INTO THE LIGHT MUSIC OF KOREA 5

Korea Arts Management Service

Into the Light, MUSIC OF KOREA is to introduce Korean traditional music to international audiences.

Park Min-hee
Park Min-hee is a young gagok singer known to have versatile vocal timbre and a great vocal range. Park’s voice is serene and calm—ull of mystical tones that speak to the deep inner self and a mind in contemplation. She exhibits great vocal control and production that expresses the spectrum of human emotions, which are indeed complicated and personal. Indirect expression is another aspect of the beauty of gagok. Metaphors and poetic words, all about love, are revealed in exceptional text settings through elaborate melismatic vocal lines, as if love were precious and hidden, only able to be expressed through music rather than words. She breaks conventional boundaries in her gagok performances. Park has been working with a number of other performing arts media and genres, such as poetry, language, physical movements, and fine arts, creatively searching for and experimenting with new ways of bringing gagok to contemporary audiences. 

The renowned music critic, Yun Jung-kang, wrote, “Park Min-hee is an intelligent artist who is not afraid of the stage and artistic environment changes ... she profoundly understands the contemporary role of a traditional singer, as a homo loquens ...”
Finally, I feel like I know all about GAGOK and react with it soundly. She and GAGOK changed me. Now I desire Gakok through Park Minhee. _Journal Auditorium, Yoon Jung-gang (music critic)
Most traditional art-form became most radical. Park Minhee introduce s GAGOK directing the visual and auditory images like vision and hallucination. Her faint and graceful voice sounds like calling a ghost. _Yonhapnews, Kang Il-jung guest reporter


Park Min-hee | Baramdo

Contact:
minipark227@gmail.com

Park Min-hee | Baramdo
Park Kyung-so
PARK Kyung-so (South Korea) is one of the Korea's most active Gayageum artists playing in various fields such as traditional, contemporary music with an open-mind to experiment, avant-garde, as well as conversance with pop and classical Korean music. As an internationally promising gayageum artist, PARK has been invited from many festivals and was selected for various musical projects such as KOR-AUS project “makroPHONIA” and “One Beat” fellow, which is supported by the Department of States of the U.S.

PARK has graduated from Korea National University of Arts with Bachelor and Master Degree in Traditional Arts, and is currently in the PhD program in Seoul National University. She is active as a member of the Gayageum Ensemble AURA, and the Oriental Express. She is also lecturing at Korea National University of Arts, Chungwoon University, and Yeoju Institute of Technology.
She released 4 solo albums including "Fragments Beyond" and "Dung-tta"


PARK Kyung-so | Dung-tta

Contact:
kyungso.park@gmail.com

PARK Kyung-so | Dung-tta
Bulsechul
The word "Bulsechul" roughly translates as "something extraordinary and without equal." Indeed, the young musicians in Bulsechul take their name very seriously - proving themselves in every performance. Bulsechul creates a music that is utterly authentic, while at the same time appealing to contemporary sensibilities; modern and ambitious without being trendy or superficial. Their mission statement is no less extraordinary than the name they have chosen for themselves, namely to create a "City of Pungryu!" (Pungryu is the foundation for all traditional Korean aesthetics - the love of nature, the elegant cadence of poetry, graceful dances, and of course, music). Each member of Bulsechul is an accomplished master of his instrument: Gayageum, Geomungo, (both are zithers, one plucked, the other struck with a dowel), Ajaeng (a bowed zither), Daegeum (a bamboo flute), Haegeum (a two-string fiddle) and Piri (a bamboo oboe) and Guitar. 

Their encyclopedic knowledge of the modes, melodies and rhythms of Korean music provide the sonic building blocks for their artistic explorations. Rather than attempting a forced stylistic fusion, Bulsechul’s music is organic. The influence of western folk rock and chamber jazz can occasionally be heard, but have been transformed and now speak with a Korean accent. Together, this diverse and colorful band demonstrates the vitality of 21st century Korean chamber music, drawing all of us closer to their fabulous “City of Pungryu.”
LEE Joon : Gayageum
JEON Woo-seok : Geomungo
KIM Jin-wook : Daegeum
PARK Gye-jeon : Piri
Kim Yong-ha : Guitar
PARK Je-heon : Ajaeng
CHOI Deok-ryeol : Guitar, Composition
Bae Jeong-chan : Perccusion


Bulsechul | Puneori

Contact:
bulsechulim@naver.com

Bulsechul | Puneori
JEONG Dae-seok
The current version of the geomungo sanjo, known as the Jung Dae-seok school of sanjo, was completed in 1988 by Master Jung himself. Unique among existing sanjo schools, the melodic formation and phrase structures are Master Jung's own creative output and expression accumulated and inspired from a lifetime dedicated to erforming and practicing versions and styles he knew and learned from the legendary master artists of his time. In comparison to other sanjo versions, where the section of junggoje (a melodic style taken from pansori) is performed on the fifth fret, Jung's version the melodic type of deureongjo (another melodic reference taken from pansori) is now delivered using the fourth fret. 

