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Invitation to a Musical Buffet

Posted February. 07, 2007 07:05,   


“‘Journey with Global Musical Instruments’ seems like a buffet. People go to buffets to taste various kinds of food, rather than eating a large amount of food. When we want to have something really delicious, we tend to look for a specialty restaurant. It is my performance that links students to specialty music concerts,” said Woo Kwang-hyuk, a professor of the Korean National University of Arts, in reference to a world music concert with 100 music instruments from 60 countries. The concert has been praised as a ‘living music museum’ and a ‘global journey you can enjoy in your seat.’ The performance has been conducted 200 times as a nationwide music program for youth since 2001.

The Sorbonne graduate bought hundreds of musical instruments at flea markets in Paris until he returned to Korea in 1995. Their prices differed, from a few thousand won to 5.0 million won. After he returned, he played each instrument and lectured on the history of music. He became popular during his college and corporate lectures, which developed into a formal performance.

“As I was addicted to practicing any musical instruments when I joined a music band during my school days, I could play a hundred musical instruments. Those are not familiar ones easily found in orchestras. Students were surprised when I played Egyptian, Middle Eastern and Indian music, though they had ignored third world music such as African and Asian music.”

He plays with the Bitsori Ensemble, a professional performance group, using rare instruments including those excavated from the tombs of ancient kingdoms, a Scottish back pipe, a Rumanian Pan Flute, a Caribbean Bay Calypso drum, and an Indonesian Bamboo Bell ensemble. He presents fantastic musical effects using spiral shellfish, buffalo horns, oceanic drums with resonating wave sounds, and arrows that make ghost sounds.

“Musical instruments arouse curiosity and make people move. People rush to the stage and want to touch them after the performance ends. While students are passive in musical theory class, their eyes started to shine when they see these instruments. The more your curiosity is stimulated, the more it grows.”

His performance is a part of a series of experience-enriching concerts for youth, which are held by the Dong-A Ilbo and sponsored by Hanjin Heavy Industries. They start from the Uijeongbu Arts Center in Gyeonggi Province on February 14 and will take place in six cities every two months. The first performance will feature ‘Journey with Global Musical Instruments’ led by Woo Kwang-hyuk and A-Seed, an a capella group, and Macrew, a hip hop group with moderator Kyl Sung-won, a musical actor and singer.

Ticket is free. For more information : 02-2020-1620