Track List: Listen
Passing - 4:52
Painter\'s Eye - 4:02
A Tree and a Bird - 4:52
In Silence - 6:19
In Between - 3:54
Worm - 4:40
Bloom and Wither - 7:17
A Slow Landscape - 4:33
Sunny Kim - vocals
Chris Speed - clarinet, saxophone
Angelica Sanchez - piano, wurlitzer
Sean Conly - acoustic bass
Richie Barshay - drums
Pheeroan Aklaff - drums
Ben Monder - guitar
"In the winter of 2010 a close friend gave me a book of poems, U-turning to You. Inside, the poems were set next to the author’s paintings. I was mesmerized by the book’s purity and simplicity. It smelled of grass and earth, and I felt invited to the serene landscapes of Korea. When I closed the book I felt as though I had taken a walk in spring woods, as
though the goodness and richness of nature had seeped deeply into me, to heal my body and soul.
Each of the poems was a meditation on life; stories of sadness, longing, fragility, joy and humor, all told in the wise voice of someone who had endured and also observed. I felt inspired to set the poems to music. Then within only months I was able to meet the poet and painter, Sun Doo Kim, himself. He was open to my idea.
Sun Doo is a Korean contemporary classical painter of prestige; about his poetry however he can be shy. When we met I found him warm and welcoming, and since a friendship has developed. He invited me to visit his hometown Jang Heung, of Cheolla Province, in the Southern part of Korea. With some of his friends we traveled and spent a few days in the beautiful countryside. It was April, the most splendid month there. Flowers blossomed all over, and there were delicious spring vegetables to enjoy. Sun Doo also took us to the places where he spent hours sitting, painting, and writing. Looking from the hills out over the ocean a million hues came to my eyes, and sent tunes to my ears. I began writing music. I wanted to capture the natural essence of each of his poems, wanted each tune to taste as delicious as freshly dug-up vegetables – that simple and naïve. I wanted to express the beautiful serenity and sense of space I encountered in those landscapes.
After choosing several poems I translated them into English and carefully shaped them to sound musical. Half of the songs on this album have English lyrics, for listeners worldwide. The others are set to Sun Doo’s original poems, in Korean. I would like to thank my friend and colleague Darius Jones, who worked with me to produce this record. And my thanks to Ben Monder, Chris Speed, Angelica Sanchez, Sean Conly, Richie Barshay and Pheeroan Aklaff – the great and inspiring musicians you will hear – who made my vision come to life. I hope that you will find the paintings, poems and the music inviting, and that taken together they might bring you a sense of the calm and rich beauty of the Southern Korean landscapes.
Nice article on Sunny Kim in the December issue of JazzTimes!
, - February 2013 Read the full article
Sunny Kim News