back back


for Alto-Flute and String Trio (1977/85)

Younghi Pagh-Paan composed the original version of MAN-NAM for clarinet and string trio in 1977. It is the second complete composition, which she wrote after immigrating to Germany. It was first performed in May of 1978 in Freiburg. The version for Alto-Flute was created in 1985 for Pierre-Yves Artaud.

The composer wrote regarding this piece:

I believe a highly expressive and flexible instrument such as the Alto-Flute can defend my musical intention just as well as the clarinet. This version for the Alto-Flute was first performed in January of 1986. The composition MAN-NAM (Korean for "encounter") is based on a specific musical idea: The first encounter between Korean folk music and European music took place at the turn of the 19th to the 20th centuries, through a German band director. The music played in this context was primarily military. Since this time, we Koreans have been confronted with a conflict that includes our musical training, the conflict between our traditional Asian musical culture and the European-American musical culture, which has become increasingly dominant. In MAN-NAM (encounter), I have attempted to present the encounter between these two cultural worlds so as to overcome my own culture shock. The piece was inspired by a poem by Sa-Im-Dang Sin, a 16th century Korean poet, which she wrote in the Chinese language. I have taken some of the Chinese characters used in the poem and have placed them as symbols over different parts of the composition. MAN-NAM is divided into 4 parts, the third of which leads into the fourth with a cello cadence. In the first part, I hesitatingly try to overcome my fear. The second part is the flight to the shelter of the mountain solitude. The third part focuses on the agonizing battle the culture shock has triggered within me, whereas the fourth part turns to focus more strongly on Korean traditions. (The cello, for example, plays only pizzicato, reminiscent of the sound of two Korean drums) The music finds its own centre and a peaceful strength: Reconciliation.

Younghi Pagh-Paan (1977)

back back