PhD, MMus (HONS), BA



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The University of Aberdeen MR023
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Hasla - Suk-Jun Kim (Berliner Künstlerprogramme des DAAD; Kerher)

»I was in this land called Hasla. A far-off land in which everything seemed familiar and yet oddly alien; a place you have never traveled to and yet which in a strange way is similar to every city you’ve ever visited, which – no sooner did you arrive – you already left again. At least that’s how I remember it. But how can I tell of a land that doesn’t exist?«
Hasla consists of electroacoustic compositions that are inspired by a poetry of localization and spatialization of sound. Calmly and transparently, these sounds formulate questions whose answers are delayed, in a kind of tonal dream logic that lends the pieces their tension. Suk-Jun Kim was a guest of the Artists-in-Berlin Program of the DAAD in 2009 / 10.


 A Korean Composer whose main output is electroacoustic music, Suk-Jun Kim’s musicfocuses mainly on the sense of places that are fantastic, imaginary, magical, and realistic, where listeners can visit, stop by, and dwell on. His music has received a number of international awards: Métamorphoses (Biennale Acousmatic Composition Competition in Belgium: 2000 & 2008), Regional Composition Prize at 2008 ICMC in Belfast, Concurso International de Música Electroacústica Såo Paulo (CIMESP: 2007), Bourges International Competition (2001), ASCAP/SEAMUS Student Commission Competition (2001) as well as mentions and finalists in MUSICA VIVA (2005) and MUSICA NOVA (2002 & 2005). Kim also received commissions from the 2006 World Cup in Germany (2006), Bourges commissions (2002 & 2006), SpACE-Net in UK (2007), QUB Silver Collection Soundscape Commission from Belfast (2007), and ASCAP/SEAMUS (2001) and has been a resident composer at Bourges (2004, 2007, 2009), Visby International Centre for Composer, Sweden (2007), Atlantic Center for the Arts, Florida (2007), MacDowell Colony, New Hampshire (2008), Musiques & Recherches in Ohain, Belgium (2009), and Artists-in-Berlin, DAAD, Germany (2009). Kim’s music has been published by ICMC, IMEB, and SEAMUS, and M&R. In 2011, Kim, with the support of DAAD, published Hasla, a book/DVD which catalogs, and is part of the Hasla Project. Hasla includes texts by Denis Smalley, Folkmar Hein, and Julia Schröder, and a short story by Kim. The accompanied DVD contains compositions and documentations of installations.

Currently, his research concentrates on listening and imagining in electroacoustic music and a framework based on ‘acousmatic reasoning,’ a listening process using both spectromorphological and semiotic listening modes, which listeners of electroacoustic music employ to ‘make sense’ out of the acousmatic experiences. Kim has published papers at the ICMC and Organised Sound. His other research focuses on phenomenological approaches to the aesthetics of electroacoustic music, space and place, platial memory and sound, and magical realism in electroacoustic music among others. Kim’s interest in platial memory and sound has also led him to expand his medium to installations. He recently had his first solo exhibition in Berlin, Germany.


Research Interests

  • Electroacoustic music composition and performance
  • Sound art and installation
  • Emerging technologies in sound and image
  • New interfaces and performance
  • Phenomenology of sound
  • Analysis of electroacoustic music and listening
  • Listening in the technological era (Heiddeger, Pierre Schaeffer, Merleau-Ponty, Derrida, and Deleuze)

Current Research

The Aberdeen Bestiary: Sound-Image-Narrative (with Prof. Pete Stollery; SERG)

The Aberdeen Bestiary: Sound-Image-Narrative is an artistic research project that explores strata of sound-image narratives by creating a series of short electroacoustic compositions responding to selected images from the Aberdeen Bestiary, focusing, particularly, on imaginary animals depicted and described in the collection. Each composition aims to evoke not only the animals themselves but their surroundings such as imaginary habitats and behaviours, to animate them and conjure up to the viewer-listener a probable world of the fantastic animals. The resulting electroacoustic compositions will be premiered in 2013 sound festival whose theme this year is Sound-Image, and available online as part of the Collection.

