Dr. Namji Kim, a professor of piano at UW-Eau Claire, has released "Les 13 Barcarolles," her debut CD recording of music by composer Gabriel Fauré.
Having grown up in France surrounded by the influence of Fauré and his contemporaries’ music, Kim says that it’s important to her to give his music a platform. “I had the opportunity to study with professors who studied with pianists who performed for Fauré, who premiered many of Gabriel Fauré’s music. So I felt that I had to share that. Also because Fauré’s music is often overshadowed by his more famous contemporaries such as Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel. I wanted to help redress the balance a little. My primary goal is to help generate a bit more interest and a deeper appreciation for his music. His music was considered to be the music for the salon, not music which is essential, and I completely disagree with it, because delicate things — delicate art — can be much more powerful, in their own certain ways, than flashy, openly powerful works.”
Dr. Kim went on sabbatical leave to record the music and write a booklet to accompany the CD. “It was the first time I had the opportunity to record in a professional studio recording,” she says. “It’s a different experience from performing live. You don’t have the immediate gratification of a live audience, so that can be a little bit disconcerting if you’re not used to recording by yourself. It’s just you, your instrument and the recording engineer.”
She was grateful to the music and theatre arts department chair, Dr. Gretchen Peters, for her support, as well as to her recording engineer for his patience. “The artistry that went into just editing the takes, editing the parts of the recording — it takes lots of listening skills and it takes lots of know-how. I was just amazed and impressed by the industry and the artistic skills of the recording engineer. That gave me more of an understanding about recording arts, the recording industry, recording engineering, which I needed to know. I’ve only heard about it — I didn’t know how much work it was for the record engineer, because without the record engineer, you cannot do anything.”
“Most of all, it was a learning experience,” Kim says. “There were moments which were joyful and moments which were difficult, because I was not used to the process. But I felt that I learned a lot.”
To purchase Dr. Kim’s CD, you can find it on Amazon and on the Barnes & Noble website.
*To learn more about what it takes to produce a CD, check out UW-Eau Claire’s Recording Arts Certificate program.