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Jen Wang will curate a contemporary approach to a traditional Korean instrument

Composer Jean Ahn
courtesy of the American Composers Orchestra

I have to say that I have been very impressed with the productive industriousness of composer Jen Wang. She was one of the founders of the Wild Rumpus new music collective, which launched in December of 2011 and gave their first OId First Concerts performance a little less than a year ago. (As I recently announced, Wild Rumpus will return to Old First tomorrow, Friday, September 5.)

At the same time Wang has also served as one of the curators of concerts at the Center for New Music (C4NM); and I have been struck by the imaginativeness of several of the performances she has arranged. In May of 2013, she arranged for a performance of Morton Feldman’s “Triadic Memories” (which tends to require a duration of about 90 minutes uninterrupted) by the pianist Karl Larson, who was visiting from Brooklyn. Even more interesting was last March’s solo snare drum recital by Joseph Van Hassel.

The next concert that Wang will curate will feature the trio JUL. All three members play the gayageum, which is basically the traditional Korean version of the zither. They have all been trained in the traditional Korean repertoire, but they are also well versed in the music of other cultures and particularly interested in contemporary composers. They have prepared a “portrait concert” to showcase the music of Bay Area composer Jean Ahn, who has taken a variety of approaches to explore the potential of the gayageum.

Most importantly, JUL will present the world premiere of Ahn’s “A Gentle Whisper,” scored for three gayageums. They will also present the United States premiere of another of Ahn’s gayageum trios, “The Principle of Archimedes,” composed in 2012. The program will begin with the 2007 gayageum solo “Ji” and also include a piece for gayageum and electronics, “Another,” composed in 2005 and revised in 2013.

This performance will take place at C4NM, 55 Taylor Street (about half a block north of the corner of Market Street). It will begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 13. Tickets are $10 with a $5 rate for members of the Center. They will only be available at the door. Information about membership may be found on the Membership Web page of the Center’s Web site.

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