From Space-Specificity to Site-Specificity

This research examines the deconstruction of the Studio by examining it not merely as a physical space where the teaching of electroacoustic composition occurs or that which it targets, but more as an cultural and aesthetic place where students can find new opportunities to create an expansive or extensive field in which to listen. Toward this end, this paper explores the practice of sound art, focusing, particularly, on its *site-specificity* counter to *space-specificity* as the thematic character by which the Studio aesthetics can be reconstituted. Furthermore, it hopes to argue that site-specificity can also function to integrate the three components of experimental music—*situation,* *process,* and *field* (Nyman, 1999) into the electroacoustic composition curriculum. Finally, the paper discusses the significance of incorporating sound art aesthetics into the teaching of electroacoustic music from theoretical to practical aspects.

Aberdeen Humming: Public Sound Installation

Aberdeen Humming, supported by sound and Seventeen, Aberdeen's creative hub, is an audiovisual public installation that brings out the sense of place and of community through humming.

As a community project, it concerns collective memory through songs and uses humming as a mode of revealing such memories. Usually, we try to understand a place and its people through various scientific and sociological tools. But being a composer and sound artist, Kim feels that it is the sounds the place and its people make that tell us what the place is and who these people are—more importantly, how they have become what they are now. Kim has always been interested in the relationship between people and place and how people’s memory plays a role, and this installation is another attempt to examine it. Kim has previously created two other humming projects, In Tune, Out of Tune in Berlin in Germany, and the other in Silver City, New Mexico in the US.

Aberdeen Humming is trying to showcase hums from at least 400 to 500 people in Aberdeen by asking them to hum their childhood songs. The project, which runs from July to December, 2013, has two components:Humming Booth and Aberdeen Humming, the final sound installtion.


Further Info

Awards and Prizes

  • First Prize, 28th Int. Competition of Electroacoustic Music and Sonic/ Bourges, France; Trivium A, 1st Category (2001)
  • First Prize, Concurso International de Música Electroacústica de Såo Paulo, Brazil (CIMESP) (2007)
  • First Prize, 5th Biennial Acousmatic Composition Competition in Brussels, Belgium (2008)
  • Second Prize, ASCAP/SEAMUS Student Commission Competition, USA(2001)
  • Public Awards, 1st Biennial Acousmatic Composition Competition in Brussels, Belgium (2001)
  • Regional Composition Prize, ICMC in Belfast, Northern Ireland (2008)
  • Mention6th MUSICA VIVA International Electroacoustic Music Composition Competition, Portugal (2005)
  • Music Selection on CDICMC Conference Music CD in Barcelona, Spain (2005) & SEAMUS CD (2005) 
  • Finalist, Musica Nova International Electroacoustic Music Composition Competition (2002 & 2005); 4th Biennial Acousmatic Composition Competition in Belgium (2006); 35th Int. Competition of Electroacoustic Music and Sonic/ Bourges, Trivium A, 2nd category (2008)

