A week into the program and I’ve met and performed with the small crew that constitutes Seoul’s sole electronic music and performance video scene.
Part of the trip was to find collaborators for our project, those who we would work with later in the year to produce two performances and an installation in Seoul. In addition, I would conduct workshops, one for all project partners and another for potential collaborators.
I met most of them at a lecture I gave at Arts Center Nabi, who have commissioned the work. I provided an overview and discussion on the lineage of improvised and collaborative sound and video works I have conceived and/or initiated over the years. This lead to an invitation to perform at Relay, the only live electronic music event in Seoul, if not South Korea.
I was impressed with the freshness and vitality of the work, particularly the sound pieces. Most impressive was a piece from Soo-Whan Choi who guided his sounds an almost orchestral fashion whilst a collaborator drip fed a curious variety of hard-disk noise triggered with a remote “play” device. All very DIY.
I’ll return to Melbourne with a small stash of CDs I’m sure a few of our mates in distribution and retail will be most interested in.
For the rest of the week I’ll be conducting a field recording trip to Gil-Sang-Sa, a monastery revitalised by Korea’s last geisha, Madam Jay Ar Kim. I plan to record the evening prayer bells. On Thursday evening I’ve arranged with the organiser of Relay, a recording session with local sound artists basing the work on the processes we use in the Terminal Quartet. This will also include a Swiss born, Korean cellist and the composer Dr. Seongah Shin, the only woman I’ve met in Korea who writes electronic music.
The aim of the exercise will be to establish a process for Synesthesia Urbania, which will also include Australian electroacoustic composer Ollie Olsen, synthesist and performer, Steve Law and 3D video performance artist, John Power in the complete work to be performed late 2005.