REVIEWS

About Bi-Cultural Compositions

"This (Living Tones) is new music/world music at its finest, beyond political correctness, into the realm of the sublime, where words and cultural postures fall away."
Josef Woodard, The Los Angeles Times

"In Tilings, Jin Hi Kim, an eloquent, eclectic advocate for the komungo, vividly translated her instrument's characteristic slurs and wobbles for a Western ensemble of woodwinds, strings, percussion and chimbalom." Steve Smith, The New York Times

"(Eternal Rock) moved through the orchestra like a curious outsider, wondering at the range of sounds it can make and using it as an extension of twangy vocabulary of solo komungo."
Anne Midgette, The New York Times

"(Eternal Rock II) Some of the orchestral writing sounds like movie music, but the way that Kim extends the effect of the drums by additional percussionists ringed around the stage is striking." Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe

"(Voices of Sigimse) A gorgeously tactile piece that moved easily between an earthy folksiness and meditative refinement.".Allan Kozinn, The New York Times

"(Linking) An essay in integration which suggested a Takemitsu-like ability to hover between eastern and western traditions." Paul Griffiths, The Times (London)

"(Linking) The delicacy of her effects (and of the Kronos Quartet's playing) were constantly riveting." John Rockwell, The New York Times

"(Linking) She applied the concept of “living tones” from traditional Korean music to the Western string quartet. The effect is a vivid one, especially in the high registers, where pitches slide in and out of consonances seductively. Kim is a composer to be watched."
Mark Sweed, Los Angeles Herald Examiner

"Linking is an elegant, spare work involving a most interesting juxtaposition of “soft” tones- in which a note begins atone pitch and slides higher or lower to another-and firm attacks and releases. The whole is beautifully organized." Roy M. Close, Pioneer Press, MN

"(Linking) Her music is inspired by the directly textured instrumental sounds of her own country. It could never have been written by a native Californian or New Yorker. It's exotic. It's different. It reflects its culture in the same essential way that Beethoven's quartets reflected his time." David Harrigton, the Kronos Quartet

"(Nong Rock) Kim juxtaposes and synthesizes the timbres, techniques and even styles of East and West in a way that is at once jarring and inevitable." Dean Suzuki, Option Magazine

"(Piri Quartet) likewise explore the likenesses and differences of performing on instruments of the same family but radically different cultures." Dean Suzuki, Option Magazine

"(Kee Maek) An otherworldly violin and cello duet in which sliding tones gave the impression of brush strokes on a canvas.". Allan Kozinn, The New York Times

"The most exciting of the instrumental imports was the set of barrel drums used by Korean percussionist Jin Hi Kim in her own vibrant composition, "Monk Dance." Kim's close, high-pitched harmonies spoke with an original voice, but her propulsive solos on drums and wooden blocks gradually took over, leaving the audience breathless."
David J. Baker, New Haven Register

"the colorful, engrossing, "Nori III" for Percussion Quartet and Electric Komungo... the infectious rhythms of the piece were playful all right, while suggesting the hypnotic, repetitive style of American minimalists like Steve Reich. Thanks to the exotic tones of the komungo and Asian percussion instruments, the insistent pace never grew monotonous."
David J. Baker, New Haven Register


About Komungo Performances

"Virtuoso, Jin Hi Kim promises thoughtful, shimmering East-West amalgams in combinations that are both new and unlikely to be repeated." Peter Watrous, The New York Times

"Kim performs brilliantly and evocatively on an amplified komungo." Joseph McLellan, The Washington Post

"The solo demonstrations (Jin Hi Kim, Wu Man, Mayumi Miyata) and performances were brilliant and fascinating." James R. Oestreich, The New York Times

"True world music being made here, both ancient and modern and without borders. Outstanding." Dennis Yudt, Pulse Magazine

"(Touching The Moons) With her electric komungo, she floated sustained tones and rudimentary melodies or plucked twangs suggesting a jaw-harp or hinted at the bent notes of the blues." Jon Pareles, The New York Times

"a lush solo improvisation stays true to the nature of the komungo while showing real imagination about how its sound can be processed and coloured." Clive Bell, Wire Magazine

"Using sticks and fingers, she sculpted myriad bouncing, glissing, galloping attacks to produce small waves of melody that were cumulative in their power."
Kyle Gann, The Village Voice

"Her right hand a flurry of strikes, the left a spider running up and down the fretboard, intuitively scattering harmonics and microtones and revealing a deep connection to her instrument that hasn't been seen since Hendrix." Andrew Jones, Option Magazine

"Auch in den rätselhaften Ritualen Jin Hi Kims auf der Komungo entfaltete sich der meditative Sog einer Musik, die aus spirituellen Quellen gespeist wird, die dem Western noch immer unzugänglich sind." Bernd Feuchtner, Süddeutsche Zeitung

"Kim is a forcefully percussive player and she’ll frequently concentrate on single reiterated tones, blurring the line between string instrument and percussion on pieces."
Stuart Broomer, Moment’s Notice

 

About Multi-Media Production

"(Digital Buddha) Cosmic Music Meditation, as if their (audience) consciousness was carried into outer space." Tempo (Jakarta)

"(Dong Dong Touching The Moons) Her unique vision blends science fiction images, state-of-the-art technology, ancient mythology and timeless music and dance traditions. No other artist is doing work quite like this, and she does it with superb style."
Joseph McLellan, The Washington Post

"(Dong Dong Touching The Moons) Kim's austere music centered the work.... (she) applied the techniques of “living tones” to sustained notes: filling them with vibrato, tightening them until they broke, using glottal stops to make them ripple like waves around a rock....She turned Korean court-orchestra music into a haze of distant fanfares and remembered rites, from a time when the moon was a divine power."
Jon Pareles, The New York Times

"(Dragon Bond Rite) cut across barriers of language, culture and tradition, touch us at deep, irrational levels result in a work that speaks to our common humanity."
Joseph McLellan, The Washington Post

"(Dragon Bond Rite) It's wonderful to see these diverse Asian styles converse. All the movements are grounded, yet how differently shaped and accented, how diverse the way feet strike the floor. In Kim's score, the styles of the master musicians actually merge."
Deborah Jowitt, The Village Voice

"The production's (Dragon Bond Rite) drummers were percussion virtuosos, and its singers displayed a remarkable range of vocal techniques, from high-pitched chanting to deep, awesome rumblings." Jack Anderson, The New York Times

"(Dragon Bond Rite) ...a ground breaking collaboration, one which illuminates the artistic soul of Asia." Thomas Morley, Asian American press