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

Various Artists; So Frenchy So Chic 2012 (Cartell/Border)

Various Artists; So Frenchy So Chic 2012 (Cartell/Border)

The annual double discs under the banner So Frenchy So Chic -- "the unofficial soundtrack" to the Alliance Francaise French Film Festivals in Australia -- allow the casual listener to... > Read more

Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca: Isabela (Mopiato/Southbound)

Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca: Isabela (Mopiato/Southbound)

Anyone wanting a quick injection of jazzy Afro-Latin grooves and palm wine warmth shouldn't go past this laid-back but lively outing by this LA-based but authentic band which is like a smorgasbord... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Jack Scott: The Way I Walk (1959)

Jack Scott: The Way I Walk (1959)

With his sullen and sneering good looks -- he might have been a truck driver in Memphis like the pre-fame Elvis or a member of the Clash -- Jack Scott was briefly a big star, and at the time in the... > Read more

GUEST WRITER DAVID G BROWN explains why he travelled to the world's worst places

GUEST WRITER DAVID G BROWN explains why he travelled to the world's worst places

Editor's note: The late David G Brown was born in Tuakau, a small town south of Auckland in New Zealand. In the course of his life -- he died in Helsinki, Finland in 2015 -- he travelled to 100... > Read more