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Poem for Moon Jar

By Shinuh Lee

Hwayoon Lee, viola
Eun-E Goh, piano


2 Mar. 2023 11:30AM
Collect, Somerset House

Shinuh Lee

Poem for Moon Jar I & II (2022-23)

for viola, piano and singing bowls 

“The Moon Jar, the face of Korean ceramics that captures the heart of the beholder,

kind heart,



Pure white beauty and elegance,

The beauty of Joseon ceramics focused on the essence, the modesty to accept



‘Poem for Moon Jar’ is a work of a composer’s impression on the Korean Moon Jar, This piece is composed of the multiple short movements, and only the first two pieces are performed this time. I have seen and studied the Moon Jars of various contemporary artists as well as the Mid 18th Century Porcelain Moon Jar for quite a long time. This piece is meditative, simple and poetic and I have attempted to give the listeners the feeling of holding a Moon Jar through the sound of viola, piano and singing bowls. 

Shinuh Lee

Caprice No. 2 Jeokbyeok(2020/2022)

for viola, piano and singing bowls 

Caprice is a solo series composed based on collaboration with a specific string player. The piece reflects the composer’s impression of the artistry and the personality of the performer. Caprice No. 2 ‘Jeokbyeok’ was written for and dedicated to violist Hwayoon Lee who learnt the Pansori in her childhood.


Pansori is a unique form of Korean traditional music in the opera genre. It is known for its distinctive rhythm, vocal timbre, key, and texture. The Pansori ‘Jeokbyeokga’ is a Korean retelling of the Chinese legend of the Battle of Red Cliffs. 


The expression, vocalization and tuning system of the Korean Pansori is entirely different from western classical music. I tried to reflect the character of the Pansori through transforming its unique melodic, recitative contour into the modern virtuosity of the viola. In this Caprice, I selected one of the scenes of the Pansori ‘Jeokbyeokga’; the portrayal of ordinary, nameless soldiers, who lament their unfortunate lot in life as they face what is likely to be their deaths in battle.


It is recommended that performers study or at least listen to the Pansori ‘Jeokbyeokga’ before learning this Caprice, particularly the way of making ornaments by grace notes, different types of vibratos and glissandis as well as the microtonal nuance of the pitches in melodies. (Shinuh Lee)

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