Byungki Hwang: The Best of Korean Gayageum Music (Arc/Elite)

 |   |  <1 min read

Byungki Hwang: Hamadan (second movement, for gayageum and janggu, 2000)
Byungki Hwang: The Best of Korean Gayageum Music (Arc/Elite)

At the Auckland Arts Festival AK '07 one of the most fascinating (if least attended) events was an afternoon concert of tea music by a Korean ensemble -- essentially traditional music about the qualities of tea, and performed while tea was being prepared.

While you might have come away thinking it takes a helluva long time to get a cup of tea in Korea, the music was sublime.

This album by Korea's acknowledged master of the gayageum contains a cycle of such tea music pieces (for the stringed instrument, the gayageum, and voice) and a number of other equally enchanting tunes.

These are all contemporary works although obviously refer to a long and estimable tradition, but for even those unfamaliar with Korean music on any level this music -- especially the instrumental tracks which form the bulk of the 22 tracks -- is quite transporting.

Meditative or joyous ballads (which can sound like avant-garde, acoustic indie-pop) abound.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

WOMAD TARANAKI PHOTO ESSAY (2018): The world of music, arts and images

WOMAD TARANAKI PHOTO ESSAY (2018): The world of music, arts and images

Because a Womad festival is about different people, faces, costumes and art from around the world, it is a colourful event and lends itself to a simple photo essay to give the flavour of the three... > Read more

Vayo: Tango (Pantaleon)

Vayo: Tango (Pantaleon)

Every journalist-cum-travel writer who goes to Argentina writes about the seduction of tango, the sensual poetry of the dance and so on. To be honest, having been there, it's hard not to. Like... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Various Artists: Chicago Plays the Stones (Raisin' Music/Southbound)

Various Artists: Chicago Plays the Stones (Raisin' Music/Southbound)

At first glance we mistook this for Chicago the band playing the Rolling Stones (and that would have been a quick goodbye) but of course it makes sense that Chicago (the city) blues musicians would... > Read more

LED ZEPPELIN REVISITED (2012): A celebration of excess

LED ZEPPELIN REVISITED (2012): A celebration of excess

Recently I played Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love at high volume through very large speakers. Nothing unusual I suppose, except it was to university students, none of them pursuing a music... > Read more