Koh / Staudlin / Even - Word Plays | RECORD STORE DAY

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Emily Koh draws interest out of the things many of us may not even notice, and these overlooked minutiae and intricacies lead to new horizons in her work. Her new album [word]plays is full of frenetic and sonorous beauty, and represents her interest and exploration of the sounds, meanings, and interpretations of words, as a multi-linguist artist whose native tongue is an English-based creole language (Singlish). [word]plays is an album of microtonal works for saxophone(s) inspired by the similarly named literary technique in which witty word-use becomes the subject of the work. The central works in [word]plays are three saxophone quartets - homonym (2013), heteronym/ (2016) and cryptonym: (2018) - composed for the Amigo Saxophone Quartet, PRISM Quartet, and New Thread Quartet respectively. These quartets take their inspiration from the meanings of the compound words formed when the -onym suffix is attached after a root word. Homonyms are words that are spelled identically and sound the same, but have different meanings. Heteronyms are words that are spelled identically, but are pronounced differently, and have different meaning. Scryptonyms are code names or secret words. Flanking the quartets are medi+aTion (2016) and b(locked. Orders) (2019). These solo works are named with neologisms which include special symbols, giving these titles a polysemic quality. #medi+aTion (2016) can be read as 'meditation' or 'mediation', and looks within for inner meanings and unfoldings. b(locked. Orders) (2019) can be read as 'blocked borders' or 'blocked orders', and sonifies the stifled voices of immigrants in their adoptive countries, as well as silenced minorities within their home countries. The version of b(locked. Orders), with video art by Michiko Saiki can be viewed at emilykoh. #net