Woojae Park is best known in Europe for his beautiful collaborations with choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui – he created the music for Fractus V, which played at Sadlers Wells and toured worldwide. In a rave review, The Guardian described the music as ‘a marvellous braid of sound, fusing Middle Eastern influences to a wildly ecstatic pitch – as a fierce expression of unity, it resonates across the work’. His main instrument is the geomungo, the stunning bowed instrument that powers the playing of other bands who have featured in the K-Music programme, like Jambinai and Geomungo Factory. For this concert, he is joined by two of the other creative voices that joined him in Fractus V. Japanese drummer Shogo Yoshii was a member of the legendary taiko ensemble Kodo, and has toured with Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui for many years. British Indian composer and sarod player Soumik Datta was featured earlier this year in his own Channel 4 series – Soumik’s concerts bridge the world of Indian classical and contemporary music. His artistic hallmarks are his collaborations with other artists: Beyonce, Jay-Z, Bill Bailey, Manu Delago, Akram Khan, Nitin Sawhney, Anoushka Shankar, Bernhard Schimpelsberger and Talvin Singh, to name just a few.
Woojae Park with Shogo Yoshii and Soumik Datta
Woojae Park, by exhibiting liberal and innovative music and sound, is an artist who is in the borderland between ‘experiment’ and ‘art’. He has developed his own plectrum and stroke styles and in so doing has expanded the performance boundaries of the geomungo (six-stringed Korean zither instrument).
He has worked with artists from different types of art such as modern choreographers, for example Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and has been in charge of composition and music performance for Fractus V, the newest work choreographed by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui.
Soumik Datta is a British Indian composer and virtuoso player of the sarod – a 19-stringed fretless instrument with a nomadic history spanning ancient Afghanistan, colonial India and modern day global downloads. He also works with other musicians to create fabulous new pieces, bringing his sarod and their instruments to new and wider audiences around the world. Soumik’s most recent work is his collaboration with his brother Souvid Datta – an award winning visual journalist and photographer. Together, they traveled across six states of India, shooting and collaborating with over 100 grassroots musicians, many of whom are the last torchbearers of their music.
Shogo Yoshii was a member of the Japanese taiko performing arts ensemble Kodo, having entered the Kodo Apprentice Centre in 2003 and becoming a full member in 2007. Prior to Kodo he travelled throughout the Japanese countryside studying the folksong and tribal music of Japan.
On stage in Kodo, he is featured on Japanese taiko drums, metallic percussion, bamboo flutes, kokyu (Japanese violin) and in dance pieces. In 2010, he joined the musical ensemble “Babel (words),” choreographed by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Damien Jalet. In the same year, he was a music director and performer in Arte y Solera’s flamenco piece, Dojoji. His original composition Sora is used in a textbook for Japanese elementary school students. He is also involved in the choreographer Cherkaoui’s performance Noetic and is currently touring with Fractus V, the newest production of Eastman/Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. He performed at the Avignon festival at Palais des papes d’Avignon last year.
(automatically generated) Read LKL’s review of this event here.