Violinist Concerto

Violinist Concerto

Sungkum Yang (

project ensemble morph

30.07.2023, Nodul Island, Seoul

Nostalgia for today

Year: 2023
Instrumentation: solo violin, unspecified instruments

+ electronics

++ live amplified body sound, multiple violins with wireless system and mini-speakers attached

Duration: ca. 15' (various, open form)

Violin concertos showcase the exquisite and unique sounds produced by a highly skilled violinist as well as fine musical interaction with an orchestra, whereas this concerto may highlight the efforts and physical qualities of the performer and the (in)efficiency of the orchestra instead. These aspects, developed through years of education, practice, and experience, remain present and perceptible in violin playing, albeit mainly taking a peripheral role as they serve the purpose of producing violin sounds. However, in this particular concerto, these peripheral qualities are exaggerated and become the main focus, leading me to refer to it as a “Violinist Concerto," where the presence of the professional individual becomes the aesthetic essence itself.

The piece is deliberately left mostly unspecified, allowing its definition to be shaped by the personal history of the violinist. For the premiere, I have provided an example score that includes excerpts from five historical concertos listed below. While three of them were suggested by the violinist, the other two were chosen by the composer myself. In future performances, the piece can be reorganized and all the materials can be selected by the violinist, depending on their repertoire.

Example score (ensemble version):

At a specific moment in the piece, the audience also undergoes an intimate experience where the amplified sounds of the violinist's body on stage resonate directly through the violins held in their hands. To achieve this, I developed two stethoscope microphones and two contact microphones attached to the violinist's body, amplifying her heartbeat, breathing, and joint sounds. These audio signals are wirelessly transmitted to a mini transducer attached to each violin held by individuals in the audience. This setup creates a unique one-to-one 'intimate' experience between the audience and the violinist, akin to a hugging encounter.

List of violin concertos used:
Violin Concerto in A minor, BWV 1041, Johann Sebastian Bach

Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77, Johannes Brahms
Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64, Felix Mendelssohn
Violin Concerto in G major, K. 216, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47, Jean Sibelius