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Skewed palindrome; noir and psychedelic qualities; microtonal and diatonic clusters all reflect a complex reinterpretation of beauty


frigia is inspired by the changing foliage of the New England fall and winter seasons, and is set to my own text. Like the text, the piece is a skewed palindrome, with the outer sections mirrored around the word ‘frigia‘. The music’s noir and psychedelic qualities, painted in part by the low soprano writing and the juxtaposition of microtonal and diatonic clusters in the instrumental ensemble, are a reflection on my own reinterpretation of beauty.

frigia was premiered in Tel Aviv, Israel at the 2012 Asian Composers League Festival and Conference by the Israel Contemporary Players – a professional new music ensemble based in Tel Aviv. A project grant provided me with the funds to fly to Israel to work with the performers and be present at the premiere.

frigia is an 11-minute work written for flute (doubling piccolo), clarinet, piano, percussion, violin and cello.

This was an important performance as it was part of a festival where more than 200 composers from at least 10 countries were in attendance. In past festivals/conferences, I have met with different performers who have ended up commissioning new pieces from me, and also ensembles who have been supportive of my work. 

Being able to attend the professional premiere allowed me an opportunity to meet many musicians and composers from all over the world, share my music with others, and to listen to music that I would otherwise have no access to. It was a humbling and fulfilling experience and I am very thankful for the opportunity.

Project Media

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Features: Emily Koh

Gemma New, conductor; Stephanie Ray, flute; Gleb Kanasevich, clarinet; Martiros Shakhzadyan, violin; Peter Kibbe, cello; Lisa Perry, soprano. Performed on March 13, 2012 at An die Musik, Baltimore MD

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Jonathan Harvey – Sringara Chaconne (2008) Zsolt Nagy – conductor The Israel Contemporary Players אנסמבל המאה ה- 21 זולט נגי – מנצח Videography : Sahli Boharon http://taurus.co.il

Start and End Dates



Tel Aviv, ISRAEL

Project Created By

Atlanta, Georgia
Emily Koh (b.1986) is a Singaporean composer and double bassist.  Her music reimagines everyday experiences by sonically expounding tiny oft-forgotten details. She enjoys collaborating with other creatives in projects where sound plays an important role in the creative process. 

In Collaboration With

Tel Aviv, ISRAEL


One response to “Frigia”

  1. Rebecca Harrold says:

    Great to see and hear. I am from Boston MA and recently relocated to Denver CO!

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