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A Night with Baramgot

European Premiere
Experience new waves of traditional Korean music
A Night with Baramgot

Date: Thursday 06 November 2008
Time: 7:30pm
Venue: St Giles’ Cripplegate, Fore Street, Barbican, London EC2Y 8DA
Tickets £8 / £5 (concessions) at the door

Sponsored by Art Council of Korea
Produced by Baramgot
Managed by KCPA

Won Il’s group Baramgot gives its European première at St. Giles Cripplegate in London. With Baramgot, Won Il has opened a new horizon in traditional Korean music as a percussion player as well as a composer.

Like wind is at the turning point between the land and the sea,
Baramgot creates the new waves of free sounds …

Won Il (Director/Percussion), Pak Suna (Gayageum), Park Woojae (Geomungo), Lee Aram (Daegeum), Kang Kwonsoon (Vocal)


Baramgot is a dedicated Korean music group founded in 2004 under the direction of Won Il. They focus on the creation of new music with a special emphasis of each player’s improvisation.

Baramgot obtained a reputation as one of the most important Korean music groups by improving and reinterpreting traditional Korean instruments which had already acquired their own unique sounds during their long history. Their recent works, which reinterpreted Sinawe (traditional Korean improvisational music) in various contemporary styles, has been recognized as the most creative and important achievement in the contemporary Korean music scene.

In 2006, they created a music theatre production, “Great Journey of Princess Bari” which is based on a Korean folk tale and have performed it every year with critical acclaim. This piece is also the result of cooperative work among artists in various fields. This kind of interdisciplinary work is an important part of the activities of Baramgot.

Baramgot hope that they will communicate with more musicians around the world through their music and, as a result, they will reach a new level of artistic performance.

“Baramgot” literally means the wind at the turning point between land and sea, which signifies their efforts to create the new world of free sounds.


Chaeolilm-Sinawi based on Gyeonggi Do danggut Rhythm (The vibration of the percussion sticks) / Composed by Won Il

This is a piece that put together two types of Korean traditional musical formats, ‘Gyeonggi dodanggut’ and ‘sinawi’ with a modern musical approach. ‘Gyeonggi dodanggut’ is a form of a rhythm used in Korean traditional exorcism rituals characterized by unique and colorful characteristics. ‘Sinawi’ is a name given to an impromptu format of performance in the Korean traditional music.

Baramui Yeohangja (The Traveller of Wind) / Composed by Lee Aram

This is a piece from a music theatre, ‘The Great Journey of Princess Bari’, which is based on a Korean myth about Princess Bari. This piece portrays the destiny and adventurous journey of the main character, Bari, as she ventures into the unknown. It especially sets off the performance skill of daeguem (a large Korean transverse bamboo flute) to advantage as it was composed by a daeguem player.

Beingbing (Spinning) / Composed by Pak Suna

‘Being’ in English implies existence, yet it means ‘spinning around’ in Korean and ‘ice’ as a Chinese character. As the word has various meanings one experiences unpredictable yet repetitive cycles of various feelings throughout life. This piece tries to capture this attribute of life, especially with exceptional musical techniques on a gayageum (a twelve-stringed Korean harp).

Gan (The space in between) / Composed by Won Il

This piece attempted to capture the feelings associated with space through music. It portrays the extensive vibration between the sky and earth, as well as the vibration of soul between two people. It is a demanding piece, which requires a stable breath and a solid performance technique from the flute player. ‘Gan’ has been acclaimed as a piece that expanded the usage and techniques of the Korean flute, a representative instrument of the Korean traditional music.

Seagarakbyeolgok (Byeolgok composed by a new melody) / Composed by Seong Geumyeon

This is a gayageum piece composed by Master Guen Yeon Sung in 1964 in the rhythm for Korean traditional shamanist rituals. At the time it was acclaimed to be revolutionary and fresh in its deviation from the typical Korean traditional musical formats, such as ‘Sanjo’ and ‘Sinawi’.

Bari Sinawi
/ Composed by Baramgot / Arranged by Won Il

‘Sinawi’ is a musical format derived from music used in Korean exorcism rituals, ‘Gut’. Baramgot tries to modernize and recreate the forms of ‘sinawi’ through their compositions. This piece is the group’s first composition that transferred the story of Princess Bari from a Korean myth based on shamanism of northeast Asia.

