Words by Luke Shekerali
Thanks to YouTube, most people have heard Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’, but it’s unlikely that they are aware of the rich selection of music Korea has to offer other than this one-hit wonder. Well, luckily for Londoners, there is a chance to experience it first-hand at K-Music Festival 2013 this June. Whether you’re a fan of Korean music or not yet sure, this looks set to be a special event, with venues all over London getting involved.
The week-long festival opens with a UK debut from the highly innovative National Orchestra of Korea at the Barbican, who will dazzle the audience with sounds drawn from ancient instruments and Korean shamanic traditions.
Meanwhile, Geomungo Factory (pictured above) will also make their UK debut at the Cadogan Hall, improvising sounds inspired by jazz, folk and ambient on the thousand-year-old geomungo (zither).
Also making a rare appearance at Cadogan Hall is Ahn Sook-Sun, Korea’s most celebrated pansori star (read more about her in our next issue, #93, on sale June 7). Often described as Korean opera, pansori is in fact more rooted in folk. The audience can expect to be immersed in Sook-Sun’s vivid performance in Heungbo-ga, a comic story surrounding two brothers.
Expect all this and more at this year’s UK celebration of Korean culture.
Upcoming June dates:
June 14 –The National Orchestra of Korea - Barbican
June 16 – UhUhBoo Project + Pere Ubu - Scala
June 19 – Geomungo Factory, Cadogan Hall
June 20 – Yi Sung Yol + Kilha, Scala
June 21 –Pansori Night (Ahn Sook-Sun), Cadogan Hall