Posts Tagged ‘Korean music’


This is an excerpt from Daorum’s concert at the Atrium, as part of Lincoln Center’s Target Free Thursdays. Kim Seok Chul was a Korean shaman, and national treasure, or “intangible asset” as is it is termed in Korea, where these artists are given identifying numbers.
Barker is a well respected jazz drummer in his own right, and after his solo, he describes the odyssey that brought him face to face with Intangible Asset Number 82.

Barker describes the solo thusly: “(the) solo features an introduction that includes rhythms from a form of secular music related to Buddhism. The second section is an improvisation on a “farmers music” rhythm called Ch’il Ch’ae. The third section is an improvisation featuring sticking patterns from all over Korea and my own things as well. Section five is based on rhythms performed (within) Kim Seok Chul’s music.”

Post a comment


Daorum performed at Target Free Thursdays, an exciting series curated by Lincoln Center and presented at the block long David Rubinstein Atrium.  As the title states, the admission is gratis, and the night I was there, the house was totally full. It’s a lofty, gracious place to hear music too, comfortable and with excellent sound, overhead projections, a fountain and living green walls.

I knew about Daorum from seeing the wonderful documentary “Intangible Asset Number 82″ in which Australian jazz drummer Simon Barker and Korean traditional musician Kim Dong-Won (as his guide) make the journey to meet Kim Suk Chul, a shaman whose drumming has fascinated Barker enough to make the pilgrimage to meet him. I won’t give away the extraordinary ending of the film (although Barker does, in the second video of this concert.) What is special to me is the insight the film gives into a kind of music whose virtues are alien and inaccessible to most Westerners; it’s a Rosetta Stone of sorts.

The group Daorum grew out of this meeting  between Dong-Won and Simon, and with the addition of singer Bae Il Dong, Mat McMahon (piano), Carl Dewhust (guitar),and Phil Slater (trumpet), the band presents a striking meeting of cultures. Free- improv and new music matrices support the sounds of traditional Korean vocals, percussion, and epic tales.

Post a comment


Buddhism has been called the Wandering Lotus because as it traveled from country to country, it adapted itself to each culture. That is why there are such differences in the music and iconography of for example, Japanese Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, Chinese Buddhism and in this case, Korean Buddhism.
This is an excerpt from one of three presentations from Korea on WOMEX 2010’s opening night, Be-Being being the last to perform. This video is from their ” Buddhist Project.” For more information on the Ensemble and the Project, click here. The ensemble was certainly adventurous, veering into a New Music sensibility, while retaining the trance-inducing quality of chant.

Visually I found the movements of the two dancers to be appropriately hypnotic; so fluid that they seemed to be in slow motion. That inspired me to play around with some of the toys in iMovie, and I think applying them adds something to the experience that is consistent with the metaphysical nature of the piece. I hope you enjoy it.

Post a comment


Here’s where you’ll find my weekly original world music video blogs that appear on Huffington Post, as well as an archive starting in April of 2009.

This is also the place where you will find video that is exclusive to my site. I’ve traveled to places like Uzbekistan, Morocco, and Taiwan and no matter where I go I have found amazingly talented and creative people working in every genre from the deepest traditions to the cutting edge.

It’s been incredibly rewarding to interview them and to capture some of what they do on video. Enjoy what you see and hear, and let me know what you think. I welcome your feedback.