Lee Go Woon – Leegowoon’s First Piece (Joeun Music, 2017)
Leegowoon’s First Piece is the debut album by Korean composer Lee Go Woon (이고운). The beautifully-crafted recording features contemporary music based on “gugak,” a form of Korean traditional instrumental and vocal music.
Lee Go Woon is a graduate of the Korea National University of Arts. On “Leegowoon’s First Piece,” she includes two dramatic scenes for Korean voices performed with a traditional Korean orchestra, two compositions with folk texts and one ensemble piece.
The album opens with “Jeokbyeokga for Pansori and Korean traditional orchestra.” The original Pansori epic monodramas featured one performer accompanied by a drummer. Lee Go Woon modernizes the genre by featuring pansori female singer Lee JinSeol (이진솔) and a full orchestra that deliver a masterful cinematic performance.
The second composition is the delightful “Mongyudowondo,” which was inspired by a well-known painting titled “Sleepwalking Around the Peach Garden” by Ahn Kyeon, also known as “Daewon”, one of the cherished works of Korean art. Here, the singer featured is male minyo (folk song) vocalist Cho Jungonkyu (조정규) along with the orchestra that takes the listener through various moods.
The third track is “Love? What Is It?” is the most accessible, featuring singer Kim Bora (김보라 accompanied by waltz-like music with a Korean twist.
Track 4, “Jeju-Notae for Haegeum orchestra” is a charming instrumental piece for haegeum (two string fiddle) and piri (bamboo oboe) based on melodies from Jeju Island.
Lee JinSeol returns on the last track, “Gangwon-Notae” with a medley of humorous songs that were passed from generation to generation through oral tradition.
The nice packaged physical CD booklet includes notes in Korean and English.
Buy the digital version of Leegowoon’s First Piece