About Living Tones Compositions

Living Tones:
"This 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

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

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

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

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

Eternal Rock:
(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:
"It is not as westernized in that it doesn't use traditional melodies, but it has a lot of bite and impact and it's really visceral."

–Gil Rose, Boston Modern Orchestra Project

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

"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 (Minneapolis)

"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

"compulsive and hypnotic, not to say soporific"

–Linid Taylor, The Evening Post (Wellington, New Zealand)

"Never far behind all the glissandi harmonics and microtonal wobblings lay a refined musical sensibility"

The Dominionm Post (New Zealand)

Nong Rock:
"the quartet imitated its widely bent pitches and explosive licked timbre"
Joshua Koman, San Francisco Chronicle

Nong Rock:
"The work’s main interest was in her subtle and virtuosic solos on the komungo."
–-Edward Rothstein, The New York Times

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

Agate Slice:
"Each melody follows its own path."
–Peter van Amstel, de VolsKtrant (The Netherlands)

"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

Monk Dance:
"The most exciting of the instrumental imports (to orchestra) 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

Monk Dance:
"Kim offered three extended, varied solos that make her rich collage into a miniconcerto for percussion and orchestra. The dynamic piece’s high-pitched curling melodic fragments had an evocative Asian flavor."
–David J. Baker, New Haven Register

Nori III:
"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

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

"Jin Hi Kim, between Bach and Buddha"
Fredi Bosshard, Die WochenZeitung (Zurich, Switzerland)

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

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

"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

"In the mysterious ritual of Jin Hi Kim on the komungo, the meditative pull of a music unfoled, which is fed from spritual sources that are still inaccessible to the Western."
Bernd Feuchtner, Süddeutsche Zeitung (Munich, Germany)

"She draws rich expressive and subtly individual, new sound orche, ...very original, exciting, meditative and above all foreign."
–Otmar Klammer, Jazzkeller (Nickelsdorf, Germany)

"The musicians (Jin Hi Kim, James Newton, Abdul Wadul) are virtuosos, and they have an introspective way of playing that intimates that each phrase has disclosed some thoughts. Contrasting long tones held by the flute with quivering jelly-like tones from the komungo, the two eventually worked up a head of steam in their improvising. Miss Kim broke any idea of regular rhythms: Miss Kim picked up the intensity, adding more and more notes to her ideas, repeating phrases. Mr. Newton unfurled lines of notes that trailed off into similar phrases."
–Peter Watrous, The New York Times

"While (William) Parker laid out a busy foundation-in-flux, (Oliver) Lake issued sparse, intense and often tuneful fragments, and Kim reacted sensitively to surroundings. They made beasutiful music together."
Jossef Woodard, Los Angeles Times

"Kim is an elegant and confident musician, focusing intently on her task of bending notes and shaping new structures from an ancient musical tradition....Many musicians might be intimated by (Derek) Bailey's towering talent, but Kim was undaunted and managed to fit right in with the elder's scratchy rhythms, scraping noises and unpredictable intervals. In turn, Bailey tuned in to Kim's Asian-based wavelength with remarkable sensitivity."
Derk Richardson, The Tribune

"Jin Hi Kim is omnipresent especially because her playing does not force itself intrusively between (Rudiger) Carl and (Hans) Reichel, but very precisely fills the spaces."
–Felix Klopotek, FMP
(Berlin, Germany)

"Kim's microtones meet Kaiser's blue notes in a music that is quietly darling, intellectually stimulating, and emotionally moving."
–Alex Varty, Vancouver Courier (Canada)                     

"In connection with Jin Hi Kim's richly nuanced and emotionally charged way of playing, the result was extremely lively, multifaced music, which drew its soulful tension from the intense fusion of western and eastern sounds. An intensive listening audience thanked them both (Kim & Elliott Sharp)."  
–Raimund Kast, Schwabische Zeitung (Ravensburg, Germany)  

"The organic nature of Jin Hi Kim’s sound and performance, contrasted with the power of Sharp’s fully-loaded, synthesized, amplified guitar, resulted in as sound of tension and complexity that seemed to satisfy the majority of the audience."
–Brandy Stephen, Spectrum Magazine (London Ontario, Canada)  

"Much of her playing here operates within traditions of pentatonic scales with strongly emotive melodies and sometimes driving rhythmic patterns, that (Gerry) Hemingway constently picks up on and expands, enriching the music both timbrally and polyrythmically."
–Stuart Broomer, Moment's Notice                               

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

"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

"Kim's solo was study in zen-like elegance."
–Andrew Jones, Option Magazine

"She strikes the strings with the determined poise of a master."
–Hayman, EAR Magazine


About Multi-Media Production

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

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

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

Dragon Bond Rite:
"The production's 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 "

"Good music really knows no boundaries, neither of style or tradition or geographically. ... it emphasises and shifts and brings back and diverges and returns in a great mystical wheel of sound, whirring around a pole that is rooted in the ground yet facing upward."
Stef Gijssels, Free Jazz

"perhaps most important, is the remarkable morphing of the different instrumental personalities into a single entity comprising two souls. Kim’s komungo – both in the acoustic and electric version – is a tool which, mainly designed for melody, nevertheless owns unmistakable percussive qualities. On the other hand, Hemingway’s drumming receptiveness lets us envision a whole world of lyrical intuitions, which he adapts to the Korean partner’s enchanting patterns and swirls by fusing his improvising self with her unique blend of Eastern tints and concentrated transmissions of energy.”
–Massimo Ricci, Touchingextremes