SoRi = sound Dohee Lee + Tatsu Aoki



SoRi = sound

  1. SoRi of Taepyung (Peace) 1:11
  2. SoRi of Chun (Heaven) 5:18
  3. SoRi of Hon (Spirits) 5:26
  4. SoRi of Parang (Inspired by Korean folk song "Parangse") 4:30
  5. SoRi of Taeguk (Harmony) 3:35
  6. SoRi of Go (Percussion) 5:44
  7. SoRi of Pan (Inspired by Korean Opera "Shimchung") 6:59
  8. SoRi of Gongsu (Chant) 4:06
  9. SoRi of Param (Wind) 4:55
  10. SoRI of Parang II (different version) 4:00

Released on: 2008-09-10
asian improw records AIR0073

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Dohee Lee (Percussionist, vocalist, dancer, composer)
She was born in Jeju Island of South Korea. She trained Korean traditional music and dance including shamanic influenced music and dance as well in Korea which has been adapted into her unique work. She has been also doing artist director at KYCC (Korean Youth Cultural Center) where has provided a space for people to explore, cultivate and share their ideas, energy and passion about korean american culture, identity, politics, history and community through various cultural activities since 1987 in East-Bay of California. She found PURI Project in 2004, since then she has produced multi-arts performance which has been presented about History of Korea annually. She works not only dancers but also musicians in the traditional and contemporary Asian American Cultural arts and has collaborated extensively with various asian improve artists and international artists as Tatsu Aoki, Francis Wong, Jeff Chan, Asian Crisis, InkBoat, Kunst-stoff, Lawrence Ochs, William Winant, Scott Amendola, Nanos Operetta and Kronos Quartet

Editorial Review


(1) Dohee Lee, Sori = Soundnd (Asian Improv 73)
(2) Natraj, Sonong ofof the the Swan (Galloping Goat 3425)

Two CDs, utterly unlike except for their exotic cultural roots and inspiration.
First up is the atmospheric Asian ritualism of (1). The music on this CD is musical exploration of vocalist and percussionist Lee's South Korean background. She is joined by Mr. Aoki, whose Miyumi Project was previously reviewed here (2/01 p.116). Much of the music here is of a meditative quality.plenty of melismatic mourning from the voice and wind instrument (the taepyunso I assume); solitary bells ringing in empty space; sparse flutterings from various percussion get the idea. I've heard this sort of thing before, from artists such as Takashi (Zigzag, 4/07 p.115). It's not all spare incantations though: “SoRi Of Parang” features Ms. Lee singing a relatively straightforward sounding arrangement of a Korean folk song, “Taeguk,” and similar in concept to “Pan” is an odd duet between the bass and the shamisen that has a decidedly reggae kind of feel to it. Ms. Lee's singing is by turn passionate, ethereal, and frantically sprechstimme-like (“Gongsu”) and although she was a bit sharp here and there, several of her vocalizations were quite effective and impressive. Mr. Aoki's bass and shamisen playing complements Lee's conception and he proves an able partner in the collaboration. A few tracks such as “Hon” and “Go” feature extended improvisations on a single percussion instrument. I found these tracks initially interesting but they tended to wear out their welcome within a few minutes. It's obvious that both Lee and Aoki are sincere in their artistic intentions and much of the music comprises something of a fusion between Asian and improvisationally based Western Avant-garde musics though the overriding influence is the Asian. Though my attention wandered here and there, I feel that there is sufficient musical interest here for it to warrant a recommendation.