Commissions, Residencies, and Grants

  • Spiro Arts Artist Residencies at Silver Start in Park City, USA,  June to July, 2012 (http://www.spiroarts.org)
  • Faculty Research Grant, WNMU, Silver City, NM, USA, Spring, 2012.
  • Resident Composer at the University of ManchesterMarch, 2011. (http://www.novars.manchester.ac.uk/)
  • One-Year Artists-in-Berlin Programme of the DAAD, Berlin, Germanya residential program for international artists. Mar. 2009 to Feb. 2010 (www.berliner-kuenstlerprogramm.de/en/index_en.php)
  • Sound installation commission at the Schlossplatz in Berlin-Mitte, Germanyby Tonspur, Austria, and supported by DAAD, Germany, October 2009. (http://berlin.tonspur.at)
  • Guest Composer, Ai-Maako 2009, International Electroacoustic Music Festival in Santiago, Chile, Invited composer, October 1-10, 2009 (http://www.aimaako.cl/web_2009/home.htm)
  • Residency at Métamorphoses d’Orphée, Musiques & Recherches, Brussels, Belgium, composer-in-residency, October 12-30, 2009 (www.musiques-recherches.be)
  • Musical Commissions at the Institut International de Musique Electroacoustique de Bourges (2002, 2006 & 2009)
  • Residency at the MacDowell Colony, New Hampshire, USADecember 2008(www.macdowellcolony.org
  • Musical Commission at the Naughton Gallery at Queen’s University, Belfast, Ireland(2007)
  • Associate Artist Resident, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Florida, USA (2007) (www.atlanticcenterforthearts.org)
  • Residency at the Visby International Centre for ComposersVisby, Gotland, Sweden. December 2007 (www.centreforcomposers.org
  • Musical Commission for SpACE-NET, U.K., the University of York, U.K. (2007) (www.space-net.org.uk)
  • 2006 World Cup in Germany, commissioned by Scorecologne and City of Cologne, Germany, (2006)
  • ASCAP/SEAMUS Student Commission, SEAMUS 2002, University of Iowa (2002) (www.seamusonline.org)


Solo Multimedia Publication

  • HASLA (2011) - Book/DVD Catalog; 16 compositions and installations; texts by Folkmar Hein, Julia Schröder, and Denis Smalley; Published by DAAD and Kerher Verlag (2011); available on amazon.co.uk/amazon.de

Compilation CD Publications

  • Welcome to Hasla (2007) - five-channel electroacoustic music; Released on the Métamorphoses 2008, 5th Biennial Acousmatic Composition Competition, M&R MR 2008 
  • Corresponding (2006) - electroacoustic music; Released on Música Maximalista / Maximal Music: VII CIMESP 2007
  • Kotmun (A Gate of Flowers) (2005) – electroacoustic music; Released on the Compendium International Bourges 2004 CD, IMEB, Bourges, France www.imeb.net; Released on the Métamorphoses 2006 4th Biennial Acousmatic Composition Competition, M&R MR 2006 (2006)
  • What the Bird Saw (2004) – electroacoustic music; Released on the CD of the 2005 International Computer Music Conference (ICMC), Barcelona, Spain; Released on the SEAMUS Compact Disk Series, Music from SEAMUS, Vol. 15. 2005 

Paper Publications

  • Time felt and places imaged in my compositions, 3100 words. in print; expected to be in May or June, 2011, Auditory Perspectives, www.kunsttexte.de, Humbolt University Berlin. 
  • A Critique on Pierre Schaeffer’s Phenomenological Approaches: Based on the Acousmatic and Reduced Listening12 pagesin print; Schaeffer Conference: mediArt, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rijeka, Croatia on Oct. 5-7, 2010
  • Acousmatic Reasoning: an Organized Listening with Imagination11 pages. Journées d’Informatique Musicale 2010, Rennes, Campus Villejean, batiment O, France on May 18-20, 2010
  • Imaginal listening: a quaternary framework for listening to electroacoustic music and phenomena of sound-images11 pages.Organised Sound 15(1), Spring 2010

Selected List of Performances

Solo Concerts (Guest Composer)

  • L’espace du son, acousmatic festival by Musiques & Recherches, Brussels, Belgium - October 20, 2011
  • Ohrenhoch, Berlin, Germany - May 1 & 8, 2011 (www.ohrenhoch.org)
  • Seminar Concert at SARC, Queens University at Belfast, March 23, 2011
  • Ai-Maako International Electroacoustic Music Festival, Santiago, Chile - Oct. 2, 2009

Group Concerts in Festivals, Conferences, etc.

