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ARA
    eye harp
MAGO
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Ara
 

Ara

Concept
Dohee Lee

Music Composition
Dohee Lee

Instrument Builder / Designer
Colin Ernst

Instrument Design
Dohee Lee

Set Design
Ellen Bepp, IO Sunwoo

Collaborator
Adria Otte
(Live Electronic Processing)

Costume Design
Alenka Loesche

ARA, 2013
Eye Harp (custom made instrument), voice and electronic processing
Other Minds Festival 18
Friday, March 1, 8:00 pm at Jewish Community Center, San Francisco

"Ara" is a Korean word whose various meanings include "Ocean" and "Eye" - symbols
of rebirth and wisdom. This piece is meant to evoke the regenerative power of the ocean
as the energizing force behind life and the cycle of rebirth. It was composed in the context
of my ongoing project entitled MAGO - a multidisciplinary performance and installation
piece that combines music, installation, film/animation and dance/movement, and is
inspired by Korean shamanic music and ritual, traditional mask dance and puppet art,
and mythology.

Myths and rituals regarding the ocean were abundant where I grew up, on Jeju Island in
Korea. Jeju has a strong tradition of female free divers called "Haenyeo" - women who
risk their lives daily, diving to depths of up to 20 meters for seafood such as abalone and
conch to sell in the marketplace. My grandmother was one of these "Mermaids of Jeju
Island" and this piece is also an homage and mythical interpretation of the Haenyeo -
as beautiful mermaid warriors and wise protectors the coean.

In 2011, I commissioned Colin Ernst, instrument builder, to create a new stringed
instrument that might express the harmonizing, vibrating forces of the universe. It has
eight horizontal "Harp" strings and three vertical bowed (or plucked) strings. We co-
designed the instrument which he fabricated in 2012. I call it the Eye Harp because the
body of the instrument is desinged as one of the universal symbols of wisdom, the eye.

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ARA, 2013
Dohee Lee at Other Minds 18
Ara - Mermaid

Ara - Mermaid
pen drawing, 2012

   
                           
All Images Copyright © Dohee Lee, All Rights Reserved