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TA-RYONG VI


for six instrumentalists (1988/98)

Flute (Piccolo, Alto, Bass), Clarinet (Bass), Percussion, Violin, Viola and Cello

For a great while now, I have repeatedly examined Korean peasant music (NONG-AK). This musical tradition, which goes back many centuries in Korea, has been an important source of inspiration for me.

Our peasant music was traditionally played at the market, the focal point of the village. TA-RYONG is one of the most basic concepts from this style of music. This is the name given to the repetition of a basic rhythm in a continual four or six-beat measure. The fascinating aspect of TA-RYONG is the nearly infinite number of variations possible using this pattern, as exemplified especially in the peasant music.

I have written a number of compositions carrying the title TA-RYONG. I realize that these compositions have been created for the refined atmosphere concert hall. However, despite the completely different context, I have attempted to transport some of the vivacity and strength typical for our ancient tradition, traits which, in the course of history, have also made this music a root of resistance.

I attempt to forge a link to this specific genre of music which is at home in the heart of the village community and which is so alive in my memory. The atmosphere created by music that remains rooted in daily life carries a deep meaning for me. On the other hand, using my music that is based on Korean musical perception, I attempt to give an alert reflection of the modern European contemporary musical development. I strive to penetrate the problem of repetition in its relationship to the constant search for and finding of ever new and hopefully fresh change. In TA-RYONG VI, a composition based on the piece TA-RYONG II, which was composed in 1988, I have once again addressed this challenge.

Younghi Pagh-Paan


First performed in Fürth on November 8, 1998
Ars nova ensemble, directed by Werner Heider
Commissioned by the Bayrischer Rundfunk /Studio Franken



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