Sunken Cathedral

Sunken Cathedral

The architecture of the mind is an infinite space
Bora Yoon
Bora Yoon
New York Polyphony
Sekou Sundiata
Chris Eddleton
Peter Scherer
Catalog Number: 
new classical
new music
solo voice

New York City, NY

Release Date: 
Apr 29, 2014
Liner Notes: 
Digital Only
One Sheet: 

Sunken Cathedral is a multimedia album release (CD, Vinyl, and Gralbum, co-produced by R. Luke DuBois) by Korean-American composer, vocalist, sonic surrealist Bora Yoon. Designed as an architectural journey through the chambers of the subconscious, each track on the album illuminates a different sonic “space,” which excavates the memories, insights, and intersections in which our greatest diamonds and demons are held.  Sunken Cathedral traces death, life, rebirth and the cyclical/recombinant nature of the universe; the alchemical moment of transmutation where one medium becomes another.

Yoon creates immersive audiovisual soundscapes using digital devices, voice and found objects and instruments from a variety of cultures and centuries – evoking memory and association to formulate a cinematic storytelling through sound design.  A site-specific and architectural composer, Yoon writes for a wide spectrum of spaces ranging from an abandoned pool to a Frank Gehry building to galleries and black box theaters.

A 2014 TED fellow, Yoon’s pioneering works  have been presented at Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Nam June Paik Museum (Korea), Singapore Arts Festival, MADE Festival (Sweden), Festival of World Cultures (Poland), Park Avenue Armory, and Walker Art Center, among others.

Classically trained and steeped in a first love of choral music, Yoon is fascinated by the intersection of space and sound, maps, human Venn diagrams, handsome sounding kitchenware, sonorities and the pulleys and strings that hold everything together.

Visual album release with the Graphic Album Collective, coming Spring 2014, featuring the kinetic sculptures of artist Uram Choe.  A new application for the iPad, for listeners to visually experience and interact with musical records. 


"[A] magical record that defies genre, defies song line limitations and defies the concept of what instruments go with other instruments. A truly wonderful album, so wonderful, that so far it is my album of the year!" [FULL ARTICLE]
Tim Ritchie

"Heady, even intoxicating stuff..  Rhythmic impetus & sonic exotica combine to create an atmosphere of prayer-imbued ritual… sound sources somehow coalesce into something very much more than the sum of their parts.. [Sunken Cathedral] shows Bora Yoon at her bewildering, genre-defying best..  a tour de force of the most imaginative kind of avant-garde lyricism." 

“Yoon embraces … swirling Medieval chant, ambient soundscapes, digital noise, and a whole vocabulary of obscure noises, from murmurs and scratches, to the crisp lilt of a turning page. She forges a distinct timbral vocabulary with a motley crew of innovative soundmakers: tin cans, metronomes, Buddha boxes, old cell phones, radios, water, and coins. … The found sounds and electronic soundscapes in her music act as musical roughage, as ballast and balance to a host of sweeter sounds. Yoon’s compositions champion a visceral understanding of sound—sound as a traveling entity, sound as a revelation of space, much as light is. … [T]his acute attention to the primitive act of making sound—a willingness to set an object vibrating, to let it spin—gives Yoon’s work its distinct expressive quality." [FULL ARTICLE]
Jennifer Stock

“[H]er vocalisms [are] sometimes wordless, mostly rhapsodic, and sensual in their attention to sonic universes. … At the end all flows together in segment-after-segment, leaving one with the feeling of having journeyed to a place, a space that is rather special, both performative and landscaped inside and out. It has the quality of the universally personal, which in fact is what Bora Yoon offers to us in this suite of pieces. There is a poetry here of the celebration of existing within the emotion and experiential ups and downs of a life today. Somehow Ms. Yoon conveys that to us in this collection of works. You are left with an impression, the presence of a sound-artist composer with her own sensibilities, creating sometimes fragile, luminous assemblages, sometimes sound worlds girdered about with a more solid framework.” [FULL ARTICLE]
Greg Edwards

"[A]n impressively produced recording, and if you are intrigued by binaural effects then listening through headphones will set your pulse racing. ... Startlingly vivid bells and birdsong decorate the medieval-style vocal lines of the opening O viridissima virga, and each track has its own set of layered sonic perspectives: the ticking of Father Time larded with singing bowls and celestial voices. A piano lends a sort of Tom Waits familiarity to Finite Infinity, while sublime vocals form an overlapping mini-ensemble. ... This is a remarkable album and one which rewards exploration on a multiplicity of layers. If you are interested in what is happening at the cutting edge of today’s multi-media cross-over music making then this is a good place to look." [FULL ARTICLE]
Dominy Clements