London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Pure Emotions: an interview with Park Jiha

To coincide with the release of Park Jiha’s new album, The Gleam, which we reviewed yesterday, LKL managed to have a quick conversation with the artist to ask about how light and space influence her musical voice: London Korean Links: How did you get into music? How did this journey in the world of sound … [Read More]

Music, space and light: Park Jiha’s The Gleam

The concept behind Park Jiha’s new album ‘The Gleam’ is immediately compelling. The musician finds her inspiration in light and its interaction with the human form during the day. In part, the project was also conceived for a special performance in Tadao Ando’s Meditation Hall at San Museum in Wonju, Korea. Ando’s architecture features light … [Read More]

The Sound of Nature: Dal:um live at Southbank Centre

“Korean traditional instruments contain the sound of nature.” This is the opening line of Ha Suyean’s answer to my question regarding what Dal:um would like their international audience to know about ancient Korean instruments gayageum and geomungo. “For someone coming to these two ancient instruments for the first time, what will they discover?”, I had … [Read More]

Cliff Richard in Seoul, 1969

OK, here goes… possibly LKL’s first ever Cliff Richard post. While searching for vintage Korean vinyl records sold in the UK on the Discogs record collectors website (they do crop up now and then, but if you’re a fan of Songolmae or Lee Mija, forget it: you’re too late!), I found this intriguing item – … [Read More]

Julie Park wins Sir Karl Jenkins Music Award

Belated congratulations to London based violist Julie Park for winning the prestigious Arts Club Sir Karl Jenkins Award in October. She follows violinists Songha Choi, who won second prize in 2019, and Joo Yeon Sir who won the prize in 2014. Julie Park performs tomorrow in Korean Cultural Centre UK’s ‘Home Theatre’ season of online … [Read More]

Shin Seung-tae’s new Trot persona

When Lee Hee Moon announced the disbandment of his glam rock minyo outfit Ssing Ssing last year, I forewent gnashing of teeth and rending of garments, prophesying instead that an abundance of interesting projects must surely follow. And Lo, it did come to pass. Female vocalist Chu Da-hye started her band, Chudahye and The Chagis … [Read More]

KJOU: the new UK hallyu mag

Over on the KCC Facebook page they recently posted about a new hallyu magazine: KJOU. I visited the magazine’s website today and ordered myself a copy of their first issue. If you’re interested, there are a few copies left, but as the second issue is imminent don’t hesitate because they’ll be gone soon. Of course, … [Read More]

Concert notes: Park Jiha at LSO St Lukes

What a difference a venue makes. Uncomfortable seats, noisy air conditioning and poor sight lines meant that Park Jiha’s gig at the Rich Mix in the 2019 K-music festival was less enjoyable than it could have been. At LSO St Luke’s at the end of January everything seemed right. Yes, there was the faint hiss … [Read More]

A review of the Korean cultural year 2019

A review of some of the highlights and trends in the Korean cultural year, primarily in London but also with half an eye to anything we might have seen elsewhere in the UK. The review is a personal one, inevitably skewed towards the events we managed to get to. Introduction This time last year I … [Read More]

Joo Yeon Sir: Chaconnes, Divertimento & Rhapsodies

Hearing Joo Yeon Sir’s barnstorming performance of Pancho Vladigerov’s Bulgarian Rhapsody “Vardar” at St James’s Piccadilly with Irina Andrievsky in August made me want to return to her recently-released second CD, Chaconnes, Divertimento & Rhapsodies, for which Vardar is the penultimate track. The album, from Rubicon Classics, follows on from her successful first album Suites and … [Read More]

Gig review: Kyungso Park, SB Circle + Hey String

Isn’t it refreshing when a band exceeds expectations? When you were expecting something pretty good, and you get something astoundingly good. When the newbie support band has the class to headline their own gig. OK, to call the gayageum trio Hey String a newbie band neglects to mention their success as prizewinners in Seoul Namsan … [Read More]