Recently I made the trip from Seoul to Korea’s second city, Busan, for a second concert celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Haegeum Research Society. Located on the Southeast coast, Busan, though large, has a very different feel from Seoul. The atmosphere here is much more laid-back, and strolling along the beach in Haeundae it felt not-so-different from Honolulu. For this concert, an ensemble from Daegu performed Dancing With Shadows and they did a fantastic job. I’m more and more impressed with the versatility of traditional musicians here. Rather than focusing only on a body of work which was created sometimes-hundreds of years ago, performers here are trained to play contemporary music as well. And they seem to approach this music with the same kind of enthusiasm they bring to the traditional works. It’s been a great start to the year here, and I’m looking forward to what comes next.
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