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Kicking Against Convention”
Classical music is ruled by composers that are thought of as deities. Composers like Bach, Mozart and Beethoven are the undisputed masters of the genre and they nobody can argue with their compositions being the blueprints for the foundation of classical music. But for the Korean-born JooWan Kim, studying the masters at the Berklee School Of Music made him…a bit rebellious. Kicking against the rote conventions of classical composition, Kim found himself drawn towards hip-hop and the dynamism and energy made him wonder if grafting hip-hop with classical was possible. Turns out it was. Teaming up with his college pal Christopher Nicholas, Kim founded Ensemble Mik Nawooj, an invigorating and vibrant musical collective that’s got everything: flute, clarinet, drums, bass, a lyric soprano and an MC. Using an inventive technique called Method Sampling, as the basis for the architecture of each composition, Ensemble Mik Nawooj are one of the most original outfits out there. In this conversation with Kim and MC Sandman, the two talk to Alex about protest music, the value of studying music in higher education and how coming from two different worlds ended up forming one of the most creative working situations in modern music. The band’s new album Death Become Life is out now.