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Portrait - No. 1 Yeol Eum Son for piano (2019) 15'

Musical Portrait Series #1 for piano and recorded voice


At the end of summer 2018, I went on a short vacation in Clermont-Ferrand, a city in central France, to see pianist Yeol Eum Son and violinist Svetlin Roussev perform. The day after the concert, Yeol Eum and I were talking for a long time at a nearby cafe, and because we were so absorbed in our conversation, we both missed our return flights. That conversation was so interesting that it became food for thought afterward. When I talk to musicians off-stage, I often find they are artists who have their own unwavering philosophy or thoughts. Musicians' artistry is not only defined by how they interpret music on stage but also by their musicianship and what they think about music in general. I became interested in creating a work that contains Yeol Eum's thoughts on music, which led me to compose this piece. Conceived together with Pianist Yeol Eum Son, Portrait is my new attempt at crystalizing an artist's thoughts. Yeol Eum Son's philosophy and thoughts are encapsulated not as written words but as a voice, as a color, thorough the piano. It was a process of portraiture, transferring that person's image as faithfully and authentically as possible onto music, and because the goal was to convey the artist's thoughts to the audience, any technique or element that might hinder this conveyance was removed. The piece dedicated to the pianist.

​Premiered by Yeol Eum Son

​Live recording on 10th, August 2019 at Alpensia Concert hall, Pyeong Chang


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