NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND
Aspiring to enhance lives and encourage empathy through music and performance
Notes from Underground is a genre-fusion musical project. Drawing influences from symphonic movements, jazz greats, folkloric griots, classic literature and physical theatre, they combine contemporary classical with borderline jazz and new world over hip hop breaks and Afro-Brazilian rhythms.
They integrate elements of movement and sometimes storytelling into their projects. They aim to engage thoughtfully and captivate emotionally, whilst encouraging empathy. Expect driving beats, exquisite melodies and intoxicating live shows!
After graduating from the RCM Yoon-ji Kim decided to move as far from London as possible in order to experience ‘real’ life. Although she appreciated the beauty and artistry of the classical world, having spent hours upon hours finessing her musical capabilities, she was ready for new adventures.
Unintentionally, she ended up in Hastings and settling in, resolved to immerse herself in nature and write the novel of the century.
She was disappointed to discover how close to London she still was. Worse than this, it gradually became clear that the ability to read copious amounts of inspiring literature was not the same as the practice of writing an instant classic and the fantasy of her grand ambitions disintegrated from the dizzy heights of unrealistic certainty to the glum grey of reluctant acceptance.
Three decades previously, Julian Humphries had been desperate to learn the drums. His father had considered this, then offered him piano lessons. A few lukewarm attempts with a dull teacher had him drop the subject.
Disheartened, he threw himself into break-dancing and found his way into African drumming, teaching himself and sharing moves and beats with other enthusiasts.
This led to an interest in theatre and before he knew it, he was performing, teaching and directing in music, movement and theatre. Jamming and experimenting, he created unique methods of studying and educating and formed his own distinct blend of styles.
These two worlds collided.
Yoon-ji rediscovered her love for composing and performing and Julian finally got on the drum kit.
Her obsession with emotional storytelling, his devotion to infectious rhythms and their mutual passion for ground-breaking contemporary performance arts combined into an eclectic infusion that became Notes from Underground.
Hailing from polar opposite backgrounds, they often disagree heatedly but attempt to use empathy to negotiate a compromise.
With the greatest of respect to the awe-inspiring people who have paved the way before them they devise structured methods of composition, embracing designs that have come before them but using the freedom to smash the rules when necessary to attempt to revitalise the standard into a dishevelled but coherent form of expression.
Their aim is to push the boundaries of artistic composition and presentation and embrace the complex spectrum of human experience by creating music and performance that unites people in common ground.
Yoon-ji Kim has worked as a multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, performer and composer in a variety of projects, ranging in style from contemporary classical and Latin jazz to experimental world and psychedelic soul as well as radical physical theatre and immersive musicals.
She is interested in new forms of art that push the boundaries of what is expected, in genre, structure or performance, and fuse intricate techniques with emotional vulnerability and intellectual curiosity.
London born percussionist, Julian Humphries, studied tabla in India, Manding and Wolof music in West Africa and Afro-Brazilian carnival music in Salvador, Bahia. Julian has worked as a professional musician for over thirty years, touring in bands, theatre companies and dance troupes.
Currently, Julian runs his own percussion school, which he opened in 2005, and works as an orchestral musician as well as playing and recording with some of the country's most exciting artists and producers.