Go to contents

ASEAN-Korean Orchestra Provides

Posted June. 02, 2009 07:36,   


ASEAN-Korean Orchestra Provides Sound of Summit

Decked out in brightly colored traditional dress, the musicians settle in their seats, adjust their strings and give their instruments one last look-over. The conductor raises his baton. It is 8 p.m. on May 31 in the Tamra Hall of the International Convention Center, Jeju.

Sounds swell, merge and fill the air. The dumdum, an Indonesian instrument made of bamboo, leads the way with a bright, clear melody. Tagging along are Koreas stringed gayageum and Vietnams similar dan trung. The notes of Myanmars saung, the harp of the Orient, and Cambodias khloy, played while farmers feed their cows, emerge. Finally, the plaintive voice of Koreas daegeum, a traditional pipe, floats above the rest.

The ASEAN-Korea Traditional Orchestra, comprising 80 musicians from 11 Asian nations, held its debut concert on Sunday. The orchestra was formed to commemorate the Korea-ASEAN summit under the motto One Asia Through Music, with a view to spurring cultural exchanges with ASEAN. It provided a rare opportunity to hear the traditional musical instruments of Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and Korea under one roof. Partici-pants from Korea included the buk drum, the wind instruments dae-geum, sogeum and taepyeongso, and the stringed haegum and ajaeng.

Sundays program featured 13 pieces to represent all nations, including Koreas traditional Kwae-Jina-Ching-Ching re-arranged with a modern flair by composer Kim Sung-kook. Other selections were Seloka, based on a Malaysian folk song; Zapin Laila Sembah, which described a traditional dance of Brunei; Reverie from Cambodia, a musical painting of a fantasy romance; and Thailands Rices Life, detail-ing the career of a grain of rice.

The finale was We Love You, ASEAN, a song that swayed to the Korean traditional rhythm hwimori-jangdan while repeating Hello, I love you, thank you,in each countrys own language and beats.

I hope music will provide the catalyst for the countries of Asia to unite their strengths like the nations of the EU, said Dr. Park Bum-hoon, president of Chung-Ang University in Seoul and chief director of the orchestra. Just like our players, Asians will come together through music to open an era of Asian culture in the 21st century.

The ASEAN-Korea Traditional Orchestra will perform in Seoulin, the Main Hall of the National Theater of Korea on June 4 at 7:30 p.m.

By Cho Yi-young lycho@donga.com