Features One Question Interviews Okkyung Lee

One Question Interviews: Okkyung Lee

Okkyung Lee

SPB: You have a classical background in your musical upbringing, but moved further and further into the experimental scene when you moved to the US. What was it that pulled you towards this scene, and what is the allure of a freer musical form?

Lee: It was about finding the very personal voice within the instrument, cello in my case.

I never fully felt comfortable or connected playing only classical or jazz standards because it was not my very own...then, when I began to improvise and write more original pieces, I just felt this immense sense of freedom along with strong desire to go deeper and deeper... Meanwhile, I am constantly aware of how having that background in classical training from early on provided me a great foundation to build on.

The biggest allure in playing in freer form is that actually it's not free at all and rather you need to utilize every little piece of knowledge and experience you've gathered in order to make improvisation something meaningful... Also, playing with others who will challenge me to come up with musical responses that make sense to me is another big attraction...  but then of course sometimes it's just fun to play...

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Words by Spyros Stasis on May 23, 2017, 9:01 p.m.

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Okkyung Lee

Posted by Spyros Stasis on May 23, 2017, 9:01 p.m.

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