Baudouin de Jaer
Five Traces - Geomungo Compositions Vol III
Sub Rosa
Includes Instant Download
Trifold digipack, 16-page booklet
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1Trace I, Lee Junga, Geomungo 28:31
2Trace II, Shin Jihee, Geomungo 19:07
3Trace III, Sun Chaerin, Geomungo / Park Hangyor, Changgu 33:05
4Trace IV, Kim Joonyoung, Geomungo / Kim Insoo, Changgu 18:29
5Trace V, Lee Sunhee, Geomungo 19:02

Five Traces is a wordless opera in three acts. Its sound includes words and images. The notes must speak this wordless opera is certainly my most daring experiment with text in sound. Over the ten years I spent discovering the majestic Geomungo, the six-string Korean bass zither played with a suldae plectrum, working on Héros de la pensée (2012/vol I) gave poetic, melodious and appeasing sounds. Some of my studies continued the reduction process I had started for the piano and the violin (and then for the Gayageum), in the compositions I wrote between 1986 and 2023, attempts at extreme reducing and simplifying down to lines (vol I), music stated on one and single note (with exceptions). Lines allows the interpreter to express themselves within the scope of rhythm, nuance, vibratos, stresses and attacks, and to show the many unheard orchestral possibilities at the root of this unique instrument. In stark contrast, Chanson cubique (vol II) or Trace III include moments with an excessive variety of notes driving the instrument into a corner. With the warm timbres of the recordings featuring on the first two cd volumes, the listener is an accomplice to the interpreter, standing in the wings while they rub strings on fret, prepare their fingers and release the strings, tune the instrument while playing, etc. On the other hand, Traces (once every five of them have been listened to) offers a more of the compositions. Vol I was my doorway to the geomungo, while the compositions gathered in vol II were explorations (experiments, studies) with a more technical aspect, in preparation for the writing of Five Traces. - Baudouin de Jaer

Baudouin de Jaer is a composer and violonist. He studied composition with Philippe Boesmans, Henri Pousseur, Frederic Rzewski and at McGill University (Montréal) with Bruce Mather. He composes for the Korean instruments Daegeum, Haegeum, Gayageum. In 2010 he resolved the enigmatic music system of Swiss artist Adolf Wölfli and Heavenly Ladder' on the Sub Rosa label (SR312). In 2010, Baudouin de Jaer was awarded a prize from the National Gugak Center for his Gayageum compositions.