Peter S. Shin


bits torn from words


Bits torn from words (2019) for 8 voices
Bits torn from words (2019) was commissioned for the 2018/2019 ACF CONNECT, a program of the American Composers Forum. Written for and premiered by Roomful of Teeth for their 10th anniversary.

Duration: 20'
Premiere: 8/23/19; Roomful of Teeth; MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA

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Program Notes

I can spend hours overthinking the right decisions for the simplest tasks. I dread being alone in social settings. I get nervous ordering a coffee in Koreatown in fear of my limited language capacity being exposed by the barista.

The Korean language I first learned quickly dissipated with my immersion in my hometown of Kansas City, Missouri and I have been reconciling with my dual Korean American identity ever since. Meditating on the 14 single consonants of the Korean alphabet, this piece reflects my daily practice of the language I desire to speak naturally again, and also serves as a reminder to dispute my day-to-day irrational anxieties. If it doesn’t go perfectly, if I am alone in a crowd, if my Korean gets exposed, how bad would it be?