A staple of the New York improvisation scene, the cellist and composer Okkyung Lee released her latest album two months ago. “In Stardust” is dedicated to the Korean cartoonist Kang Kyung-ok, who created a manhwa series under that name, a sci-fi story about a normal high school girl who is later revealed to be the heir to an interstellar kingdom. She was meant to be sent off to the universe but ended up on earth.
Seth Parker Woods, cellist
Du Yun’s “San” for cello and electronics is a modern-day twisted vocalise, reaching back in time to honor the guqin, an ancient Chinese string instrument. The piece seems to transport the listener to a long-ago era, and the cellist Matt Haimovitz draws out the complex conversation and storytelling buried within this work through high, soaring melodies, unmetric rhythmic patterns, lyrical scratches and scrapes.