From East Asia – Unforgotten Song
Nov. 11 – 16, 2019
"this is our song; we still have to remember her songs and pray for her" – gamin
One of the most celebrated musical performers in Korea today, gamin has gathered an ensemble of artists to commemorate the Comfort Women of occupied countries in East Asia, who were forced into sexual slavery between 1932 and 1945.
During the week of November 11, artists will visit classes throughout Brandeis University for performances and discussions, all of which are open to the community. The residency will culminate in the final concert on Saturday, November 16. Please see the concert description below for more information.
Monday, November 11
- 2 – 3:20 p.m. | Slosberg Recital Hall
MUS 1A – Exploring Western Music (Mark Berger)
Tuesday, November 12
11 a.m. - 12:20 p.m. | Slosberg Recital HallMUS 106A – Undergraduate Composition (Yu-Hui Chang)
- 1 – 1:50 p.m. | Slosberg Recital Hall
KOR 30A – Intermediate Korean (Eun-Jo Lee)
- 2 – 4:50 p.m. | Slosberg Room 212
CAST 150B – Introduction to Creativity, the Arts and Social Transformation (Toni Shapiro-Phim)
- 6:20 – 9:30 p.m. | Slosberg Room 212
MUS 86A – Improv Collective (Tom Hall)
Wednesday, November 13
- 12 – 1 p.m. | Mandel Center for the Humanities Atrium
- 2 – 3:20 p.m. | Slosberg Recital Hall
WMGS 5a – Women, Genders, and Sexualities (Harleen Singh)
Thursday, November 14
- 11 – 11:50 a.m. | Slosberg Recital Hall
ANTH 1A – Introduction to the Comparative Study of Human Societies (Sarah Lamb)
- 1 – 1:50 p.m. | Slosberg Recital Hall
IGS 10A – Introduction to International and Global Studies (Gregory Freeze)
Friday, November 15
- 12:30 – 1:50 p.m. | Slosberg Recital Hall
SOC 119A – Deconstructing War, Building Peace (Gordon Fellman)
Saturday, November 16
- 7 – 7:40 p.m. | Slosberg Recital Hall
- 8 – 10 p.m. | Slosberg Recital Hall
World Music Concert: From East Asia – Unforgotten Song
- Min, Pyong Gap. “Korean ‘Comfort Women’: The Intersection of Colonial Power, Gender and Class,” Gender and Society Vol. 17 No. 6. (December 2003).
- Tanaka, Yuki. Japan's Comfort Women: Sexual slavery and prostitution during World War II and the US occupation. New York: Routledge, 2006.
- Yoshiaki, Yoshimi. Comfort Women: Sexual Slavery in the Japanese Military During World War II. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000.
- Kim-Gibson, Dai Sil. Silence Broken: Korean Comfort Women. Parkersburg, Iowa: Mid-Prairie Books, 1999.
- O'Herne, Jan Ruff. 50 Years of Silence: The Extraordinary Memoir of a War Rape Survivor. Mehta Publishing House, 2011. (Autobiography of Jan Ruff O'Herne, a Dutch "comfort woman" survivor -recently passed away; residency video artist Chang-Jin Lee had the honor of meeting with her in 2012.)
- Qui, Peipei with Su Zhiliang and Chen Lifei. Chinese Comfort Women: Testimonies from Imperial Japan's Sex Slaves. Oxford University Press, 2014.
- Pilzer, Joshua D. Hearts of Pine: Songs in the Lives of Three Korean Survivors of the Japanese "Comfort Women". University of Toronto: Oxford Scholarship, 2012.
Preconcert talk, 7 p.m. | Reception to follow
Slosberg Music Center, Brandeis University
Please join us for an unforgettable evening. As artistic performance becomes ritual, we remember and honor the Comfort Women of occupied countries in East Asia, who were forced into sexual slavery between 1932-1945.
Korean master musician gamin (piri, saenghwang, taepyungso) – who transforms the concert hall into “a place of deep enchantment, transcending time and space” – has curated this remarkable ritual performance. Joining gamin, the sounds of the shakuhachi (bamboo flute, once the province of the Fuke sect of Zen Buddhist monks), Chinese sheng, and the Lydian String Quartet suffuse a soundscape that includes traditional Korean music, improvisations based on East Asian folk music, and contemporary expressions. Composers Ki Young Kim and Yoon Ji Lee have written new works for this collaborative concert, and framing the program, visual artist Chang-Jin Lee’s poignant and powerful video asks us to contemplate the experiences of Comfort Women survivors through a visual poetry based on words, images and expressive visual abstractions.
At its heart, Unforgotten Song is a story of resilience, courage and strength in the face of suffering and injustice. Archived songs sung by surviving comfort women are transformed into a ritual as beautiful as it is heart-breaking – that is for not only for victims in the past, but also for all women who are suffering from injustice in the world.
gamin is a New York-based multi-dimensional artist performing across the genres of traditional Korean music, theater, collaborative projects, cross-cultural performances. gamin has participated in many festivals and workshops, including ISIM (International Society of Improvised Music), Vision Festival 2014, Silkroad’s Global Musician Workshop, etc, and performed at Metropolitan museum of Arts and New York Fashion Week, etc. A recognized master of traditional gugak (traditional Korean music), she commissions and performs new music. She is in high demand for working with young composers as they extend their own compositional capacities. She has written a book, Advanced Techniques of Piri, with an accompanying website for sound sample examples – powerful tool for composers new to this musical tradition. gamin-music.com
* * * *
Adam Robinson is a shakuhachi player based in New York City. He studies in the classical tradition of the Kinko school of shakuhachi with Ralph Samuelson in New York and with Tokumaru Jumei in Tokyo. To supplement his shakuhachi training he studies Japanese ensemble music with acclaimed koto and shamisen player Sumie Kaneko. Adam attended The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music where he studied jazz improvisation and tenor saxophone. He currently performs with the Columbia University Gagaku Ensemble as well as in diverse rock and jazz settings with his friends in Brooklyn NY.