  • Different Passings (2012) - 8-channel electroacoustic music (in collaboration with Judith Meyer, Painter); Seedboat Gallery, Silver City, NM, USA - May 4-6, 2012
  • Three Returns (2012) - electroacoustic music; Three Cities Project: Live Event, MUSA in Aberdeen, Scotland, UK - Apr. 22, 2012
  • Painting Nahhamu (2010) - electroacoustic music (Commissioned by IMEB, France, and composed at Métamorphoses d’Orphée, Musques & Recherches, Belgium; Supported by DAAD); Concert de créations, Espace Senghor, Brussels, Belgium - Apr. 21, 2010; Inventionen 2010, Berlin, Germany - July 30, 2010; City University, London, UK - Feb. 14, 2012
  • Talk to Us! (2009) - 5-channel electroacoustic music (Supported by DAAD & TU-Studio in Berlin); Wasserspeicher of Singhur-hoergalerie, Berlin, Germany - Sep. 17, 2009; Sonology in Den Haag, The Netherlands - Oct. 28, 2009; Nocturne 36, KHM Köln, Germany - Apr. 14, 2011
  • On the Way to Fwarrheu (2009) - electroacoustic music (Supported by DAAD, Germany); SYNTHESE 2009, IMEB, Bourges, France - June 6, 2009; ein plus fünf, Kleine Wasserspeicher, Berlin, Germany - Sep. 17, 2009; Ai-Maako International Electroacoustic Music Festival, Santiago, Chile - Oct. 2, 2009; NK, Berlin, Germany - Nov. 20, 2009                                         
  • Welcome To Hasla (2007) 5-ch electroacoustic music (Commissioned by IMEB, Bourges, France); Premiered at SYNTHESE 2008, IMEB, Bourges, France - June 2008; 2008 International Computer Music Conference, Belfast, Northern Ireland - Aug. 2008; L’Espace du Son, an international acousmatic festival in Brussels, Belgium - Oct. 16, 2008; 21st Days of New Music in Weimar, Germany - Oct. 24, 2008; Los Angeles Sonic Odyssey 2008 (LASO), Pasadena, LA - Nov.  2008; Festival Ultraschall at RBB Kulturradio, Berlin, Germany - Jan. 25, 2009; Sonic Spatial Perspectives, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, UK - Feb. 6-7, 2009; DAAD concert, Rotes Rathaus, Berlin, Germany - June 4, 209; Synthèse 2009 “Co-Incidence” Masterclass, Bourges, France - Jun. 6, 2009; Nuit Bleue 2009, Saltworks, Arc-et-Senans, France, July 11, 2009
  • Corresponding (2006) electroacoustic music (Commissioned by SpACE-Net, UK); SpACE-Net First Workshop in UK, University of York, UK - Jan. 25, 2007.; CIMESP 2007 Concert, Theater of SESC-Ipiranga, São Paulo, Brazil - Aug. 28, 2007; Beast Concert, University of Birmingham, UK - Jan. 12, 2008; Spring in Havana 2008” International Electroacoustic Music Festival, Hall of the Museo de Bellas Artes, Havana, Cuba - March 14, 2008; VII BIMESP (Bienal Internacional de Música Electroacústica de São Paulo, Studio PANaroma, Brazil - Aug. 16, 2008; 2009 International Computer Music Conference, Montreal, Canada - Aug. 2009

Solo Exhibitions (installations)

  • Three Cities (2012) an intermedia installation using Processing, Pure Data and Kinect, as part of Three Cities Project, by SERG, University of Aberdeen, UK, from October 27, 2012.
  • Silver City Humming (2012) - a public sound installation, Silver City, NM from September 7 to October 7, 2012
  • Nostophobia (2012)  - a solo exhibition at McCray Gallery, WNMU, Silver City, NM from Jan. 27 to Mar. 2, 2012
  • A Travel Log: From Fwarrheu to Hejning (2009-2010) - a solo exhibition (Commissioned by DAAD, Germany) at the daadgalerie, from Dec. 4, 2009 to Jan. 16, 2010. 

  • In Tune, Out of Tune (2009) - 8-channel public sound installation (Commissioned by DAAD and Tonspur, Germany) From October 9, 2009 to January 31, 2010 at the Schlossplatz, Berlin, Germany; http://berlin.tonspur.at/index2_en.html
  • Thinking Tree (2002) sound installation; Art and Technology Symposium on Spirituality, Center for Art and Technology, Northwestern University, IL, USA – May 2002

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