The Jung Dae-seok school of sanjo is meaningful in a variety of ways and is praised and admired by performers and critics alike as a complete work of art showing exceptional artistry that has been reborn since the first geomungo sanjo was introduced by Master Baik Nak-Jun nearly one hundred years ago. Known to have originated during the ancient Goguryeo Kingdom (BC 37–D 668), the geomungo (6-string zither) has long been loved by the Korean literati, who used it for self-discipline and meditation. A bamboo plectrum is held in the right hand and roduces sound by either hitting or plucking the strings. Pitches are controlled by the left hand by touching the fixed bridges or frets, which total 16, on the surface of the instrument’s sound board, which is made from the paulownia tree.


JEONG Dae-seok | Jeong Dae-seok Geomungo Sanjo

JEONG Dae-seok | Jeong Dae-seok Geomungo Sanjo

JEONG Dae-seok | Jeong Dae-seok Geomungo Sanjo

Contact:
gomungo@hanmail.net

HAN Chung-eun
Han Chung-eun is one of the most influential woodwind players today and is also a principal member of the KBS traditional music orchestra. Besides his traditional training and performances, Han has frequently appeared on television and radio broadcasts as a leading member in a variety of chamber ensembles as well as a soloist of the daegeum (transverse bamboo flute), sogeum (small flute), and danso (vertical bamboo flute). He has also collaborated with top K-pop artists such as BoA and Park Jung-hyun, among others. Han’s musical collaborations have expanded globally to include performances with the American vocalist and conductor Bobby McFerrin, British legend guitarist Martin Taylor, Swedish jazz guitarist Ulf Wakenius, and composer and pianist Ryo Kunihiko.

KBS World Radio described him as “competent in many areas as a jack-of-all-trades . . . He is the young Da Vinci of Korea . . . His music has a depth and breadth unusual for a Korean traditional musician.”
Han’s creative output can be found among his own compositions for daegeum and danso, showcasing his highly acclaimed artistry and the instruments’ unique timbres. Han has released two albums, Morning and Forest.


HAN Chung-eun | Starlight Forest

Contact:
iris.you@am.sony.com

HAN Chung-eun | Starlight Forest
Gamin (Hyosun kang)
Gamin is 46th yisuja, a technique successor, of the Important Intangible Cultural Asset for piri and Daechita, and one of the most celebrated piri and taepyeongso (Korean traditional oboe family) performers in Korea today. Gamin has received numerous awards and prizes from some of the most prestigious music competitions, including the grand prize from Nangye Gugak Competition in 1993, Dong-A Gugak Competition in 1996, and the New Artist Award from the Korean Art Critics Association in 2006. From 2001 to 2010, she was a member and assistant principal player of the Contemporary Gukak Orchestra at the National Gukak Center, the hub for training and preserving Korean traditional music. Having been interested in producing her own music, she has released three albums; “Attraction” was the first album made to popularize piri music to the general public. The “Juxtaposition” explores the harmony between the oriental instrument piri and the western instrument marimba. The third album, “Progression” contains more progressive contemporary music that features various instruments including synthesizer. Today, she produces interdisciplinary projects that are in collaboration with international artists, and expands her musical realm to multi-complex art projects in new formality. Her recent project, “Eight Sounds,” utilizes the structure of a museum as a means to express her artistic vocabulary.

In 2011, she was a recipient of residency program grant from the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism and has toured for lecture concerts at Harvard University, Dartmouth University, and University of Pennsylvania in the U.S.. She also gave a solo recital and recorded improvisational works with local musicians at Bennett Media Studio in New York. Currently, she is a candidate of Ph. D. in Traditional music at Seoul National University and writes her own column for the magazine, “Arts and Culture.”gamin is a master No. 46 of the Important Intangible Cultural Asset for piri and Daechita, and one of the most celebrated piri and taepyeongso (Korean traditional oboe family) performers in Korea today . Interested in producing her own music, she has released three albums. She produces interdisciplinary projects that are in collaboration with international artists, and expands her musical realm to multi-complex art projects in new formality. Currently, she is a candidate of Ph. D. in traditional music at Seoul National University.


