South Korea, 1995, traditional Korean folk / avant-folk

김석출 [Kim Seok-chul]巫樂 <동해오구굿>

Inscrutable, impenetrable traditional Korean avant-folk performed by a ritualistic troupe of spiritual bards. The shaman Kim plays the hojoek, a kind of double-reed wind instrument, an instrument Kim was recognized by the Korean government as an official master of and therefore a cultural asset. What with the inclusion of the janguu (an hourglass-shaped double headed drum covered by animal skins), the jing (a gong, the stick of which is covered in cloth to soften the sound), and the kkwaenggwari (a smaller brass gong played with a hard stick), this music is almost entirely percussive in nature, creating a traditional, ritualistic atmosphere over which the two vocalists warble, sing, chant, and speak, sometimes in a call-and-response fashion. Overall this sounds like some kind of musical drama you’d see enacted upon a stage at a temple grounds.

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