Today you’ll hear my interview with JooWan Kim, Composer/Artistic Director of Ensemble Mik Nawooj. You’re going to want to check this ensemble out at their website – I can’t tear myself away from their songs and videos.
Led by composer/pianist, JooWan Kim, Hip Hop Orchestra Ensemble Mik Nawooj (EMN) creates Metamusic by sampling principles of Hip-Hop and Classical. Executed with resident MCs, a lyric soprano, woodwinds, French horn, strings, piano, and drums, the music is rigorous, nuanced, accessible, and free from the dogmas of Western European concert music aesthetic. The result is seamless tête-à-tête with “textures swimming through the sound…like the world’s fastest ping-pong game” (Pitchfork) and is considered the “cutting edge of hip-hop” (Huffington Post).
After a successful performance of a novelty piece which featured an MC and chamber ensemble while JooWan Kim was completing his master’s degree at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the MC at the time suggested they make an album together. Six months later and writing about an hour of music, Kim had a profound shift in the direction of his writing. He felt that he found a way out of the stifling contemporary concert music aesthetic in this new way of composition. JooWan crystallized his ideas into Method Sampling, a principle of borrowing or sampling of rationales from related as well as unrelated fields, then reframing them into one’s own system.
In 2010, JooWan Kim recruited his best friend from college, Christopher Nicholas, to push the project forward in a serious way. Since then, EMN attracted some of the most excellent classical musicians and MCs in the SF Bay Area while gaining national attention from outlets such as ESPN, Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, NPR, Pitchfork, Upworthy, NowThis, and more.
Theme music and audio editing by DreamVance.
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I’m your host, Jennet Ingle. I love you all. Stay safe out there!