Portrait Younghi Pagh-Paan



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Solo for Violoncello (1984)

AA-GA : two Chinese ideograms for which there is no literal translation. They could be translated as « Appreciation of a song ». I plan to compose a series of solo pieces with this title. I have chosen the Violoncello for the first of these solo compositions. This instrument is dear to me because of the profundity of its timbre. Its eruptions are never superficial. I would like to dedicate this music to those who have sacrificed their lives for the truth that seemed inevitable in their eyes. Each of these pieces will be in memory of a certain person whose name I do not wish to reveal.

The structure of my Cello piece was directly inspired by a short, contemporary Korean poem by Tson Sang-Byung. The verses of this poem describe the limpid clarity of the dawn, indivisibly interwoven with the universe, after the infinite depth of pain in the darkness of the night. In this poem, these motifs are metaphors for those long deceased whose spirit lives on in us. I have attempted to transfer these metaphorical ideas into music.

These two contrasting metaphors appear as contradictions in three variations. The object of these continual changes is a process of revelation of these contrasts. A third element that illuminates the musical style appears between the variations and becomes more and more transparent towards the end of the piece.

I view the composing process as an attempt to keep alive memories of past times and events that one might otherwise forget.

Younghi Paag-Paan(1984)


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