Jeong Ga Ak Hoe
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Jeong Ga Ak Hoe

서울특별시, Seoul, South Korea | Established. Jan 01, 2014

서울특별시, Seoul, South Korea
Established on Jan, 2014
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Flamenco is an earthy art that, in its purest form, never changes or evolves. Because of that, despite its intensity, it runs the risk of becoming dated. However, flamenco has, for decades, been exploring a future in fusion with other genres and worked on attracting new audiences.

This intriguing genre takes centre stage at the Ciutat Flamenco festival, this year marking dancer Carmen Amaya's 100th birthday, which will present all the latest updates, such as they can be, with special, little-known projects and workshops focused on dancing and singing. As for the music, these are the festival's main events, taking place from Thursday the 23rd to Sunday the 26th at the Mercat de les Flors.

Sistema Tango
Four virtuoso musicians joined together to bring us a bold proposal: reinventing the contemporary tango style, particularly the music of Astor Piazzolla, incorporating free jazz and atonal chamber music in addition to flamenco. They involve instruments such as the guitar, the cajón and Tomás de Perrate's 'quejío'. No accordions here, but there is a saxophone - a truly daring choice.

Free Art Ensemble
These musicians up the ante even more - the show they'll be putting on comes from an almost experimental work titled 'Antes existió el grito', part of an essential premise: to make the wildest, most chaotic free jazz work alongside different types of flamenco. The fusion experiments of the '80s and '90s are nothing compared to the way this work pushes the limits of both genres. Eleven musicians onstage and one dancer with a long career in avant-garde dance, Sonia Sánchez, create a totally new, unique experience.

Jeong Ga Ak Hoe, Marta Robles and Alba Carmona
You might know Marta Robles and Alba Carmona from their work with Las Migas, the original unorthodox flamenco quartet with tendencies towards pop and blues. But these ladies weren't satisfied and wanted to take it even further. In this show they'll weave themselves into the musical fabric of Jeong Ga Ak Hoe, a fascinating group from South Korea that has broken all the conventions of their country's traditional music, adding improvisational and new age styles from around the world, with the important presence of Buddhist ritual percussion. Alba will sing, Marta will provide the guitar, and Jeong Ga Ak Hoe will hypnotise you.

Duquende
This classic of flamenco, an exceedingly talented singer who always has fantastic accompaniment - this time a guitar (Chicuelo), percussion, bass, claps and dance - will be performing his latest album, 'Rompecabezas' (2012). He's the most orthodox of the line-up, but also the most skilled at creating moments of pure emotion. - Javier Blánquez


Novelist Hwang Sun-won might be best remembered for his representative work "Sonagi" (The Shower) with its essence of pure lyricism. But "Wangmorae" (Coarse Sand), one of his lesser-known works, is loaded with provocative content dealing with the Oedipus complex.

Jeong Ga Ak Hoe, a Korean traditional music ensemble consisting of six members, will present a special performance titled "Jeong Ga Ak Hoe Sings for Hwang Sun-won" in which the novel "Wangmorae" will be read, along with music and video.

The ensemble has attempted to reinterpret Korean traditional music with diverse experiments through a mixture of literature and traditional music since its inception in 2000. The group was formed with the goal of better passing on traditional heritage from generation to generation.

The performance was first staged in Peru in July last year with rave reviews from the audience. The show offers a traditional music performance, reading sections of the novel and videos of traditional paintings with English subtitles.

The novel revolves around a man whose father died when he was nine and was abandoned by his mother. He lives with others until he becomes seventeen. His attachment to maternal love grows bigger and is caught up in a kind of Oedipus complex that eventually leads to him killing his mother. It introduces various relationships that walk the line between reality and fiction.

"We picked the novel as it has the strong power of text with a solid plot. It also discusses the many implications that come from the absence of maternity," Chun Jae-hyun, head of the ensemble, said.

"Wangmorae" is meaningful in that it reveals a ruined interior human consciousness during the Korean War and the characteristics of 1950's novels.

The entire text will be read during the show with the traditional musical instruments playing in the background.

"When we performed in Peru, the audience responded very warmly to our musical experiment, which blends music with literature. They were enchanted by not only Korean traditional music but also the excellence of the text. So the concert mixed with a literature reading is aiming at the overseas stage as it contains universal values in literature and music," he said.

The performance will be directed by Im Hyung-taek with music by Jang Young-gyu.

Jeong Ga Ak Hoe has created new songs and specializes in "gagok," Korean traditional vocal music. It has also offered performances mixing literature and music without using a synthesizer despite the strong trend of New Age, crossover and fusion, which has affected the gugak scene.

"Our members seem to have many things to tell the audience and they are serious about music. So it is often presented as a unique show which presents both music and literature," said Chun.

Their unique performance was designed to find something in common between the two genres and also seeks to widen its fan base, something that remains small in size among most Korean traditional music groups.

The group also presented performances that introduced European literature in 2008, and Central and South American literature last year. - Chung Ah-young


JeongGaAkHoe, a traditional Korean music ensemble, conducted a month-long performance tour of Costa Rica and Mexico. The group staged several performances in Costa Rica, including the closing ceremony at the Credomatic Music Festival, and then performed at three Mexican cities in the State of Jalisco.

After departing from Korea on August 4, JeongGaAkHoe members returned home at the end of the month, but not before enjoying a memorable performance tour of the Central American countries of Costa Rica and Mexico. Throughout Central America, the group marveled at the skies, forests, waters, animals, and people, along with being awed by the vast seas of the Atlantic and the Pacific, and even losing their way amidst the tropical rainforest of a mountainous area. After experiencing the natural environment of Central America with all our senses, the members sought to reflect this inspiration in the performance of their Korean music at every venue of the tour. Although constantly on the go, the performance tour left everyone with a great sense of pride and satisfaction.
Assigned with the important mission of promoting Korea’s cultural diplomacy and with sponsorship assistance from the Korea Foundation, JeongGaAkHoe performed during the closing ceremony of the 20th Credomatic Music Festival, as well as another eight performances, in Costa Rica. Thereafter, the Korean group made its way to three cities in the State of Jalisco of Mexico to introduce Korean music to audiences with little direct exposure to Korean culture.

