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This UARTS Faculty Engineering/Arts Student Team (FEAST) will make Korean Art Song (Gagok) more accessible to English speaking students by finding Korean composed song scores, creating English translations, phoneticizations, and spoken recordings of song texts, and organizing these materials into an accessible database.

My goal is to make Korean art song more accessible to English speakers with translations and phonetics available to aid singers in study for performance. To this end, the team will collect Korean art song scores, in the initial stages by researching what’s available for loan or electronic exchange both within the US and in Korean libraries. We’ll build a database about the songs’ vocal range, whether they are for male/female voices, or if they include other instruments or multiple singers. Texts will need to be translated into English and any historic or cultural references footnoted with explanations for nonKoreans. The texts will need to have phonetics developed in the International Phonetic Alphabet (I teach this, but only with German, French, Italian, Spanish, English, and Latin) and to be recorded in a spoken fashion as practice tracks. We will do this for as much repertoire as we can find and identify as “good” (I will make that metric call!), but also with a mind to diversity, being certain not only to include the “hits” that are commonly found in Korean Song collections, but also works by women and other underrepresented groups. Once we have a sizable mass of scores, translations, phonetics, and spoken text recordings, I’ll be able to use these materials to teach a class on Korean diction and art song. I hope to make this database of translations, phonetics, and spoken recordings available to the public.

Meeting Time
Wednesdays or Fridays, 4:30-6:00pm

Students apply to a specific role on team as follows:

Acoustic Phonetic Transcription (2 Students)

Preferred Skills: Knowledge of Korean, preferably a knowledge of IPA, ability to read music a plus

Likely Majors: VOICE, PAT, LING, KRSTD

Korean Poetry & Culture (2 Students)

Preferred Skills: Knowledge of Korean language, interest in creating poetic translations, ability to read music is a plus

Likely Majors: ASIANLAN, KRSTD, HISTORY, ENGLISH, CRWRTNG 

Music Scores/Research (1 Student)

Preferred Skills: Research to find scores and call them to the library, preferably someone who knows Korean well enough to search in Korean and who can also read music to mark the high and low pitches of each song in a database and whether it’s appropriate for male/female, the instrumentation, etc.

Likely Majors: PIANO, VOICE, MUSICOL, SI

Korean Speaking & Translation (2 Students)

Preferred Skills: Beautiful speaking voice, native or bilingual fluency, comfort creating spoken recordings, ability to read music a plus to record both in rhythm and at a normal rate of speech

Likely Majors: ASIANLAN, KRSTD

Web Design (1 Student)

Preferred Skills: Ability to create a user friendly and aesthetically pleasing website, allowing the rest of the team to easily upload information, ability to read Korean a plus

Likely Majors: CS, CE, SI

Faculty Project Lead

Matthew Thompson, DMAcollaborative piano, is Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Michigan. There his duties include teaching courses in diction, art song, and opera workshop as well as as varied as groundbreaking and massively popular classes like “Video Game Music.” In addition to his classroom duties, Thompson serves as a vocal coach for voice students.

As a pianist, Dr. Thompson has performed with operatic celebrities like Thomas Hampson, Golden Mask winner Vince Yi, and even musical theater gurus like Tony Award winner, Gavin Creel. Equally comfortable collaborating with instrumentalists, Thompson has partnered with many outstanding SMTD Wind and Brass performer pedagogues, including Amy Porter, Nancy Ambrose King, Jeffrey Lyman, Bill Campbell, and Fritz Kaenzig. Thompson has performed on the Ann Arbor Symphony Chamber Music Series, the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings Series, and the Great Lakes Chamber Music Vignette Series and large ensembles including the Flint Symphony and the Michigan Philharmonic. Thompson is artistic director for the Carolyn Mawby Chorale, based in Flint Michigan, which was recently featured in the Netflix original series, Flint Town. Thompson can be heard in numerous live performances online, some of which can be streamed from Thompson’s YouTube channel and the Carolyn Mawby Chorale’s YouTube channel. He can also be heard in a recently released recording with UM alumnus and oboist, Dr. Alex Hayashi, Japonica, as well as in recording with David Ammer, trumpet, La trompette a renouvelé

In addition to his work as a pianist, Dr. Thompson’s interests in game audio have become a major component of his teaching and research profile. In 2013, Thompson became one of the first collegiate pedagogues to use video game music as a teaching tool when he created his notorious Video Game Music class. Thompson has presented multiple times at the North American Conference on Video Game Music (NACVGM), the only scholarly conference on video game music in North America (2018: “There’s no question you’ll be popular after performing these in front of your friends!” the pedagogy and performance of piano transcriptions of video game music). In 2018, Thompson was lead organizer and host for the 5th annual NACVGM, held at UM, and he continues to serve on the NACVGM program committee. Dr. Thompson chaired and presented for the first ever academic ludomusicology/sound studies track at GameSoundCon, historically an industry based conference, and he continues to serve on the advisory board for GSC. During the 20182019 school year, Thompson won a grant allowing him to create and teach the first ever collegiate studio of pianists studying video game piano transcriptions. As part of this experimental year, Thompson invited Video Game Pianist, Dr. Martin Leung, to have a residency at UM, teaching and performing, and Thompson joined Leung for Leung’s first public performance of video game piano duets. Thompson just released a world premiere recording of For the Piano, a solo piano piece by Halo and Destiny composer, Marty O’Donnell. Thompson maintains a blog which has attracted both scholarly and industry attention at videogamemusicnerd.blogspot.com and has written proactively commissioned book reviews published in the American Journal of Play.

Thompson received masters and doctoral degrees from The University of Michigan in collaborative piano, studying with his longtime mentor, Martin Katz. His undergraduate degree, with highest honors and highest distinction, is from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Thompson’s summer training included prestigious young artist programs like Song Fest, the Merola Opera Program, and Wolf Trap Opera. Summers are now typically spent teaching music to students of all levels; recently, he has been teaching at SMTD’s MPulse Solo Vocal Institute.

Students: 8

Likely Majors: ASIANLAN, CE, CRWRTNG, CS, ENGLISH, HISTORY, KRSTD, LING, MUSICOL, PAT, PIANO, SI, VOICE

Summer Opportunity: Summer research fellowships may be available for qualifying students.

Citizenship Requirements: This project is open to all students on campus.

IP/NDA: Students who successfully match to this project team will be required to sign an Intellectual Property (IP) Agreement prior to participation in January 2021.

Course Substitutions: CoE Honors