World Premiere of “Scattered Wind”

David Johnston


2011 Composer-in-Residence Paul Yeon Lee


Guest artists Tae-suk Yun on daegeum and Kate Bowling on flute.


The unusually windy weather this past Saturday was the perfect backdrop for 2011 Composer-in-Residence Paul Yeon Lee’s “Scattered Wind” program at Flushing Town Hall. The atmosphere inside however was anything but blustery, as Paul led a warm and interactive program, sharing his musical journey into the world of Korean traditional music and its impact on his new work.

Paul framed his presentation as a two-course meal. First was an assortment of musical appetizers – demonstrations of the similarities and differences between the Korean daegeum and Western flute. Guest artists Tae-suk Yun on daegeum and Kate Bowling on flute, both magnificent musicians, played excerpts idiomatic to their instruments.  Mr. Yun demonstrated with a soulful version of a Korean folksong Arirang and Ms. Bowling played a spritely Bach excerpt.  In addition, Ms. Bowling gave a beautiful performance of Paul’s Sanjo No. 1, a solo work evocative of the ancient sounds of Korea.

The main course was the world premiere of “Scattered Wind” for daegeum and piano, performed by Mr. Yun and Paul. A quote from Paul’s artist statement: “My passionate goal was to evoke an authentic 5,000 year old Korean spirit…fuse it with piano and transmit my manifestation to music listeners of all races. I hope to re-weave the sound of western and Korean elements into a unifying celebration of multi-cultural American heritage.” Indeed, as the audience carefully listened, an air of the primordial, the new and yet familiar pervaded the gallery. As the piece came to a close, there was a pause as everyone took a collective breath to soak in the experience.

The ensuing Q&A was lively and informative as Paul, Mr. Yun and Ms. Bowling fielded insightful questions from an eager audience.  Our congrats to Paul for a marvelous public program, and our gratitude to Executive and Artistic Director Ellen Kodadek and the fabulous FTH crew.

To keep up with Paul and listen to his music, check out his website.


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