Manheim