The music on (2) is an entirely different kettle of fish. Whereas (1) didn't stray too far from its Asian cultural inspiration, the music here represents more a true fusion between Jazz and World musics. In this case, we are treated to a compelling blend of Indian, African, and Jazz musics. The slightly unusual lineup consists of a soprano sax, tabla/percussion, and viola with the fine Indian flute playing of Raman over a traditional Jazz bed of bass and drums. The improvisational element seems familiar enough, following the traditional Jazz mold even while the melodic and rhythmic material is derived from the aforementioned African and Indian sources. The excellent tunes are clearly inspired by their cultural models and though there is a distinct difference between the African and Indian derived pieces, it all works quite beautifully. The drums and percussion players are given their due through extended solos on many cuts and deservedly are on a par with the melodic soloists. Scarff plays with a more or less conventional “Jazz” sound but has clearly absorbed the exotic influences and he shines in his solo spots. Violist Maneri plays with a unique sound and style that I have not heard from other string players. At times, he plays background chords that conjure up a Bill Frisell or a David Torn. I've already mentioned the excellent flute work of Raman. Rivard's contributions on the bass are all vital given the lack of a true chording instrument and he remains solid and impressive throughout. I was quite taken with the quality of writing, playing, and general concept of these guys and they sound like they would be an awful lot of fun to catch live. Unsurprisingly, I have little hesitation in recommending this fine CD.

David Kane (CADENCE)

Album Description

Album story "SoRi"
Dohee Lee

I have been thinking a lot about how i can create the sound in various, unique and spiritual way that can also be rooted at cultural background like my study of Korean traditional music which has influenced shamanic music. When i brought up this ideas to Tatsu, we have been very interested in collaborating this project in many different aspects like cultural background, historical background and musical background in the united states. As we could share these thoughts with AIR, AIR generously gave me a great opportunity to make it happen. Therefore, I could bring up this album as a examination of the sound, so I could name this album as "SoRi" which means Sound. All the sounds that you can hear from this album are composed and arranged by dohee and tatsu and Pieces are based on Korean traditional folk music like folk song"Parangse", pansori"simchung" and Japanese folk music and others with Korean Instruments, Kwaengwari set, Taepyungso, Buk set, Janggo and several gongs with Upright bass, Japanese instruments Shamisen and Taiko drum in different way. SoRi is not only from our sound that we play but it also from space's sound which has silence sound that we try to give more spaces for the spirit. Especially creating this work with Tatsu Aoki is very significant because he has been doing his unique arts work for well, can not count how long he has been doing this incredible work, and he always supports younger artists who is like me in many different ways. In this project, he was like the oil that make me fire and he was like the breeze to give me space to create work. This album to me is like Journey of sound from the heaven to earth and human being to not human being that can appear and disappear.


Special Guest Master Musician,
Tatsu Aoki is one of the most recorded, talked-about bassists on the Chicago music scene. A prolific artist, composer, musician, educator and a consummate bassist, he works in a wide range of musical styles, ranging from traditional Asian music and jazz, to creative free and experimental music. Aoki is founder and artistic director of the Chicago Asian American Jazz Festival, which debuted in October 1996

i would like to thank everyone who has supported this project and given me endless love. Of course my Parents Wook lee and Myungsook Kang, Doyeun, Sijun, Doyoung, Dosun, Hanul, Gurum, Namu, Tatsu Aoki, Francis Wong, Donna Lee Kwon, Jeff Chan, Elisa Gahng, Hide Yoshihashi-thank you for allowing me to use your gongs, JASC, Ryo Otsuka-who did all this incredible sound,record engineering, KYCC Family, Puri family, all my ancestor, Jaehon Ahn who is in heaven now,and all the spirits.

FLUX by Dohee Lee

San Francisco-based innovator Dohee Lee explores metaphysical questions about life in the world premiere of a YBCA commission, titled FLUX, integrating traditional Korean performance with contemporary music, movement and film. Born in Korea and now immersed in the Bay Areas experimental art world, Lee is trained in shamanic ritual music and dance and Korean percussion. Inspired by the ancient Chinese text I-Ching, or Book of Changes, Lee maps out the books 64 symbolic hexagrams with a stunning integration of light design, imagery and movement. The work features filmmaker and virtuoso bassist Tatsu Aoki; saxophonist Francis Wong; Jonathan Chen on violin and electronics; Jason Lewis, multiple percussion; dancer/choreographer Sherwood Chen; and visual artist Thomas Wong.

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