Quilted Dialogues mainly consists of two layers of sounds that I grew up with. First, there is the phone call between my mom and my grandma. What I thought was so fond was that every time they called each other, they would start by asking "did you eat?". This reminded me of a Korean word "식구(shikgu)," which means family – this doesn't mean a blood-related family, but a group of people who eat together. Also, my mom's side of the family is from a city called 여수(Yeosu) and speaks 전라남도(Jeollanamdo) dialect, which has a very distinct and warm intonation. Therefore, I decided to make a melody based on how my mom and my grandma says "did you eat."
The second layer is the chorale that appears in the middle of the piece and in the coda. Since before I was born, my mom was a big lover of piano music and, as soon as she started working, she bought an upright piano for herself. Few years later, she had me, and this piano became my favorite part of the day. I played classical music, jazz, The Beatles and all sorts of music on that piano and sometimes plucked the melodies I came up with. In Quilted Dialogues, the chorale I have is an imagined music. Since my memory of playing the piano is all blurry now and I couldn't find one melody that would represent my childhood, I decided to come up with an imagined piano music in the style that I would have played as a kid. Overall, the process of writing Quilted Dialogues to me was a conversation between generations and a journey to a deeper understanding of my background.
Quilted Dialogues is a part of a bigger work titled Impressions of House and Home, a four-part suite written by the composers of KOI Collective. The work was premiered at Oberlin, OH in February 2019 at KOI Collective's Inaugural Concert by Eleanore Macphee (violin), Elizabeth Kate Hall-Keough (cello) and Charlotte Hill (piano).