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Sarang Kim: Recent Compositions

Works for gamelan ensemble, and for violin, cello and piano trio
Sarang Kim (center) playing the Korean zither

Sarang Kim is a composer, pianist, and percussionist, and currently a DMA candidate in the UCSC Music Department. As a young composer, Sarang is investigating a creative, cross-cultural approach. Prior to entering UCSC and continuing throughout her years in the program she has created musical compositions with cross-cultural influences from East Asian countries such as Korea, China, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand. Her current research continues and focuses these studies on techniques by means of which the instruments, scales, tunings and musical aesthetics from these countries can be successfully integrated with Western contemporary classical music. 

"The Garden" is written for violin, cello and piano. This piece was originally written for Delphi Trio in 2015. Scordatura tunings are used in the first movement for the violin and the cello. The piano is a prepared piano with paper clips on the strings inside from C4 to C5.

“Colors and Drops for Gamelan Ensemble” is Kim's first exploration on gamelan metallophones and gongs. Combining Balinese Gamelan musical influences with new approaches, this work has two distinct sections. The first section begins with various timbres that are created by different mallets and extended techniques. The mallets used in this piece include brushes, hard yarn beaters, screw sticks, and copper tube beaters. Extended techniques involve bowing and putting small metallic objects on the keys as well as the use of in-and-out papers under the keys that imitate natural frequencies across different metallophones. The second section introduces a Klangfarben (sound color) melody that gradually evolves into a rapid multilayered texture with an idiomatic interlocking melody drawn from Balinese musical tradition.