Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Koreans Drum up a Storm

The South Korean drummers, Samul Nori Hanullim, gave a delightful concert for a capacity audience this afternoon at the Batha Museum - it was full of vibrancy and joy.

The Samul Nori Hanullim say it with their name - Hanullim means "big bang". They come with a big reputation as Kim Duk-Soo’s Samul Nori Hanullim Art Troupe are described as Korea's most celebrated drum and dance ensemble.

For those who don't speak Korean, samul nori is a genre of traditional percussion music . The word samul means "four objects" and nori means "play"; samul nori is performed with four traditional Korean musical instruments:

* Kkwaenggwari (a small gong)
* Jing (a larger gong)
* Janggu (an hourglass-shaped drum)
* Buk (a barrel drum similar to the bass drum)

Each of the four instruments represents a different weather condition: the janggu represents rain, the kkwaenggwari thunder, the jing the sounds of the wind, and the buk clouds. The idea of yin and yang is also reflected in these instruments: the buk and janggu (leather) represent the sounds of the earth, while the jing and kkwaenggwari (metal) represent sounds of the heavens. Although generally performed indoors, as a staged genre, samul nori depicts the traditional Korean culture, an agricultural society rooted in the natural environment.

Kim Duk-Soo

Samul nori is characterized by strong, accented rhythms, vibrant body movements, and an energetic spirit. The music derives historically from the ancient shamanistic traditions of South Korea.

The concert comprised some exciting drumming and the audience was entranced to the point of a standing ovation at the end. The costumes of the young performers were colourful, but what stole the show were the fabulous hats. There were streamers and ostrich plumes that danced with their head movements during dance and acrobatics around the central fountain - all accomplished while drumming. All in all, this was a worthwhile concert - part of the voyage to other continents that this festival seems to be achieving.

It's better to travel full of hope than to arrive at one's destination -Korean proverb

Photographs Sandy McCutcheon - Click on any image to enlarge.

To see all the Fez Festival 2010 stories on The View from Fez, click HERE!


jung said...

Thank you for your detail described. : )
Your every writing,photos are really vivid.

xoussef said...
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