Gamin (Hyosun kang) | Jeongseon Arirang

Gamin (Hyosun kang) | Jeongseon Arirang
Juris Kuns
Juris Kuns is an instrumental ensemble consisting of five young ambitious musicians who use instruments from both the East and West—coustic and bass guitars, gayageum (12-string zither), janggu (doubleheaded hourglass-shaped drum), and percussion—entered on the multitalented artist, Kim Juri, who plays the two-string spike fiddle, haegeum. Apart from “assumed” and trendy stylistic fusion, Juris Kuns creates a highly original and astonishing sound that crosses the border between tradition and modernity, all accentuated and reinforced with the lyrical expression of the haegeum. Remaining intact from its first introduction to Korea from China in the 12th century, the haegeum continues to retain its sonority of antiquity, rustic simplicity, and naivete, yet it is surprisingly modern at other times, the bow trapped in between the two strings creating a piercing and edgy resonance. Perhaps that is why the haegeum is known for constantly seeking freedom! Juris Kuns recently released their first album, Juri's First Passage, which has drawn the attention of music critics and listeners alike for the innovative new music for haegeum. 

Music critic Seo Jung Min-gap comments, “Kim Ju-ri does not limit herself to common ideas of the beauty of haegeum but has a strong conviction to seek freedom . . . she goes beyond the expected lyricism from the instrument, achieved by being truthful to herself . . .”

Juris Kuns | Yeomyangchun, Revisited

Juris Kuns | Yeomyangchun, Revisited

Related Video

Contact:
juris.kuns@gmail.com

Ensemble Sinawi
“Translating Korean Tradition into a Contemporary Musical Language.”(Soulful sounds to soothe the modern spirit) - “Translating Korean Tradition into a Contemporary Musical Language.”Ensemble SINAWI’s explorations of Korea’s musical heritage has led them to discover the tremendous amount of expressive potential in adapting traditional rhythms and melodies to create new and authentical Korean improvisational musical forms. Drawing inspiration from the ecstatic rhythms of Pungmul, shaman rituals and the impassioned melodies of Pansori and Sanjo, Ensemble SINAWI crafted a musical bridge from Joseon to Jazz.Lee Bongguen’s vocal and chamber group consist an Ajaeng bowed psaltery, Gayageum zither and traditional Korean percussion perform passionate modern versions of classic Pansori, and Shamanistic rituals or Gut (굿) as well as original compositions by pianist and ensemble director, Jeong Songhee. There is an intimacy in ensemble SINAWI's music, perhaps that is why they perform so many love songs.

Ensemble SINAWI’s collective musical vision challenges the conventions of “fusion” and “crossover” music. There is nothing forced or artificial here, only passion and extraordinary creativity. The rhythms and melodies you hear are the same as those that have been practiced for generations by Korean musicians of improvisation while the song lyrics all come from classical poetries of Pansori. The stunning juxtaposition of authentic Korean sounds within the context of a chamber-jazz performance provides a dynamic and exciting encounter with an extraordinary new form of traditional music for the 21st century.

SHIN Hyunsik - Ajaeng
KIM Jihye - Janggu, Percussion
HA Sera - Gayageum
JEONG Songhee - Piano, Composition
LEE Bongguen - Vocal, Jing

Ensemble Sinawi | Donghae Rhapsody

Ensemble Sinawi | Donghae Rhapsody

Ensemble Sinawi | Donghae Rhapsody

Related Video

Contact:
sinawi9@gmail.com

KWAK Soo-eun and Gayageum Ensemble La on G
Kwak Soo-eun is an inspirational musician on the gayageum as well as a composer. As reflected in her intellectual approach to performing and composing music for the gayageum, the instrument representing the heritage and history of Korea, Kwak has been a constant musical presence for both traditional and contemporary music-making, unequaled by others of her generation. Kwak is also one of the musicians who popularized the modern version of the 25-string gayageum instead of the original 12-string one. She expanded the body and repertoire for that new instrument, often getting criticized for mimicking the sound of the Western harp. However, Kwak’s music has neither a “Western” nor “harp” sound. Rather, she has seen an opportunity for a broader unfathomable expression and language that entices the artistic conversation between the musician and listeners.

According to the renowned music critic Yoon Jungkang, “Kwak hopes to transcend the boundaries of raw ability and trained talent to participate in a purely artistic tradition. She does not pursue her creativity in an insulated way but aspires to a new level . . . If she composes and plays faithfully following or believing in her great artistry and authenticity, as she thus far has done . . . we can expect her to inherit the mantle of Master Hwang Byungki, the founder of new music for the gayageum.”


