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Korean traditional music in transition

Posted January. 20, 2021 08:18,   

Updated January. 20, 2021 08:18


Daegeum beatboxing, a pipe organ played along with Korean classical music orchestra and sounds of pyeongyeong mixed with a modular synthesizer.

These somewhat inconceivable combinations are waking up the Korean classical music industry in the new year. Those who enjoyed music of Leenalchi and Akdan Gwangchil last year may want to try more experimental combination of musical instruments.

The National Orchestra of Korea’s “Conflict and harmony: Concerto” to open on January 27 will feature five Korean classical songs. A concerto with daegeum, cello and Korean classical music orchestra “Sing to the sky” will feature daegeum beatboxing. Daegeum player Kim Jeong-seung invented a technique inspired by the ‘flute beatboxing,’ through which he can create melodies and rhythms at once. Organist Shin Dong-il who played in the world’s first pipe organ Korean classical music concerto will play with the orchestra team again for another premier song “In the illustration.” The concerto will be held at the Lotte Concert Hall in Songpa-gu, Seoul at 7:30 p.m. on January 27. Price: 20,000 – 50,000 won. 02-2280-4114.

The traditional art performance of the “New works of the year” selected and supported by the Arts Council Korea will also make rather eccentric sounds from January 29. Sinnoi, a team with unique combination, will perform in the premier. The team debuted in 2019 seeks rather strange but beautiful harmony of traditional singing (Kim Bora), contrabass (Lee Won-sool) and electronic music (Ha Im). Grand Theater of Daehakro Arts Theater in Seoul, on January 29 and 30.

Pyeongyeong and synthesizer will create sounds in harmony on February 26 to 28 at the same venue. ‘“Gwang (轟)” will be directed by Lim Yong-ju who played in a Korean classical music group “Gongmyeong.” Pyeongyeong is a unique musical instrument with 16 stones, which is sometimes seen in the Korean court music such as the royal ancestral rites music. The performance will mix sounds of geomungo, daegeum, percussion and modular synthesizer along with pyeongyeong.

A new pansori performance “Leafie, A Hen Into the Wild” to be showcased at the Grand Theater of ARKO Arts Theater on February 3 to 7 reinvents a children’s story with pansori. Ji Gi-hak will write songs and direct the performance, which will be interpreted by four pairs of singers and drummers. The four teams will create their own “pansori hen” respectively.