Bora Yoon — Sunken Cathedral
(Innova , 2014, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-05-17Sunken Cathedral is ample evidence that avant-garde music needn’t be abrasive, off-putting or alienating. Korean-American composer, sound artist, and vocalist Bora Yoon has created many pieces using the ambiance of architectural spaces and a wide variety of sound sources (including acoustic and electronic instruments and field recordings) culled from many cultures, most as one-time live experiences, often collaborating with other guest instrumentalists. As it would be, the album at hand was not borne of a single concept, but is instead a collection of recordings from various commissioned projects and one-off performance events for which Yoon has composed, including Tower, The Wind up Bird Chronicle, Arco, The 51st (Dream) State, Agora II and more – all detailed on her website. Because of this, the first few listens to this might seem a little uneven but over time the ideas and presentation across the disc begin to congeal and flow very nicely together, like the chapters in some kind of cosmic novel. For her part, in addition to the often wordless vocals, Yoon plays a wide variety of instruments including piano, organ, synthesizer, church bells, gongs, viola, percussion, and much more. Guests add mostly percussion, additional voice parts, and a bit of poetry reading. Much of what’s here hovers somewhere between floating ambient, sound sculpture, and vaguely ethnic folk realms, but don’t be surprised at some very surprising turns and twists that wander effortlessly off that general track at various points throughout these twelve numbers. And there are always some interesting and mysterious sounds going on in the background, while haunting melodies closer to the surface morph and evolve. Overall, Sunken Cathedral is definitely unusual and ‘out-there’ but nonetheless a rich and pleasant listening experience that will have you pressing the replay button again and again.
Related artist(s): Bora Yoon
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more