KWAK Soo-eun and Gayageum Ensemble La on G
| Sanjo for 25-string Gayageum

KWAK Soo-eun and Gayageum Ensemble La on G | Sanjo for 25-string Gayageum

KWAK Soo-eun and Gayageum Ensemble La on G
| Sanjo for 25-string Gayageum

Contact:
dreamerlady@hanmail.net

CHA Seung-min
Cha Seung-min, a multitalented artist of the new emerging generation of Korean music, is a daegeum (transverse bamboo flute) performer, composer, online cartoonist, illustrator, and a travel writer. She made her debut with her own Project Shiro, combining music with poetry and literature. After receiving the World Music Award in the 2009 Korean Music Project Competition, held under the auspices of the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Gugak FM Broadcasting System, Cha has been bringing the public her own song compositions with the comfortable and familiar instrumental arrangements of traditional music, accessible and attractive to public audiences. She released her project album, JANYA (Evolver Music, NYC) while completing the artist-in-residence program in New York City during 2010–1. She then returned to Korea and released her first commercial album, What Flower Wants to Say (LIZ MUSIC, Korea), with support from the Korean Cultural Arts Committee in 2011–012.

Cha recently held her 4th concert in July 2013 with her composition of the song cycle, “Sumuk Garden,” a set of poems by Jang Seok-nam, reflecting a poetic garden as portrayed in a calligraphy brush painting. She calls herself as a “multi-artist” who hopes to diffuse her personal and artistic experiences through music, drawing, and writing to communicate with people around the world.

CHA Seung-min | A Six-line Poem

CHA Seung-min | A Six-line Poem

CHA Seung-min | A Six-line Poem

Contact:
okdolmin@gmail.com

Vinalog
Vinalog is a world music group organized in 2003 consisting of four male musicians who all have vast experience in Korean music as well as in other genres of music. The Name “Vinalog” is the combination of two words “Vinyl” and “Analog”, representing the group’s philosophy pursuing a warm, rich contrasting the ‘digital’ world contemporary Koreans live in. Vinalog envisions creative music that is easily understood by the people of all ages of any region around the world.

LEE Young-sub / Daegeum, Sogeum, Taepyeongso, Danso, Percussion
GAHNG Hong-gu / BassKIM Jong-soo / DrumsHWANG Keun-ha / Percussion
YUN Su-kyung / Ajaeng, PercussionKIM Myung-whan / Piano, Keyboard
SHIN Hyun-suk / Haegeum


Vinalog | A Hymn

Vinalog | A Hymn

Related Video

Contact:
fullmoon4569@hanmail.net

Noreum Machi
Since its foundation in 1993, New Wave Korean Music Group, Noreum Machi has been trying to re-discover its traditional music that suits our time by communicating with various artists around the world. Noreum Machi continuously communicates with other kinds of music through the basic traditional Korean music(sound, beat), without loosing its traditional structure. The group seeks unique musical language of traditional Korean music(beat, breathing, mordent) through the members’ own interpretation. As a result, Noreum Machi has been invited to numerous music festivals so that Korean traditional music can be shared globally. By doing so, it has been developing its own special and unique repertoire. 

Noreum Machi pursues to become a musical group that communicates and exchanges with people around the world, to deliver its profound impression to the world. Noreum Machi is pursues to become a musical group that communicates and exchanges with people around the world so that we can deliver its profound impression to the world.


Noreum Machi KIM Ju-hong | Tajing


Contact
juhongman@gmail.com

Noreum Machi KIM Ju-hong | Tajing
YUN Jin-chul
There is no doubt that Yun Jin-chul is a naturally gifted pansori (narrative sung drama) singer, but he is also a real actor, and Yun loves being an actor onstage more than anything. Born in 1964 in Mokpo, a small seaside town, Yun was praised as a musical prodigy by Korean traditional musicians from a very early age. Yun started learning pansori at age 11 from the late Master Jeong Gwon-jin, one of the most prominent pansori singers, who had been an official holder of Important Intangible Cultural Asset No. 5, pansori, especially the gangsanje (mountain and river) lineage. Yun won numerous competitions at a very young age, gaining the spotlight as a talented young kid. After his teacher's early death, however, he had to study and practice on his own to attain his teacher's legacy and pansori philosophy. 

Now Yun is the only living pansori singer in Korea who can completely sing Jeokbyeokga, one of the five surviving epic stories of pansori and considered the most complicated and musically delicate pansori. Anyone who listens to him singing pansori is immediately touched by his genuineness onstage. His audience admires his authentic voice and falls in love with his personality. No matter how big or small the stage, he always tries to show everything he has to the audience until he literally passes out—his is exactly why he has been loved by his fans for such a long time.


YUN Jin-chul | Saetaryeong(from Jeokbyeokga)

YUN Jin-chul | Saetaryeong(from Jeokbyeokga)

Related Video

Contact:
lizmusic.kr@gmail.com

Korean Arts Management Service
Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Translate with Google
Home
Explore
Nearby
Profile