Korean-influenced calligraphy performance and soundscape:
R E V I E W S
The Music Gallery, Dec 17, 1997: Cinnamon Sphere's concert opens with audience and performers inordinately interested in three mounted blank pieces of paper. The music, like the paper, does not stay blank for long, as this merger of Asian and new music - initially something like elevator music for Malaysian skyscrapers- builds to something quite dynamic.
This is an unconventional trio of local artists - Handslang's Nilan Perera plays guitar through a variety of effects pedals, while at her keyboards (computer and otherwise) Sarah Peebles utilizes samples of insects, fire, birdsong and the performance in progress. The third member is brush performance artist Ha Chung Gong, who 10 minutes in, has inked his brush and dances softly before starting on the first paper. Their guest is Jin Hi Kim, a Korean-American composer who plays komungo, a 4th-century fretted board zither, and changgo, an hour-glass drum. (Her 1993 CD KomunGuitar includes collaborations with Derek Bailey, Eugene Chadbourne and Elliott Sharp.)
She plays fervently while Perera takes a bow to his guitar for more muscular thrums and Gong moves on to the second paper. When Jin Hi Kim moves to the changgo, Gong dances more vigorously - his art is made so quickly that we suspect most of the work was done before the brush was wet, so to speak. Peebles answers with her samples, electroswooshes and phasing tricks that send sounds to different corners and, at one lull in the action, something like the sound of a fax modem. This is beautifully rendered electroacoustic music, as the natural tones are manipulated sensitively, and the sound and image emerge from the same conditions.
Along with Daniel Janke and Panasonic, this constitutes the most unique and fascinating show we saw all year, ending (very) quietly with Gong seated and all the performers gazing at the papers. There is much to see.
~ Jason Anderson, Marc Weisblott
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