Korean-American composer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist Bora Yoon is an interdisciplinary artist who conjures audiovisual soundscapes using digital devices, voice and found objects and instruments from a variety of cultures and historical centuries – to formulate an audiovisual storytelling through music, movement and sound.
Featured on the front-page of the Wall Street Journal and in the National Endowment for the Arts podcast for her musical innovations, Yoon’s music has been presented at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Singapore Arts Festival, the Nam Jun Paik Art Center (South Korea), the TED stage, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Banff Centre for Art and Creativity, MADE Festival (Sweden), Festival of World Cultures (Poland), Walker Art Center, Park Avenue Armory, Smithsonian American Art Museum, and universities and performing arts centers worldwide.
Equally comfortable performing solo on the TED stage as writing for a full orchestra -- from advertising and corporate collaborations, to music for dance, theater, film, multimedia performance, site-specific works with architecture, choir, and new media, Yoon’s work resonates with a wide and diverse range of genres, industries, communities, and collaborators including DJ Spooky, Samsung Telecommunications America, Samsung Anycall (Korea), Harlem-born poet Sekou Sundiata (The 51st (dream) state), Iceland-based electronic producer Ben Frost, French-Canadian director/choreographer Noémie Lafrance, Chinese choreographer Yin Mei Dance, SYMPHO directed by Paul Haas, Bang On A Can composer Michael Gordon, indie-guitarist Kaki King, live graphics artist Joshue Ott, wax phonograph artist Aleks Kolkowski, visual artist Ann Hamilton (event of a thread), South Korean kinetic sculptor U-Ram Choe, filmmaker Adam Larsen, and NPR / WNYC's Jad Abumrad (Radiolab).
Yoon composed the original score to Haruki Murakami’s "Wind Up Bird Chronicle" directed by Stephen Earnhart (presented at the Edinburgh International Festival, Singapore Arts Festival; commissioned by Asia Society); created the music for podcast MIGRATION WATCH [Wire Magazine UK], and docufilm "Faces of Seoul" by Gina Kim.
Yoon has composed new works for Sympho, Metropolis Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound, Sō Percussion, the NJ Symphony Orchestra, Musica Viva, Voices of Ascension Chorus & Orchestra, Young People’s Chorus of New York, Modern Medieval, and the SAYAKA Ladies Consort of Tokyo. Recordings are available through INNOVA Recordings, Journal of Popular Noise, MIT Press, (gr)Albums, and Naxos — with select scores available through Boosey & Hawkes.
As a composer/performer, she created and performed in 2-person opera Sunken Cathedral (produced by Beth Morrison Projects and HERE Art Center, PROTOTYPE Festival) with Korean traditional dance and drumming artist Vong Pak; and collaborates with data artist R. Luke DuBois (bitforms Gallery) in continually evolving explorations of technology and art. Forthcoming segments include new interactive gesture performance with Mi.Mu gloves, in partnership with Princeton University Music and the PU Council for Science & Technology.
Bora Yoon has been awarded a Music/Sound fellowship with the New York Foundation for the Arts, United Artists Initiative, Asian American Arts Alliance, a recording grant from the Sorel Organization for Women Composers, and most recently received a 2020 Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and New Music USA project grant -- and been a resident artist at institutions including Park Avenue Armory, Ringling Museum, the Hermitage, HERE Arts / PROTOTYPE, LEMUR, and Harvestworks Digital Media, and Virginia Tech. Classically trained and steeped in a first love of choral music, Yoon is fascinated by the intersection of space and sound, maps, human Venn diagrams, handsome sounding kitchenware, sonorities, and the pulleys and strings that hold everything together. In all endeavors, she seeks to foster innovation of form in the arts, and its larger resonance in society.
Upcoming projects include new work with An Films for PROTOTYPE 2021, flute+electronics solo for 23-year commissioning series DENSITY 2036 by flutist Claire Chase, solo for percussionist Steve Schick, percussionist Ji Hye Jung, So Percussion, and multi-year wavefield synthesis residency at EMPAC - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Instruments used in performance: voice, violin, Tibetan singing bowls, cellphones, radios, water, bike bells, synthesizers, walkie-talkies, wind tubes, metronomes, Bible pages, spoons, found objects, viola through an octave pedal to become a bass, piano, tin cans, field recordings, electronics, and particular acoustic / architectural features of the venue itself. i.e. “things that make sound, and make sense together” -- which weave a larger sensory storytelling through music, sound, and scale.
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