Performed by Dal Duo (https://dominiquekim.com/about-us)
“Whispers on a Sleepless Night” was written for Dal Duo. The initial inspiration of the work came from the unique genre called “Trot”, a type of popular music that is derived by the country’s folk music. Recurring themes of this genre are nostalgia, longing, and grief, and often includes crooning in the empty space where a lover used to be.
Through this special opportunity to write for Dal Duo, I experienced a process unlike projects in the past. Despite the piece being written for two people, I was able to utilize three instruments due to the duo’s ability to play piano. I wanted to bring to the forefront their brilliant musicianship in many combinations—the piece opens with flute and piano, then transitions to violin and piano, and concludes on their respective primary instruments, violin and flute.
The piece, through its personal and cultural nostalgia, holds gravity in these times. As a Korean composer living in the US, the recent Atlanta shooting was a direct shock to my identity in this country. “Whispers on a Sleepless Night” was my reaction to this horrific incident, tying the distinct sound of Trot and its motifs of grief and parting to a dark time in history.