CD Interview 5: Jin Hee Han
This post is the fifth in the series of mini interviews I am doing with all of the composers and performers featured on my upcoming CD. Find out more information about that project and how YOU can help me make it happen here: http://bit.ly/2negR1Z
There are also some clips from a live performance in this video so please have a listen
So far I have introduced two composers who wrote unaccompanied pieces (Nicole Piunno, Jessica Gardner), two composers who wrote pieces with electronics(Alexandra Gardner, Ariel Marx), two performers that make up The Witches (Ledah Finck and Louna Dekker-Vargas), and two other performers: harpist Peggy Houng and pianist Borah Han. I am very excited to present the last interview I will be doing for this CD – composer Jin Hee Han.
How did you first get into music?
I need to bring a short story of my mom first. My mom was always fascinated by Art and Music. Ever since she was young she had dreamed for arts loved the word Jin Hee, which is often referenced for Arts. Unfortunately her circumstances didn’t allow her to pursue the dream for music and always was burden in her heart. To remember the arts instead of signing with her name she always signed JinHee. For this reason, my mom had desired her daughter to have artistic gifts. So, even though I already had a given name from my grand parents, my mom named me as ‘Jin hee’. The story of how my name was decided would tell you and myself being composer was my destiny. My first experience of music was obviously from my mom. She used to bring me classical concerts and music conservatory since I was at age4, which was started my piano lesson. She loved to have a mini concert at home whenever friends and family visited us. However, I haven’t thought about being a composer when I was young. One day, influence of Christianity in belief lead me to decide to be a composer who is able to conduct every instrument with my own imagination, and I’ve started composed music at age 17.
What was your inspiration for this piece?
First of all, I was inspired by the sound color of trumpet itself, which is very strait forward instrument, and has great possibilities to explore unique timbres. At the same time, I was sure about that trumpet is enough to express my story. While I was considering writing a trumpet solo piece, I had a dramatic experience, which was related to terror in Turkey. So, I immediately thought that my story and trumpet would be fit perfectly to putting together on one piece.
What is new /exciting/ upcoming for you / currently working on?
I just got done with a string orchestra piece in Ukraine, and I have upcoming performance of a work is called, ‘Wounded dragon for violin and 8-string guitar, which I never tried before, and another performance of a piece for flute and harp so far. Also, I’m planning a concert by woman musicians in NYC in the first half of this year.
Who are your inspiring women heroes? Musical or not, and why?
I would say my first college composition teacher, Sunhee Cho. She is a very passionate composer, a teacher, a mentor, a friend, and a mom. (She recently became widow.) Most important of her life philosophy is love. As I described her, her personality and life are very respectful by not only me but also her students and every work place. Throughout her life, fifty-six years now, no matter what kinds of situations are happening, she never gave up as living a composer and raising her pupils primarily, and love people, and take care her family and friends so well. This figure of my teacher became my role model as a composer and human being. Her love toward me convicted me to be better person and musician! I’m still in a great relationship with her and doing concerts together sometimes although we live in different countries. I’m so blessed to meet with her in my life.
What do you think we can do to change the music culture to be more inclusive of women and other less visibly prominent composers and performers?
Since I’ve been living in the US over for ten years, I’ve meet gifted musician and composers, who have not known visibly prominent. I believe that building the musical culture has lead by not only for the small amount of artists, but also music lovers, audiences, music educators, lots of passionate performers and composers. Also, women have powerful personality to grow our society including music field. While I was at Mannes, I found a small women-supporting group for the reason that I felt women musicians still had inequality so that I could start to share opportunity with other women composers primarily through creating concerts series. One important thing that I realized was doing together is strong movement to change something. However it takes time to be changed the music culture, but if we stick together for what we are passionate for, then I am sure we can change the music culture.