ListN Up: gamin (November 20, 2020)

ListN Up is a series of weekly artist-curated playlists. Born from a desire to keep artists sharing and connected during times of isolation, ListN Up offers an intimate sonic portrait of contemporary artists by showcasing the diverse and stylistically varied music that influences their creative practice. 

Gamin Kang, simply known as “gamin,” a distinguished NYC soloist, tours the world performing both traditional Korean music and cross-disciplinary collaborations. Gamin plays piri (double reed Korean oboe), taepyeonso(double-reed horn), and saenghwang (mouth organ).

Hello, everyone! My name is Gamin. I am a creative musician, composer, and improviser based in New York. I’m very happy to share my playlist with you today. I have thought a lot about music and what I have listened to since I was young, and I selected different types of music that influenced me. I realized that music always guided me, inspired me, and I learned a lot from music. I made my own life path with music, and I’m still exploring and learning. I hope you enjoy the music that I chose today. This is all about my life dream, and it reflects where I am right now. I hope you stay well and hopefully we can meet in-person in the near future. Until then, take care and enjoy the music.

Violin Concerto in E minor by Felix Mendelssohn, performed by Anne-Sophie Mutter and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra (Kurt Masur, conductor)

I started to play piano when I was seven-years-old, so I went to piano school everyday. It was my playground where I made music and hung out with friends. One day, when I was 10-years-old, I fell in love with the violin, and being a violinist became my dream. When I was teenager, I listened to classical music, especially a lot of violin concerti. The sounds of the violin just impacted me strongly, and it is still one of my favorite sounds.

Sinawi, performed by a Korean Traditional Folk Music Ensemble

I opened a new door to learn Korean music when I was 15. I entered Korean music school and started to study traditional music with my major instrument, piri. It was quite the culture shock, even for me as a young girl who had a classical music background. I learned and explored this new world, but it was not a new culture since it already existed deeply in my soul and body.

4’33” by John Cage, performed by the Berlin Philharmonic (Kirill Petrenko, conductor)

While I study and play traditional music, I have been always interested in new music, and there were lots of opportunities to play modern and contemporary Korean music when I was playing music at the National Gugak Orchestra 2000-2010. I liked to experiment and try to go further into the avant-garde music world. So absolutely, I can’t omit John Cage.

Piri for Solo Oboe by Isang Yun, performed by Heinz Holliger

This composition showed me one of the ways in which contemporary music can contain a unique identity and explore new sounds with traditional musical concepts. Isang Yun is an admirable composer. I always feel grateful when I listen to his music, and it is amazing to be able to connect with artists through their art, even if we live in a different time.

Pacifika Rondo by Lou Harrison, performed by the Oakland Youth Orchestra (Robert Hughes, conductor)

When I first came to New York in 2007 to perform at Lincoln Center, I just fell in love with New York. I was involved with collaborative music performances, which were performed by many musicians from all over the world. I can say it was truly a culture shock moment that took me on an interesting journey and indeed impacted me incredibly.

“On Green Dolphin Street” by John Coltrane, performed by John Coltrane, Stan Getz, Oscar Peterson, Paul Chambers, and Jimmy Cobb

I had a great opportunity to do an artist residency in NYC in 2011, and naturally I listened John Coltrane’s music. I also happen to meet jazz musicians in New York and had inspirational music exchanges. This musical journey took me to my own way with music and changed my life.

Jungmori Blues by gamin & Ned Rothenberg, performed by gamin, Ned Rothenberg, and Tae-Young Kim

Jungmori Blues is one of the pieces on my recently released album Nong. It is co-composed with Ned Rothenberg. I hope you enjoy it and explore more music on my album.

Downtown Lullaby by John Zorn, Wayne Horvitz, Elliott Sharp, and Bobby Previte

To me, the most interesting and inspirational music is free-improvisation. I am still on a journey to meet new artists and new sounds. It always brings me to another stage where I am more connected with the world with spirits. It is really something special!


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