Photo Credit: McCoy Khamphouy, Koifish Visual Media

Liner Notes

 

The Path Ahead

The Path Ahead is based on the Wayne Shorter quote “Play and write music the way you want the world to be.” It represents not only how we react to the changes that come with the future but also how we are to move forward with our convictions of creating a better world.

 

Autumn Song

Autumn Song is a composition that I wrote to depict the trees outside my office window at Hope College. It is still my favorite season, but this song is symbolic of the simultaneous beauty of the season and the fact that the leaves change because they are preparing to be dormant.

 

I Am Not A Virus

The title track I Am Not A Virus is a response to the age of racism against Asian-Americans sparked by COVID-19 and the perpetual foreigner stereotype—that when people look at us, they always see foreigners, no matter how long one has resided in the United States.

 

Justice For The Unarmed

Justice for the Unarmed (BLM) expresses my anger about the killing of unarmed black individuals, namely George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor.

 

The Moment

The Moment is about being in the present. Time is precious and fleeting. I felt this expressed in a poem by my friend Herb Tews.

 

Share the Moment by Herbert A. Tews

A single drop of summer rain

A single petal of spring’s first flower.

The scent of Jasmine in the air

Sounds of footsteps in forest glen

 

A fleeting moment of sunset’s last glow….

Inhale the moment; give it life.

Share the experience and joy with others

Life is meant to share, life is meant to share.

So share these moments; then they will never disappear.

 

Sea of Tranquility

Sea of Tranquility is a composition that. I wrote shortly after seeing the movie Interstellar. I remember thinking about how small and insignificant our human lives are—just a blip on the continuum of eternity. It makes our problems feel so small that the only response is to live in peace and harmony together, which is the emotion I wanted to portray in this composition.

 

아리랑 Arirang Interlude

A brief and intimate interlude links Sea of Tranquility with the final track of the album:

 

아리랑 Arirang

Arirang expresses what it means to me to be Korean-American. In its jazz reharmonization, the piece is distinctly an American interpretation, yet I have preserved the distinctly Korean melody. The arrangement closes with the saxophone and piano interpreting the melody of 아리랑 Arirang in a much simpler harmonization based on the idea of 한 (Han), or a deep emotion of longing. Not only is this the mood of 아리랑 Arirang, but it is this emotion—difficult to express in Korean or English—which brings the entire album together.

 

 

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Big Round Records is dedicated to presenting world-class musicians doing what they do best: smash the walls of genre and create groundbreaking new sounds while keeping one foot firmly rooted in tradition. Overdriven bassoons, orchestra-backed swing groups, blues-inflected Zydeco, outlandish arrangements of Disney songs, and modern-protest tunes is just a small slice of what you'll hear on our releases, which feature some of today's most forward-thinking and respected artists such as John Hall (Orleans), Steve Gadd, Andy Jaffe, Eddie Gomez, Tony Oxley, Charlie Barnett, Richard Stoltzman, Tony Clef, Mika Yoshida, and many more. Out of the box? With Big Round, there is no box.

 

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