Korean Music at WOMEX 2010 Opening Concert

The white nights in Denmark will bring a magical experience to the WOMEX 2010 Opening in Copenhagen: a gathering of some of the finest bands on the contemporary Korean music scene, take to the stage on the evening of Wednesday, 27 October in Danish Broadcasting’s Koncerthuset. The Chaosmos of Korean Music: Heaven, Earth, and Human, presented in association with the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism and the Korean Arts Management Service.

Tori Ensemble, Be-Being and Baramgot will reveal innovative renditions of traditional music from their homeland, presenting melodies and instruments that have been hidden too long from audiences in Europe. The high-profile Jean Nouvel concert venue in Copenhagen, afforded WOMEX delegates and artists with supreme sound conditions last year and once again will house all WOMEX nighttime performances under one roof.

The Korean delegation provides details abut the program: “According to ancient Korean texts, our universe originated from sounds. In other words, in Korea sounds represent the world of Chaosmos where Cosmos and Chaos were intermingled before the birth of the universe. Chaosmos is an aesthetic that engenders a unique philosophy of sound that invokes dynamic changes and raises awareness.

In this Global Era when civilization and industrialization are bringing unprecedented accomplishments and demands, some Koreans are reviving sounds endemic to their ancestors’ music to re-awaken waning spiritual values.

At the WOMEX opening, guests can enjoy the fruit of these musicians’ labour in works based on the three elements of the universe: Heaven, Earth and Human – the Chaosmos of Korean Music. Korea’s spiritual flow stems from Taoism, Buddhism, and Shamanism. Together, they are the basis for the country’s philosophy and arts.

Folk songs are one of the musical incarnations of this melding of ideas, but they have never been comprehensively introduced to the world music scene. These young Korean masters will guide listeners through the mystic, dynamic sounds of their traditional music.”

Images of modern Korea come in fragmentary news clips for most people on the other side of the world: tension along the North-South border; reports of rapid economic development; or a midfielder for Manchester United, who seems to surge out of nowhere to score vital goals. But in the world of music, the native sounds of Korea still remain largely unheard, despite a 5,000-year history strikingly distinct from its Asian neighbors.

Just as Ji-Sung Park’s sporting skills won over European football fans, the vitality of Korean music will come as a pleasant surprise to the uninitiated when WOMEX 2010 places it in the spotlight this October.

Author: World Music Central News Department

World music news from the editors at World Music Central


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