The Spinning Wheel (물레)

geomungo and janggu
(2018) 11′

Program Note

The piece was initially inspired by a poem by 20th-century Korean poet 김억 (Kim Eok), titled 물레, or “The Spinning Wheel":

물레나 바퀴는
실실이 시르렁
어제도 오늘도 흥겨이 돌아도
사람의 한 생(生)은 시름에 돈다오.

물레나 바퀴는
실실이 시르렁
외마디 겹마디 실마리 풀려도
꿈 같은 세상(世上) 가두새 얽히오

물레나 바퀴는
실실이 시르렁
언제나 실마리 감자던 도련님
언제는 못 풀어 날 잡고 운다오.

물레나 바퀴는
실실이 시르렁
원수의 도련님 실마리 풀어라
못 풀 걸 왜 감고 날다려 풀라나.

After a short outburst at the start, the music begins to gather momentum and, like the spinning wheel itself, the geomungo weaves melodic lines continuously throughout the piece. The motion at times ebbs and flows, but never entirely ceases until the end of the piece, when all energy is spent and the music gradually – and reluctantly – comes to a halt.

The Spinning Wheel was commissioned by geomungo soloist Heo Yoon Jeong and is dedicated to her tireless and enthusiastic spirit.

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