Yii Kah Hoe.

Since coming to Washington State University from Malaysia in August, Yii Kah Hoe has ventured with his microphone into nearby woods and forests, along rivers and streams, and even out onto an icy pond to capture the music of nature.

An internationally recognized musician and composer, and the university’s first Fulbright scholar in residence, Yii is teaching, researching and continuing his artistic work of composing soundscapes that incorporate elements from nature and aim to raise environmental awareness.

He will premiere his newest composition, Of the Land, created in and about the Palouse, on March 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elson S. Floyd Cultural Center. The free, public presentation, which is part of the 2023 Festival of Contemporary Artists in Music, will feature sounds of local nature and performances by music faculty Aaron Agulay, baritone, and Keri McCarthy, English horn.

Members of the audience also will play a part in the production, Yii said. Listeners will be able to move through the sounds emanating from speakers located across the space and contribute to the shifting, Palouse-based soundscape. “It will effectively transform the audience into performers in my music,” he said.

The composition, which Yii spent five months preparing, is a compilation of soundscape recordings from more than 12 different nature parks, many in the Pullman area and some in Idaho.

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