Springfield, Ohio - A Lunar Ritual: Western technology meets Eastern mythology. The Korea Society and the Wittenberg Series will co-present Jin Hi Kim's "Dong Dong Touching the Moons" at 7:30 p.m., Monday Oct. 14, in Springfield's Kuss Auditorium, Clark State Performing Arts Center.
Jin Hi Kim's "Dong Dong Touching the Moons", a multimedia live interactive performance created in collaboration with Korean, Indian and U.S. artists, won the Wolff Ebermann Prize in 2001 from the International Theater Institute (ITI) music theater committee in Munich, Germany. "Dong Dong Touching the Moons" weaves and juxtaposes traditional Asian dance and musical forms with cutting-edge technology to create a truly cross-cultural work both in form and subject. It celebrates the eastern concept of the moon as a female force that counterbalances the male energy of the sun while commemorating Western science's on-going exploration of the solar system as the "last great frontier."
"Dong Dong Touching the Moons" is scored for a Korean court-style kagok lyric singer, Indian tabla drum, Korean changgo drum and Jin Hi Kim's newly developed electric komungo (Korean 4th-century fretted-board zither). Dancers interact with the music, wearing wireless velocity-sensitive MIDI-triggers that activate animations and digital imagery of outer space, planetary movement and solar systems.
"Dong Dong Touching the Moons" deals with the various representations of the moon, especially the 15th-century Korean poetic homage to the moon titled "Dong Dong" and the 19th-century worship yantra of the moon.
New York Times critic Jon Pareles claims, "She turned Korean court-orchestra music into a haze of distant fanfares and remembered rites, from a time when the moon was a divine power.
"Kim's austere music centered the work. She had Kwon Soon Kang, a singer in the Korean kagok tradition, avoid traditional melodies and apply the techniques of 'living tones' to sustained notes: filling them with vibrato, tightening them until they broke, using glottal stops to make them ripple like waves around a rock," he continued.
Jin Hi Kim is an extraordinary composer/komungo virtuoso who has brought a deeper appreciation for the historical contributions to world culture by the Koreans. Her work has been presented on the main stages of significant cultural centers in the United States, Europe and Asia including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Royal Festival Hall (London), the Smithsonian Institute Freer Gallery (Washington, DC), and many others.
This year begins the third decade of the Wittenberg Series, which offers Miami Valley audiences a vast array of culturally diverse intellectual and value-centered programs for no charge to attendees. The purpose of the Series is to bring to the campus and local community distinguished lecturers and performing artists of national and international prominence. In the last decade alone, The Wittenberg Series has presented more than 105 lectures and performances to nearly 100,000 people, not including festival services at Weaver Chapel.
For tickets and more information about this performance, contact the Kuss Auditorium box office at (937) 328-3874. For more information about future Wittenberg Series events, call Gwendolyn Scheffel, Series coordinator, (937) 327-7918.
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