Gig Seeker Pro



Band World Acoustic




"This is now the music of Korea"

This is now the music of Korea
[Focus] Overseas promotion of Korean music, «Into the Light: Music of Korea ?»

The Ministry of Culture and Sports and Korea Arts Management Service (KAMS) has just finished producing the promotional album, «Into the Light: Music of Korea ?», to make traditional Korean music known through major domestic and international music markets and related events, and is now awaiting to use it at markets and events around the globe. The album includes a CD containing the music of 11 groups and individuals, a DVD containing performance footage, and a booklet introducing the groups or solo artists and their music.

This album is one of a series. A new album with a different concept and contents has been produced each year since 2008. The three albums before the most recent one had different concepts of world music, traditional music and classical music, and traditional music and jazz, and were structured and produced through the recommendation of expert advisers. The albums have already received good evaluations domestically and internationally, and have created successful results.

«Into the Light: Music of Korea ?»
01 Geomungo Factory Movement on Silence
02 MOON Hyun Amongst the green mountains
03 Easternox Take 7
04 PARK Kyung-so Fragments Beyond
05 LEE Seung-hee Yangcheong
06 Bulsechul Soyoyu
07 Coreyah Dondolariyo (Don’'t know how it will be)
08 YOON Eun-ja Sultaegut (Ritual Performance for Geomungo part 1)
09 Cheongbae Traditional Performing Arts Troupe Cheongbae
10 Ensemble Sinawi Indang-soo
11 PARK Chan-yun Breaths

Promising musicians of Korean music
The recent album has sub-title with a wider concept, "Music of Korea," but it is actually close to the theme of "New promising musicians of Korean music." There are no limitations in genre, but it was produced in a different direction from the three preceding albums in that it intended to introduce the works of major promising stars of Korea. The focus was on excavating musicians and groups that were new, fresh, and had the abilities for overseas advancement. Their names may not be very recognizable considering the aim of the album to represent Korean music and its importance, but it has difference significance from the other albums as it offers new musicians with various opportunities.

Unlike the existing method of being produced through the recommendation of Korean experts, this album was based on an open competition. The first selection was made through a selection committee consisting of experts. Groups and solo artists that included traditional elements and had a high level of musical completion were selected, with importance placed on balance between instrument and genre, and musical freshness. Appropriateness to the overseas art market and overseas advancement support were also considered. Those who made the first selection went through to the final selection based on the more objective views of overseas experts.
The preceding series that included artistic abilities and great musical perfection based on the selection of experts were the pieces of undoubtedly the top performers, and the results of the albums fully reflect that. However, the new selection method goes beyond looking from the perspective of Korean experts to find new musicians, but also reflects the perspectives of overseas experts in an effort to approach the overseas market in a more realistic way. The core role of creative director for this album was therefore filled by Ben Mandelson. Ben Mandelson is the founding director of the biggest international world music festival WOMEX, and also a world music producer and musician who is active in a wide variety of fields. The eleven songs in this album made the final selection based on his balanced perspective, wide experience and insight. Joshua Cheek, a classical and Asian music expert with excellent media and marketing abilities including media promotion and publicity, included an introduction to the groups and solo artists in the liner notes. The affection and professional work of the overseas director and liner notes from the position of a foreigner largely contributed to raising the level of perfection of the album.
New and diverse musical attempts
Taking a look inside the album, the attempt of Geomungo Factory to go beyond the traditional way of playing the geomungo and try to improve the instrument is fused with the methods of western music and open new possibilities for the instrument. This, together with the traditional poetic literature of the music newly defines the meaning of the sijo, or traditional Korean poem, in a changed modern society, and shows evolution. Easternox, who expressed a Korean narrative on western music through dynamism, showed freshness, and the experimentalism of gayageum player Park Kyung-so, who reflected the modernity of electronica and jazz with a gayageum, showed contained new possibilities. Ensemble Sinawi and Bulsechul rejected the two-dimensional fusion of eastern and western music and maximized the beauty of traditional Korean music, the Cheongbae Traditional Performing Arts Troupe expressed the joy of a performance in a young and energetic way, and the refreshing creative traditional Korean music group Coreyah provided a wonderful and ideal contact point of traditions and modernity. Two geomungo players Yoon Eun-ja and Park Chan-yun showed various attempts at the contact point of traditional and creative Korean music, and haegeum player Lee Seung-hee, who materialized a wide spectrum from folk songs to creative traditional Korean music, rounded up the diverse instruments and musical attempts.

The album includes a CD and DVD. People are treated to diversity of music that other albums may not provide. The only sad thing is that some players did not have a video available to show off their musical performances to the fullest, so there was a small range to choose from. This problem is expected to solve itself as the musicians become more active and perform more, but since performance footage or a music video are very important to actively show off your abilities with your music, we would like groups thinking of advancing overseas to keep this in mind.

It is not possible to include all things that represent Korean music, especially traditional Korean music, in this one album, However, it is considered at least half a success if it has just fully captured the progressive direction of traditional Korean music that is dividing into different genres of music and continuously attempting new experiments and challenges. We believe the exquisite beauty and strong dynamic aspect of Korean music will be fully relayed to performance and album personnel around the world, and hope this album will be used by them and provide an opportunity for our talented performers to shine at many concerts.
- KAMS, Korean Art Management Service, 2011.04.04


2010. V.A.«2010 “21C Korean Music Project”» Universal Music, track 4. Dondolariyo.

2011. V.A.«Into The Light - Music of Korea ?», Korea Art Management Service, track 7. Dondolariyo (Don't know how it will be)

2011. «Walk Into The Sea», Mirrorball Music. (ep)



- A Whale of a good time!

Coreyah’s unique freewheeling, polystylistic vision of Korean traditional music charts an adventurous course where Pansori(A traditional Korean style of narrative song) comes face to face with Tom Waits and Sinawi(Korean Traditional Improvisation Ensemble) meets Simon and Garfunkel! At first glance, you would think this attractive sextet would be more comfortable doing gigs at hip rock clubs rather than performing traditional Korean folk songs at classical arthall. But out come the Tungso bamboo flute, Geomungo zither and Janggo drum and as they say in New Orleans - Laissez le bon temps rouler ('Let the good times roll!'). And yes, they perform at hip rock and jazz clubs, too.

The name of the group, the Sino-Korean homonym Co - Re - Yah refers to inheritance of the past, but now it serves to draw living modern people toward more attractive music using old music elements. Translated into Hangul, (the Korean alphabet), Coreyah also means "whale" - their totem animal and good luck charm!

Coreyah is on a mission: “The root of our music is Korean traditional music, but we hope that our music can appeal to everyone.” This modest vision statement belies their exceptional artistry and yes, extraordinary ability to connect with an audience. Coreyah have sewn their colorful Korean tapestry directly onto the fabric of contemporary "World Music" and the look is... FABULOUS!