Kyong Mee Choi, composer, organist, painter, and visual artist, received several prestigious awards including John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, Robert Helps Prize, Aaron Copland Award, Illinois Arts Council Fellowship, First prize of ASCAP/SEAMUS Award, First prize for the Birmingham Arts Music Alliance Concert Exchange program, Second prize at VI Concurso Internacional de Música Eletroacústica de São Paulo, Winner of the Tempus Continuum Ensemble Composition Competition, Mention for Musique et d’Art Sonore Electroacoustiques de Bourges, Honorary prize for the Musica Nova by the Society of Electroacoustic Music of Czech Republic, Honorable Mention for the Luigi Russolo International Competition, Honorary mention in the Destellos Competition, Finalist of the Contest for the International Contemporary Music Contest "Citta’ di Udine, Finalist for Concurso Internacional de Composicai eletroacoustica in Brazil among others.
Her music was published at CIMESP (São Paulo, Brazil), SCI, EMS, ERM media, SEAMUS, and Détonants Voyages (Studio Forum, France). Ravello records publishedher multimedia opera, THE ETERNAL TAO, which was supported by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and Roosevelt University. Aucourant Recordspublished her CD, SORI, featuring her eight compositions for solo instrument and electronics. The project was supported by the IAS Artist Project Grant from the Illinois Arts Council.
Her compositions have been performed at international venues including the Concurso Internacional de Música Eletroacústica de São Paulo, Australasian Computer Music Conference, Musique et d’Art Sonore Electroacoustiques de Bourges, Musica Contemporanea in Ecuador, Luigi Russolo International Electroacoustic Concert in Italy, International Computer Music Conference, Electroacoustic Musical Festival in Santiago de Chile, EPTA-European Piano Teachers’ Association Conference in Dusseldorf, Germany, Piano 40 Concert in London, England, Con Brio in Mumbai, India, as well as conferences and festivals in the States such as Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States, Society of Composers, Inc., College of Music Society, International Alliance for Women in Music, Electronic Music Midwest, Boston New Music Initiative, Electro-Acoustic Barn Dance, Third Practice Festival among others.
Her paper, Spatial Relationship in Electro-Acoustic Music and Painting, has been presented and published in numerous conference proceedings including the Electroacoustic Music Studies Network-5th International Conference Series, Musique concrète, 60 years later, INA-GRM (Paris) and University Paris-Sorbonne (Maison de la Recherche), the Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities, the International Conference on Technology, Knowledge and Society, and the Korean Electro-Acoustic Music Society (KEAMS) Computer Music Conference. The paper was also accepted at the International Conference on Fine and Performing Arts in Athens, Greece. As a researcher she had worked in the CAVE (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment) as part of the Virtual Music Project where she developed a real-time audio synthesis patch to respond to user/performer gestures.
THE ETERNAL TAO: A Multimedia Opera by Kyong Mee Choi was written by Yayoi U. Everett, musicologist, and published in the IAWM (International Alliance for Women in Music) Journal by the University of Nebraska Press.
Choi’s interview with Theresa Sauer, musicologist (American Musicological Society) was also published in the IAWM journal. Choi’s essay on notation, composition, performance and improvisation was published in Notation 21, an anthology of innovative musical notation. She had an interview with National Public Radio (NPR) regarding her piece, Gestural Trajectory, which won the Robert Helps Prize.
Choi received a B.S. in chemistry and science education at Ewha Woman’s University, and studied Korean literature in a master’s program at Seoul National University in South Korea. She received a M.M. in music composition at Georgia State University and a D.M.A. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is an Associate Professor of Music Composition at Roosevelt University in Chicago where she teaches composition and electro-acoustic music. She composes chamber, electro-acoustic, interactive, and multi-media music.
Choi has also been active as a painter and visual artist with recent art exhibitions at the High Cross Art Studio of Urbana-Champaign and at Roosevelt University. Jenny Southlynn reviewed one of Choi’s multi-media exhibitions and said, “The show is polished and elegant. The paintings mineral hues shimmer one beneath the other, as mesmerizing as a reflecting pool. The accompanying musical compositions play in perfect harmony with the works, completing the immersive meditative effect.”
Tender Spirit II for video is a sequel of Tender Spirit I for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, percussion and electronics. Both pieces share the same electronic part. These pieces are dedicated to the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which took away precious lives of children and teachers.
This piece is inspired by Thich Nhat Hanh’s book, No Death, No Fear. He describes life and death by saying, “When conditions are sufficient we manifest and when conditions are not sufficient we go into hiding.” To Unformed attempts to depict Thich Nhat Hanh’s idea musically by using the same musical material to express Hahn’s idea of “manifestation” and “hiding”.
The attractiveness of somewhat unfocused images in photography served as the inspiration for this piece. The flute and electronics are blended in such a way that it is not always clear which is sounding. Pitch bend, airy sounds, whistle tones, and other extended techniques are used to enhance this “fuzzy” effect.