Okkyung Lee

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Okkyung Lee
Okkyung Lee in concert with Achim Kaufmann and Frank Gratkowski during Vive Le Jazz festival at Institut français Cologne, Germany, 15 October 2011
Okkyung Lee in concert with Achim Kaufmann and Frank Gratkowski during Vive Le Jazz festival at Institut français Cologne, Germany, 15 October 2011
Background information
Born1975 (age 46–47)
Daejeon, South Korea
GenresExperimental music
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, cellist

Okkyung Lee (born 1975 in Daejeon, South Korea) is a South Korean cellist, improviser, and composer.[1]

Lee moved to Boston in 1993, where she received a dual bachelor's degree in Contemporary Writing and Production and Film Scoring (Berklee College of Music), and a master's degree in Contemporary Improvisation (New England Conservatory of Music).

In 2000, Lee moved to New York and immersed herself in the city's downtown music scene. Since then, she has collaborated with a wide range of musicians and artists, including Laurie Anderson, Arca, David Behrman, Mark Fell, Douglas Gordon, Jenny Hval, Vijay Iyer, Christian Marclay, Lasse Marhaug, Haroon Mirza, Thurston Moore, Ikue Mori, Stephen O'Malley, Lawrence D "Butch" Morris, Jim O’Rourke, Evan Parker, Marina Rosenfeld, Wadada Leo Smith, Swans, Cecil Taylor, C. Spencer Yeh and John Zorn.

In 2013, Lee curated the Music Unlimited festival in Wels, Austria, giving it the title "The most beautiful noise on earth".[2][3]

Lee received a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant in 2010.[4] and a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award in 2015.[5] [6]



  • Nihm (Tzadik, 2005)
  • I Saw The Ghost of an Unknown Soul And It Said… (Ecstatic Peace, 2008)
  • Noisy Love Songs (For George Dyer) (Tzadik, 2010)
  • Ghil (Ideologic Organ/Editions Mego, 2013)[7]
  • Dahl-Tah-Ghi (Pica Disk, 2018)
  • Cheol-Kkot-Sae (Steel.Flower.Bird) (Tzadik, 2018)
  • Speckled Stones and Dissonant Green Dots (Notice Recordings, 2018)
  • Yeo-Neun (Shelter Press, 2020)
  • Teum (The Silvery Slit) split album with Florian Hecker (Portraits GRM, 2020)
  • 나를 (Na-Reul) (Corbett vs Dempsey, 2021)


  • Rubbings, with Christian Marclay on From The Earth to the Spheres Vol. 7 (Opax, 2005; A Silent Place, 2006). Split LP with My Cat is an Alien.
  • Still Life with Commentator, by Vijay Iyer and Mike Ladd (Savoy Jazz, 2007)
  • Check for Monsters, with Steve Beresford and Peter Evans (Emanem, 2009)
  • Spiritual Dimensions, by Wadada Leo Smith (Cuneiform Records, 2009)
  • Femina, by John Zorn (Tzadik, 2009)
  • Dicteé/Liber Novus, by John Zorn (Tzadik, 2010)
  • The Bleeding Edge, with Peter Evans and Evan Parker (psi, 2011)
  • Anicca, with Phil Minton (Dancing Wayang, 2011)
  • Cold / Burn, with Anla Courtis, C. Spencer Yeh and Jon Wesseltoft (Feeding Tube Records, 2012)
  • Almost Even Further" with 6ix (Leo Records, 2012)
  • White Cables, Black Wires, with John Edwards (Fataka, 2013)
  • Look Right, with Nina de Heney and Lisa Ullén (LJ Records, 2013)
  • Holding It Down: The Veterans' Dreams Project, by Vijay Iyer and Mike Ladd (Pi Recordings, 2013)
  • Wake Up Awesome, with Lasse Marhaug and C. Spencer Yeh (Software, 2013)[8]
  • Piper, with Jon Wesseltoft (Holidays Records, 2014)
  • Skein, with Richard Barrett, Tony Buck, Frank Gratkowski, Wilbert de Joode, Achim Kaufmann (Leo Records, 2014)
  • Seven, by Evan Parker Electroacoustic Septet (Victo, 2015)[9]
  • Live at Stone, with Chris Corsano and Bill Nace (Open Mouth, 2015)
  • A Pattern For Becoming, by Mark Fell (The Tapeworm, 2015)
  • Live at Cafe Oto, with Bill Orcutt (Otoroku, 2016)
  • Cloud of Unknowing on The Glowing Man by Swans (Mute/Young God, 2016)
  • Amalgam, with Christian Marclay (Northern Spy Records, 2016)
  • Obelisk, by Ikue Mori (Tzadik, 2017)
  • Libra Rising, with Chris Corsano and Ches Smith (Digital release only on Bandcamp, 2018)
  • The Air Around Her, with Ellen Fullman (1703 Skivbolaget, 2018)[10]


  1. ^ Ratcliff, Ben (7 January 2016). "Review: The Cellist Okkyung Lee Tests Extended Technique’s Boundaries". New York Times. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  2. ^ Der Standard (7 November 2013). "Lärmige Liebeslieder in Wels" Retrieved 9 January 2016 (in German).
  3. ^ Fellinger, Andreas "Okkyung Lee, the most beautiful noise on earth". Freistil Magazine. (reprinted in English translation by Anna Dobringer on the official website of the Music Unlimited festival). Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  4. ^ Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists, Music/Sound 2010: Okkyung Lee. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  5. ^ Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards. Doris Duke Artist Award, 2015, Jazz: Okkyung Lee. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  6. ^ "29 Mar 2018 – Andy Moor". BIMHUIS Amsterdam. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  7. ^ Pitchfork Review of Ghil by Marc Masters
  8. ^ Wiener Zeitung (15 December 2013). "Lee/Yeh/Marhaug, Wake Up Awesome". Retrieved 9 January 2016 (in German).
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ [2]

External links[edit]