Improviser-in-Residence 2014 – Dong-Won Kim

Dong-Won Kim performing

Dong-Won Kim – photo by Musagetes

From August 15th, 2014 through January 15th, 2015, Dong-Won Kim (along with his wife, Ju-Hyung) was embedded in the Guelph and Waterloo communities. Dong-Won connected our communities with profound experiences of improvised music making and dance; provided memorable, positive moments with participants and the broader community through experimentation and reflection; and presented his work throughout the residency and as part of a final, culminating performance with community partners. In fact, Dong-Won’s residency included a fully packed roster of events and activities, highlighted in the detailed schedule below.

Our fourth year’s residency was a resounding success, due to Dong-Won’s ability to connect with a wide variety of participants – professional and amateur musicians, youth, students, faculty, large-scale ensembles, dancers, and others with a keen interest in the field of improvisation. Despite a demanding workload that spanned two distinct cities, Dong-Won was extremely successful in sharing his knowledge of Korean traditional music and dance with the broader community.

When Rivers Meet

Dong-Won with Collaborators – a live recording of an improvised performance that took place at the River Run Centre in Guelph, Ontario. It featured the Guelph Symphony Orchestra conducted by Judith Yan; the Guelph Youth Jazz Ensemble directed by Brent Rowan; musicians Jeff Bird, Daniel Fischlin, and Lewis Melville; dancer Georgia Simms; and storyteller Ben Grossman. A fully bilingual (English/Korean) 2-CD recording was released in October 2015 by Barcode Free Music and features large-scale group improvisations, traditional storytelling, intercultural musical forms, dance interludes, and even audience participation.

Read a reflection written about Dong-Won Kim’s 2014 residency by Jason Caslor (Associate Director of Bands and Orchestras at Arizona State University).

Dong-Won Kim

When Rivers Meet, an improvised performance – photo by Musagetes

Artist Bio

Dong-Won Kim is a Korean percussionist, vocalist, composer, and improviser. He has studied Korean traditional music since 1984, including farmers’ drumming and dance, shaman music, and Pansori accompaniment. Dong Won Kim is an internationally recognized master of his form who has performed at the United Nations General Assembly Hall as a member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silkroad Ensemble Project. Dong-Won has taught at various institutions internationally including Harvard University, the Musikak-Ademie Basel, Switzerland and currently teaches music as a professor of Wonkwang Digital University in Korea.

Select Performances and Events

The Ding-Dong sessions were free and open to the public and participants and audiences of all kinds were welcome. All sessions were held at 46 Essex Street, Guelph, in the Silence space. Please see below for a list of dates and times.

  • August 28 2014, 7-10pm: Launch event
  • September 9 2014, 7-9pm: Ding-Dong with Dong-Won 1: Planting a Seed
  • September 11 2014, 7:30-8:30pm: Dong-Won Kim and Jeff Bird at the eBar
  • September 23 2014, 7-9pm: Ding-Dong with Dong-Won 2: Rhythm for Designing Spaces
  • September 25 2014, 12:00pm: Thursday at Noon Concert (University of Guelph, Mackinnon Bldg)
  • October 8 2014, 7-9pm: Ding-Dong with Dong-Won 3: Dimensional Voice with Jaap Blonk
  • October 21 2014, 7-9pm: Ding-Dong with Dong-Won 4: Movement in Sound, Sound in Movement
  • November 4 2014, 7-9pm: Ding-Dong with Dong-Won 5: When a Volcano Sings with Bae Il-Dong
  • November 18 2014, 7-9pm: Ding-Dong with Dong-Won 6: Composition in Improvisation
  • November 29 2014, 6-10pm: Final Performance
  • December 2 2014, 7-9pm: Ding-Dong with Dong-Won 7: Homage to Silence
Dong-Won Kim Where Rivers Meet

When Rivers Meet, an improvised performance – photo by Musagetes

The Improviser-in-Residence Program is a collaborative partnership of Musagetes, the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation (IICSI), and the Laurier Centre for Music in the Community bringing improvising musicians into meaningful, sustained contact with local residents of all ages and musical persuasions in Guelph and the surrounding areas.