* * * *
Performing with "a precision and involvement marking them as among the world's best quartets" (Chicago Sun-Times), the Lydian String Quartet embraces the full range of the string quartet repertory with curiosity, virtuosity, and dedication to the highest artistic ideals of music making.
Since 1980, their interpretive mastery of standard and contemporary repertoire has resulted in prizes at international competitions in Canada, France, England, and in New York (Naumburg Award for Chamber Music), and concerts throughout the United States and abroad. Their recordings reflect their diverse and far-reaching repertoire, from works by Beethoven, Brahms, Ives, and Schubert to works commissioned and written for the them by contemporary American composers including Harbison, Hyla, and Rohde. They look forward to the 2021 premiere of Vijay Iyer’s clarinet quintet with clarinetist David Krakauer.
The LSQ has performed extensively throughout the United States at venues such as Jordan Hall in Boston; the Kennedy Center and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.; Lincoln Center, Miller Theater, and Weill Recital Hall in New York City; the Pacific Rim Festival at the University of California at Santa Cruz; and the Slee Beethoven Series at the University at Buffalo. Abroad, the Quartet has made appearances in France, England, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Russia, Armenia, and most recently in Taiwan.
The Lyds’ long-term residency at Brandeis allow them to collaborate with each other and colleagues around the world, partially through their yearly concert series at the Slosberg Music Center. The Quartet hosts a biennial composition prize, and is on the faculty of Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. lydianquartet.com/Composers:
Ki Young Kim - dubbed a borderless musician, Ki Young has moved in and out of genres and across international boundaries, while collaborating with dancers, theater directors, visual artists in various fields and forms. He is the founder of CMB 567 (Contemporary Music Band 567), a group of four composers and seven musicians dedicated to exploring the interaction among various contemporary Korean and other Asian music and art forms. He participated in the Pacific Rim Music Festival (CA/Korea) for Korean traditional and western traditional instruments. Ki Young lives in New York.
* * * *
Yoon-Ji Lee is a Korean composer based in Boston and New York. She has been creating music based on non-linear structure with a powerful focus on quickly juxtaposing disparate elements through the rapid transformation of different languages, noises, gestures, textures, harmonies, tone colors in both acoustic and electroacoustic mediums. Recently, her opera Sunday Supper for both western and Korean traditional ensemble was premiered at National Sawdust in NYC.
Lee’s chamber and electronic music have been performed in Korea and around the U.S., by ensembles including JACK Quartet, MIVOS Quartet, Argento Ensemble, International Contemporary Ensemble, Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin, Talea Ensemble, ensemble mise-en, String Noise, Equilibrium ensemble and many others, and at conference such as New Music Miami ISCM Festival, SEAMUS, and New York Sound Circuit Festival. Lee received the Jane Geuting Camp Fellowship from Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Patsy Lu Award, from International Alliance of Women in Music.
Previously she was awarded the Henry M. MacCracken Fellowship, which funded her PhD studies at NYU. Lee has participated in artist residencies at National Sawdust, Atlantic Center for the Arts, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts. In 2015, Lee earned her PhD in composition at NYU under the guidance of Elizabeth Hoffman and did her Masters with Robert Cogan at New England Conservatory. Lee is Currently Assistant Professor at Berklee College of Music and also taught at NYU from 2009 to 2017. yoonjilee.orgVisual Artist:
Chang-Jin Lee is a Korean-born visual artist and lives in New York City. Her multicultural background and experiences have provoked in her an interest in investigating the diverse cultural and social issues in our current era. In her artwork, she deals with “comfort women,” 9/11, gender, identity, individualism, sweatshops and globalism, North Korea and nationalism, and religion.
Since 2007 she has been working on artwork investigating the forgotten history of WWII era Japanese military sex slaves or “comfort women.” Supported by The New York State Council on the Arts, The Asian Cultural Council (2008), The Asian Women Giving Circle, The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and The New York Foundation for the Arts, she has traveled to 7 different countries throughout Asia to interview Korean, Chinese, Taiwanese, Indonesian, Filipino, and Dutch “comfort women” survivors, as well as a former Japanese soldier. changjinlee.net
In The Last Girl, author and 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad writes of her ghastly experience as a captive sex slave of the Islamic State. Currently, as a human rights activist, Nadia works tirelessly to ensure that she will be "the last victim of violence." Still today, partly aided by science and technology, widespread war and grinding poverty promote monstrous levels of human trafficking and sexual exploitation, often as weapons of war. Reminiscent of atrocities like the only partially-acknowledged "comfort women" of East Asia during the Japanese occupation in World War II, these horrors highlight the continuing vulnerability of women to violence in many parts of the world.
"Unforgotten Song," was created to commemorate the anguish of the comfort women survivors, inspired by artist Chang-Jin Lee's recordings and exhibition. This tribute is intended for all women who are and have been victims of sexual violence and exploitation. These songs of our strong and resilient Mothers and Grandmothers animate and inspire others as well, especially the next generation of women and men.
While we specifically recall the suffering of the comfort women, we must include the injustices and sexual abuse that many women face worldwide. This includes the full range of crimes women still endure through violence and power. Women and men must all speak out until the day when all women can enjoy equal rights and opportunities. We acknowledge the brave women who voiced their pain in the hope of extinguishing it for further generations.