Sarang Kim:
“Tears in Your Bottle”

Sarang Kim Sarang Kim | Photo: Seung Jin Hur Sarang Kim is a composer, pianist, and percussionist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is currently a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate at the University of California, Santa Cruz. As a young composer and multi-instrumentalist, she is investigating a creative, cross-cultural approach to timbre and exploring other syntheses of East and West. She has written works blending influences from Korea, China, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand. Her current work includes Tears in Your Bottle for the New York New Music Ensemble and Haegeum (2017), Oblivion for the JACK Quartet and Lightbulb Ensemble (2017), As Dew for the Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra (2017) and Colors and Drops 2 for nine gamelan instruments. Her research focuses on techniques through which instruments, scales, tunings and musical aesthetics from Eastern countries can be successfully integrated into Western avant-garde music.

“Tears in Your Bottle” for clarinet, piano, haegeum, violin, viola, cello and double bass

Inspiration Sarang Kim Photo: Georges Jansoone “Tears in Your Bottle” is the fourth movement of The Garden, a set of descriptive pieces written in 2015. The original work includes three movements “Gypsophila Eleans”, “Toys and Hummingbirds” and “Piano Fountain”. The Garden symbolizes a private, secure place for collecting things meaningful to me, things that I cherish and hope to remember. King David sang: “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle; are they not in your book?” (Psalm 56:8). This reflects the custom in his time of collecting tears and preserving them in a small bottle as a memento of grief. The Romans, too, in times of mourning, had a friend wipe his tears with a piece of cloth and squeeze them into a small earthenware bottle, which was carefully preserved as a keepsake of friendship and reminder of sorrow. I included this movement in The Garden series to preserve all my memories of Santa Cruz, both the frustrating and the joyful. The instrumentation of the premiere performance recorded at the University of California, Santa Cruz, failed to satisfy my vision; a double bass and a viola have therefore been added and the percussion part omitted in this revision.