Costa Rica Music Festival
Various Korean news media were aware that the Credomatic Music Festival is the largest event of its kind in Costa Rica, but this marked the first time for a Korean music group to participate in the festival. This year, ten music groups from around the world, including JeongGaAkHoe and the Vienna Boys’ Choir, staged all-out performances in response to the genuine warmth extended by the audiences in Costa Rica.
Daily coverage by leading local media, demonstrated the people’s interest and appreciation of the music of Korea, despite their lack of familiarity with our music, from the other side of the globe. Of note, for one of the group’s performance, the festival organizer had to arrange for a larger venue, at the National Theater of Costa Rica, after all the tickets were sold out for the original performance at a small-size theater. This showed the keen interest among Costa Rican residents for our Korean music performance.
The festival events were held in various cities, with the capital city of San José playing a central role. As the festival was organized in conjunction with major hotels, the visiting groups stayed at a hotel for three or four days for performances nearby.
The concert events were designed to take advantage of the natural resources of the hotels, such as a glorious sunset view, while the audience seemed to pay serious attention to the variety of new music forms. I cannot forget those who looked at us with wonder, early on, but soon warmed to the presentation of our unique music. Invariably, people from the audience would approach us after the performance to express their sincere appreciation of our music.
The repertoire of JeongGaAkHoe is comprised of court music, such as “Daechita” and “Boheoja,” vocal works of sijo and pansori, samulnori and folk music related to sanjo and sinawi, and an original contemporary musical piece, “Flight into Absolute Solitude,” composed by Yoon Hye-jin. The performances featured a diversity of formats tailored to the venue conditions and the time allotted for our group. Our approach, of being flexible to suit the characteristics of each event and venue, rather than having a fixed program, turned out to be highly effective, which resulted in an enthusiastic response from the audiences.
The cooperative relations between the festival organizer and local hotels were commendable because it reduced the burden on the organizer and assured the festival participants of an enjoyable and problem-free stay, which left everyone so grateful for the Costa Rican hospitality. I was impressed by this concept, which might be applicable in Korea as well.

Appreciative Audiences in Mexico
The performance tour of three cities in Jalisco, Mexico, showed just how open and receptive the Mexican people are to foreign cultures. The group was awarded a plaque of appreciation from a city mayor as thanks for our performance.I believe this warm reception was a result of not just our performances but also the thoughtful efforts of the director and staff members of the Korean Cultural Center in Guadalajara, the organizer of our Mexican tour. This tour experience was related to their efforts to boost cultural exchange through a diversity of activities that sought to introduce various aspects of Korea and its culture. All along our performance tour, the group members were referred to as “patriots,” which gave us with a great sense of pride and encouragement.
The preparation and implementation of the recent performance tour were undertaken silently but thoroughly. I would like to express my appreciation to the Korea Foundation for carefully coordinating the details between the relevant organizations and the performers, from the beginning to the end of our performance tour, and for also handling various follow-up matters. I am also thankful to the Korean Ambassador to Costa Rica and the embassy staff for their valuable support and cooperation. As a result of all this, JeongGaAkHoe members could return home with a prideful heart for having fulfilled this cultural diplomacy mission and doing our part to enhance the global image of Korea. -


Discography

1. Julpungnyu: Julpungnyu is a term for traditional music played on Korean traditional stringed instruments. Jeong Ga Ak Hoe Julpungnyu is a collection of diverse melody for each musical instrument which reflects the passage of time and regional characteristics.

* Genre : Korean traditional music
* Recording date / place : 2007 / The traditional house of Songso, Korea
* Distributed by : AkdangEban, Inc.

2. Jeongnyum: This album is the collaboration of Jeong Ga Ak Hoe and music composer Yoon Hye-Jin. Their work transcends the passive dichotomy between composition and performance, and restores the performers voluntariness. It provides space, silence, vibration, and sound to achieve active communication with the performers.

* Genre : Contemporary Korean Music
* Recording date / place : 15th, 25th Apr 2008 / Byulmorae Theater, Goyang Uhulrimnuri, Korea
* Distributed by : AkdangEban, Inc.

3. Gagok: There are three main vocal genres that developed in association with Korean classical poetry: Gagok, Gasa and Sijo. Together with the classical instrumental genre of Pungnyu, these classical songs enjoyed the patronage of the gentry, aristocrats (yangban), and literati.

* Genre : Korean Traditional Music
* Recording date / place : 1st October 2010 Recording Space / Gwangajeong, Gyeongju, Korea
* Distributed by : AkdangEban, Inc.

Photos

Bio

Jeong Ga Ak Hoe is an ensemble that performs traditional Korean music. Moreover, noticing many similar characteristics between Pansori and Flamenco, the group had been frequently visiting Spain over the past two years experimenting with flamenco and collaborating in musical theatre which presents the essence of multiculturalism that transcends time and culture. Along with Jeong Ga Ak Hoe, flamenco guest performers including Marta Robles (guitarist), Alba Carmona (vocalist), Matias Lopez (percussion and vocalist), and Jose Manuel Alvarez (dancer) have been performing to share transnational music. Their instruments include: Gayageum, Heageum, Piri, Saeng-Hwang, Jang-gu, Flamenco guitar, percussions, and dance performance.