2023 Van Lier Fellow DoYeon Kim presents her 31-year journey in music: where it began, who she is, and why she is here.
Kim is a traditionally trained Korean artist playing the gayageum, a traditional Korean string instrument. She has developed a uniquely broad approach to music, which incorporates Korean music, jazz, and improvisation, among other influences, and is credited with introducing the gayageum into the improvisational music scene worldwide. Her recent collaborative projects have broadened to include dancers, actors, and visual artists. Philosophically, she strives to demonstrate a broader approach to music by drawing from Korean tradition, improvisation, and the development of original playing techniques. “Over years of study…I became curious about how I could push past what the gayageum was supposed to do, and in that process, learned to push myself to a more honest me,” says Kim.
During her traditional Korean training, Kim won numerous international competitions for her gayageum performances, including the Dong-A Ilbo Traditional Music Competition (Gold Prize, 2009), and the On-Nala Korean Music Competition (Gold Prize, 2011). She is also a graduate of the Contemporary Improvisation Department at the New England Conservatory of Music, where she was the first student ever admitted to the school playing any kind of Korean traditional instrument, and has recently joined the faculty.
Kim has worked with numerous composers, performing several world premieres, and has been an invited guest lecturer for gayageum and Asian music at many universities nationally and internationally. Her first album, GaPi (2017), featured an intimate synthesis of traditional music and jazz, and was nominated for a 2018 Korean Grammy Award in the crossover album category. More recently, Kim was an invited music director for Gyeonggi Sinawi Orchestra, a traditional music orchestra in Korea, was recognized by Grammy.com as one of the 7 Musicians Pushing Ancient Asian Instruments Into The Future (2021), and is performing projects at Roulette as a Van Lier Fellow (2023).
“Kim displays an intimate understanding of her instrument’s origins while also connecting them to 20th-century innovators like Thelonious Monk, Cecil Taylor and Anthony Braxton.” –Grammys
As part of her fellowship, Kim will premiere new works with a new ensemble.
DoYeon Kim – Gayageum, vocal, dance
Satoshi Takeishi – Percussion
Tomas Fujiwara – Percussion
Brandon Lopez – Bass
Yuma Uesaka – Saxophone
David Leon – Saxophone
Adam O’Farrill – Trumpet
A livestream will be available free of charge at 8pm on the day of the performance and archived for future viewing. Watch below or on YouTube.