Full recording of one of the most engaging and beguiling Late Junction live sessions we’ve ever heard - the one off first meeting between Korean multi-instrumentalist Park Jiha and writer and performer Roy Claire Potter.
Park Jiha plays the saenghwang, a Korean mouth organ which she blows in long multiphonics to set pace for Potter’s words. Together they unfurl a scene slowly in front of you, rich and focused, shifting your field of vision and drawing you in, elsewhere. It’s impossible not to follow, not to look for where they point. When the piri sounds for a flooded town on the B side, the water flows between your own feet; Potter’s words a sometimes frightening hörspiel in scouse.
Though the details are fine, the space each artist gives one another and their instruments, their language, is given to the listener in turn. A careful melody picks out a route for words with no fixed meaning, a body with no fixed direction, and we are invited to listen and see a kind of music made visible in its inference. A truly very special record we are very proud to share.
Influenced by linguistics and performance theory, Roy Claire Potter makes performance, text, drawing, installation and film, and often collaborates with musicians and sound artists to make audio for music festivals and radio. Across the wide range of their practice, Roy tells stories built from fragmented, intense images that depict moving bodies or domestic scenes and architectural settings. Roy’s interest in subtext and narrative sequencing is felt in the way they use fast-paced talking or reading speeds, and restricted or partial views of space. Complicated social or group dynamics and the aftermath of violent events are common themes in Roy’s work and are usually treated with a dark, sometimes wilful humour.
Park Jiha creates exploratory music rooted in traditional Korean instrumental performance. To this session she brings three instruments: a Korean hammered dulcimer called a yanggeum, a saenghwang which is an instrument made of 24 slender bamboo pipes attached to a bowl and played like a harmonica and a double-reed bamboo flute called a piri, which sounds similar to an oboe.
Park Jiha / yanggeum, saenghwang, piri
Roy Claire Potter / voice
Recorded and mixed on: 30 January 2020 by Rob Winter, Pete Smith and Andy Rushton at Maida Vale Studios, London for “Late Junction - Roy Claire Potter and Park Jiha in session”. Produced by Rebecca Gaskell, Katie Callin and Alannah Chance at Reduced Listening for BBC Radio 3. Originally broadcast on Friday 28th February 2020, apart from Track 4 which aired on Late Junction the 21st February 2020.
Mastered by Katie Tavini. Original artwork: “Three Boys” by Claire Cansick. Liner notes by Frances Morgan.
Available as 320k MP3 or 24bit FLAC
LP version arrives in a gatefold LP. Both CD and LP include a written response to the record by Frances Morgan.
1. Saenghwang for the milky boys - 06:10
2. Yanggeum for Trwyn Du, at Penmon - 7:41
3. Piri & Yanggeum for a flooded town - 8:35
4. Saenghwang for King's Palace tonight - 3:57
5. Yanggeum for snapped ankle - 6:05
Roy Claire Potter has released duo and solo audio works with labels like Cafe OTO’s Takuroku, Sub Rosa, Chocolate Monk, and Fort Evil Fruit and has worked with a broad range of musicians and sound artists including Park Jiha, Ziúr, Kieron Piercy and Bridget Hayden. With a visual art background in experimental art writing and drawing, Roy tells stories built from fragmented, intense images that depict moving bodies or domestic scenes and architectural settings, often focusing on group dynamics or the aftermath of violent events, with a dark, sometimes wilful humour. They publish writing and make exhibitions internationally, and recent collaborations for stage and broadcast have been made possible by Glasgow’s art radio station Radiophrenia, Reduced Listening for BBC Radio 3, and Wysing Art Centre’s Polyphonic music festival with Somerset House.
The music of composer/performer Park Jiha blends classical minimalism and improvised music with traditional Korean instruments like the Piri (double-reed bamboo flute), Saenghwang (bamboo mouth organ), and Yanggeum (hammered dulcimer). Deftly combining the instrumentation and complex expression of traditional Korean music with an array of contemporary forms and sounds, Park Jiha has staked her place in the international music scene over the last few years as the official showcase for The World Music Expo, WOMEX and Classical:NEXT.
Trained in Korean traditional music, Park Jiha started her career by founding the duo 숨[su:m], which had a major impact upon the “new Korean music” scene. Her first solo album, Communion (2018, tak:til/ Glitterbeat Records), pursued more distant sound traditions and an eclectic instrumental palette. Collaborating with musicians from different genres, the project pursues a form of experimental minimalism that rejects ornamentation in favor of a stark clarity and meticulous balance. Pitchfork said of the album, “Jiha’s gift is in her ability to skirt dull prettiness in favor of exploiting the edges of her instruments, yet not at the expense of tangible, straightforward melodies.” With her second album titled Philos (2019, tak:til/ Glitterbeat Records) Park Jiha has defined an even more immersive sound experience, for a Solo act she performed both in Korea and abroad.