Om Tara (Holy Tara) / Composed by Won Il

Om Tara Tuttare Ture Svaha (‘I devote to Holy Tara the Mother who shines with the light of mercy’)
‘Om Tara’ is a mantra composed with a desire towards nature and peace within a human mind. This piece attempts to deliver the prayer of nature and peace towards those in suffering.

Isudaeyeop (The second piece of ‘gagok’, a form of a Korean traditional vocal piece)

This is one of the vocal pieces used to be sung at palaces or houses of upper classes in Korea. It has lyrics of a Korean verse of a regular form and is accompanied by orchestral music. The piece is characterized by slow tempo and simple melody, reflecting the taste and integrity of Korean scholars. Below is the English translation of the lyrics.

Willows become threads
A nightingale spins
In the springtime my worries and worries
Who would
Call the green shades and fragrant plants excel the flower-time

Yeuongga (Voice of the mind) / Composed by Won Il

This is a vocal piece composed for voice alone, which is sang by the performer himself for stability and peace of mind.

Arirang medley

‘Arirang’ is the most popular and representative Korean folk song. There is ‘arirang’ in each region of Korea with each ‘arirang’ named after its region of origin. ‘Arirang’ portrays the joys, sorrows, anger, and pleasure of common people. In today’s performance you will be able to hear the medley arrangement of ‘arirang’, which consists ‘arirang’ from all the different regions of Korea.

Programme subject to change without prior notice


Won Il (Director/Percussion)
Won Il is a director of Baramgot. He is also a composer and Korean flautist and percussionist. He is a multi talented artist who has cooperated with many legendary figures in traditional Korean music and Free Jazz.

A percussion group “PURI,” also founded by him, is considered to open a new horizon in Korean percussion music with excellent performances and creative new works. “PURI” still remains as a source of inspiration to a lot of young Korean traditional musicians.

He has also composed for dance, stage, and screen. These works, which represent a delicate mixture of traditional and contemporary music, have received many awards. In 2008, he won his fourth Daejong-Sang for his score of “Hwangjini,” which was the result of cooperation with Baramgot.
Currently, he is a professor at Korea National University of Arts and the director of music theatre group “Baramgot” and world music group “Puri”

Pak Suna (Gayageum)
Pak Suna is a third generation Korean-Japanese. She was selected as a scholarship student by the Pyeongyang University of Music and Dance in North Korea and has studied more than 10 years in North Korea and Japan. She was a winner of the Japan National Students Arts Competition, gayageum performance part, and received the third prize at 2.16 individual Performing Arts Competition in Pyeongyang. Currently she teaches gayageum at Sookmyung Women’s University and is the leader of Baramgot.

Park Woojae (Geomungo)
Park Woojae was a winner of National Korean Music Competition. His two recitals have been sponsored by Korean Cultural Heritage Foundation (2005 “Contemporary Korean Music, Geomugo Four Nes Faces), ARCO galley (2006 Special focus “Here and Now”) and he was invited as a young soloist by Nangye Korean Music Festival. He has collaborated with choreographer Kim Namjin and Jeong Injung. Currently he is working actively with other artists from all over the world.

Lee Aram (Daegeum)
Lee Aram was a winner of Donga Korean Music Competition and his first recital was invited by critique’s choice “Gaze and Resonance.” He was featured at Jecheon international Film Music Festival Artist Choice, Hokutopia international Music Festival. He has participated in the musical “Marine Trader Janbogo” and “Sonsanyahwa” and the film “Gungnyyeo” OST and Kim Mingi’s “Lights of Factory” project.

Kang Kwonsoon (Vocal)

Kang Kwonsoon is a leading vocalist in traditional and contemporary music in Korea. As a singer she has devoted herself to performing and perfecting traditional Korean court music(Junga) and newly composed works as well.

Since 1987, she has developed her career extensively throughout Korea and abroad by working with many composers, dancers and theatre companies. She has worked with famous Korean composers as well as art directors Ong Keng Sen and Jinhi Kim. She has performed in Canada, Europe and the United States with artists from various countries. She has released several recordings including two solo albums recorded with Samulnori group.

(automatically generated) Read LKL’s review of this event here.

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