Black String debuts in India with world music and traditional Korean tunes
Two Korean instrumentalists teamed up with a jazz musician from the UK in 2011, blending the sounds of the geomungo (black zither) and daegeum (flute) with the guitar. But they’d like to be clear that they aren’t just any crossover artistes. “There are many genre names given to us, like contemporary traditional Korean music, but our defining aspect is not in the superficial combination of western and traditional music. For us, the process of arriving at a unity in our music is important—the fusion of our individual musical styles,” says geomungo player and composer Yoon-jeong Heo. After performing at the London Jazz Festival, the Oslo World Music Festival and Sweden’s Clandestino Festival, among others, the group is debuting in India. Brought to Chennai by InKo Centre, the band—including Jean Oh (bass) and Aram Lee (daegeum), with guest collaborator Dong-jin Shin (drums)—will be performing tonight. “We’ve been active in Europe, now it’s time for a new direction. We’ll be playing our own music, like Vagabond, a set-list inspired by Indian music,” says Heo, adding that our raaga is similar to the Korean sanjo. Fans of Ustad Zakir Hussain, Ustad Shahid Parvez and Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia, they’d love to do local collaborations. But for now, they are looking forward to performing in Kochi and Kolkata next, and maybe experiencing the local culture, too.
Today, at 6.30 pm, at Phoenix MarketCity. Details: 30083007
—Surya Praphulla Kumar