April 29, 2020
Incheon-born composer and musician Jin Hi Kim first began her studies of traditional Korean music in South Korea during 1973.
Focusing extensively on the komungo, also known as the goguryeo – a Korean fretted-board zither that originated in the fourth century – Kim helped to bring the instrument to global attention when she developed the world’s first electric version.
Kim later introduced its sounds to international audiences following her move to California, where she studied with artists including Lou Harrison, Terry Riley, and David Rosenboom.
Decades later, Kim’s work has seen her combine her sounds with multimedia installations that incorporate sociopolitical themes, meditation and psychoacoustic theory.
Pairing the electric komungo with visual art and digital animation on Digital Buddha (2007), Kim intended to transform and pacify the neuroticism she identifies as intrinsic to daily American life.
Watch the performance in full above.