A full Realization of Isang Yun's Tuyaux sonores and its Analysis based on Daoism
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University of Washington Abstract A full Realization of Isang Yun's Tuyaux sonores and its Analysis based on Daoism Eunjung Jung Chair of the Supervisory Committee: Dr. Carole R. Terry School of Music Isang Yun was a twentieth-century Korean-born modernist experimental composer who spent the first half of his life in Korea before defecting to Germany, where he became a citizen in 1970.1 Among other works, Yun wrote two organ solo pieces, Tuyaux sonores (1967)2 and Fragment (1975), and an organ piece with a women's choir, Saseoneseo (사선에서1975). As a Korean organist living and studying in America, I found a certain kinship to Isang Yun during my formal training in the U.S. I feel that Yun has handed down to Korean students, like me, a guideline to consider when blending one's Korean identity with musical elements. It is my intention that this paper will elaborate on my understanding of Yun's music to help further direct the development of other promising musicians to perform and interpret his work. 1 Chae, Sooah. The Development of Isang Yun's Compositional Style through an Examination of His Piano Works. : University of Huston, 2003, pp. 25. 2 From French, tuyaux means "pipes," and sonores means "sounding." Tuyaux sonores literally translates into "sounding pipes." ii Isang Yun was heavily influenced by the East Asian philosophy Daoism, which emphasizes harmony with the universe. Not only was he a practicing Daoist, he actually taught courses on Daoism at Tübingen University in Germany. Yun wove Daoist-inspired musical elements, namely main-tone and Hauptton, throughout his compositions, imbuing them with qualities quite different from music. These characteristics are particularly prevalent in his organ work Tuyaux sonores. Tuyaux sonores was written in graphic notation, which, due to its deep ambiguity, makes it incredibly difficult for musicians to perform. Researching Yun's graphic notation proved difficult due to the lack of primary sources that deal with it. It is the only musical work that Yun wrote in graphic notation, and he left no instructions at all regarding performance techniques. While this is not the first thesis written on either Isang Yun or Tuyaux sonores, it is the first project that offers a full transcription of the piece, as well as the first serious attempt at understanding how to interpret and perform Yun's graphic notation. Graphic notation is a gesture that allows the performer freedom to give her personal articulation for entire sections of music. However, it has its drawbacks - Yun's graphic notation is so intentionally open to interpretation that very few performers attempt to play it. Yun designed the piece to emphasize spontaneity. This is problematic in that it becomes difficult to preserve musical integrity over a period of the time; some critics argue that it relies too heavily on spontaneity. I have transcribed the music into modern notation to both preserve it in written form, and to provide guidance for musicians attempting to approach the original graphic notation. While having a full musical score of Tuyaux sonores may run counter to the composer's intent of spontaneity, I feel it will allow a wider pool of organists to perform Tuyaux iii sonores. Therefore, it will be more accessible to future audiences and Daoist improvisers. This paper, therefore, will include such a transcription. My analysis differs from other Yun scholars, in that my academic predecessors have largely regarded Yun as a Korean composer who struggled to use musical ideas in his compositions. Even some Korean writers are of the opinion that a Western style was Yun's end goal, and that his incorporation of Western elements fell short of their marks.3 While it is true that Yun felt his music was constantly evolving, and he rarely revisited old pieces, it was not because he was trying to develop a more Western sensibility. Rather, Yun was a Korean composer who incorporated musical tools that were popular during his time. To claim that Yun was a Korean composer who simply tried to westernize his music would be akin to saying J.S. Bach was trying to be more French because he used French overtures in several pieces, or because he was influenced by Nicolas de Grigny's heavy use of ornamentation. First and foremost, Yun was a Korean composer who expressed his own unique Korean identity through his music. However, he also realized that his world had been transformed by Western influences. His curiosities about the world eventually brought him to Europe where he became a German citizen during a dynamic time in Western musical history. Advancing technology, World War II, and the redrawing of political boundaries were changing the ways artists responded to the world. In Europe and America, composers were moving away from harmony and melody via the twelve-tone technique, also known as the "serial technique." Korean musicians were heavily influenced by this change. Isang Yun was one of such avant-garde composers. Yun learned both Korean and Western techniques, and through his unique vision, blended them together to harmonize the two cultures within a musical framework. 3Kim, Inwha. The Integration of Eastern and Western Cultural Elements.: Indiana University, 2007, pp.10. iv Because each of Yun's composition employed unique modes and styles, each piece must be approached on its own terms.4 In order to write this paper, I relied heavily on the book, The Wounded Dragon, which is a dialogue between Isang Yun and Luise Rinser, as a reference. Luise Rinser was a German novelist, the author of Mitte des Lebens (1950). She was also heavily involved within the music community of Europe, and democratic movements against dictatorship. It is interesting to note that Rinser's first and second husbands were both famous composers, Horst Günter Schnell and Carl Orff, respectively. Her interests in music and democracy, as well as Daoism, are what led her to meet and develop a close friendship with Isang Yun. The Wounded Dragon was originally intended to be an autobiography, however it manifested into a dialogue between the two friends. It is my goal to share the entire realized musical score of Isang Yun's Tuyaux sonores with other organists who might be interested in performing graphic organ music. To achieve this, I will translate Yun's graphic notation into standard musical notation according to Zacher's recording using a regular metric system and time-line notation.5 I believe that Zacher's recording and score provide a good entry point from which to proceed, since Yun himself felt that Zacher's interpretation was a legitimate realization of the piece.6 My hope is that other organists and musicians will be able find their own ways of performing the piece with a Daoist spontaneity. 4 Clendinning, Jane Piper, and Elizabeth West Marvin. The Musicina's Guide to Theory and Analysis. 2004 . Reprint. : W.W. Norton, 2005. pp.758. 5 Gerd Zacher (born 1929) was a music director, organist, and cantor. He was influenced by Messiaen attending Darmstadt conferences. 6 Isang Yun. Dir. Herald Kunz. Perf. Gerd Zacher. Wergo, 1970. L.P. Record.
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