Bora Yoon's performance to explore new sounds, ancient traditions

Composer and sound artist Bora Yoon will bring an evening of musical exploration to SUNY Oswego’s Sheldon Hall ballroom at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15.

Collaborating with traditional Korean drummer Vong Pak and multi-reeds player and Oswego music faculty member Trevor Jorgensen, Yoon said her aim for the program is “to create a new sonic landscape from palettes of traditional Korean and contemporary American sound.” 

Bora Yoon with antique speakerA well-known figure on the experimental arts scene, Yoon has presented her sound works at Lincoln Center, the Walker Art Center and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Recent international appearances include the Singapore Arts Festival and the Nam June Paik Museum in South Korea.

While her innovative musical career has taken her many places, Yoon has an Upstate connection. The native Chicagoan is a graduate of the school of music at Ithaca College. Jorgensen said he’s pleased to host her return to the area.

“I look forward to working with Bora Yoon in a style of performance outside my classical and jazz comfort zone; she’s developed an original and highly improvisatory way of making music,” Jorgensen said.

‘Cellphone, too’

Yoon’s work uses both traditional and unconventional sound sources that range from voice and chamber instruments to found objects and digital devices. Her performances have included strings, ancient Tibetan singing bowls and shortwave radio transmissions.

In a front-page feature in the Wall Street Journal, media writer Amol Sharma noted the breadth of her virtuosity: “Bora Yoon plays a mean electric violin and has a light touch on the glockenspiel. The classical musician can jam out on a cellphone, too.”

The Oswego concert—next in the college’s annual Ke-Nekt Chamber Music Series—gives the versatile artist an opportunity to incorporate elements from her Korean heritage. Percussionist Vong Pak studied traditional drumming with Hyungsoon Kim, considered a Korean national treasure. Since coming to the United States, Pak has added contemporary visual and theatrical elements to many of his performances.

Tickets for Yoon’s performance are $15 ($5 for SUNY Oswego students), available at all college box offices, online at or by calling 315-312-2141. A preconcert talk will take place at 7 p.m.

Parking is included in the price of the ticket, and is available in the employee parking lots adjacent to and across Washington Boulevard from Sheldon Hall. People with disabilities needing assistance should call 315-312-2141 in advance of performances.

SUNY Oswego’s Artswego and music department present the Ke-Nekt Chamber Music Series. For more information, visit

PHOTO CAPTION: Inventive composer —Sound artist, vocalist and composer Bora Yoon—shown here with a vintage speaker—will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, in SUNY Oswego’s Sheldon Hall ballroom. The artist blends traditional Korean and contemporary American sound to create what she calls “a new sonic landscape” using many traditional and unconventional sources, from Tibetan singing bowl to glockenspiel, from electric violin to cellphone.

(Posted: Nov 01, 2013)

Tags: music, ke-nekt, bora yoon