Coreyah at Lincoln Center
Thursday, July 6, 7:30pm
David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center
(61 W 62nd St., New York, NY 10023)
Coreyah is a Korean world music ensemble that breaks the barrier between traditional and contemporary. Though rooted in traditional Korean music, Coreyah strives to create “living music” by absorbing and assimilating various world music heritages, such as Anglo-American rock music, Balkan gypsy music, and different genres from South America and Africa.
Coreyah plays a new breed of music that breaks the barrier between traditional and contemporary popular Korean music. Coreyah’s unique, freewheeling, polystylistic vision of Korean traditional music charts an adventurous course where pansori (a traditional Korean style of narrative song) comes face to face with Tom Waits, and sinawi (Korean Traditional improvisation music) meets Simon and Garfunkel. At first glance, you’d think this sextet would be more comfortable doing gigs at hip rock clubs rather than performing traditional Korean folk songs, but out come the Tungso bamboo flute, Geomungo zither, and Janggo drum and, as they say in New Orleans, laissez le bon temps rouler.
Since its debut in 2010, Coreyah has been expanding its musical domain by actively blurring the distinction between traditional and contemporary popular music. The group’s unique composition allows them to blend a wide range of genres: pansori, western rock, Gypsy music from the Balkan Peninsula, South American music, and African music.
In 2011, the band won the grand prize at a new Korean music competition called “Cheonchamanbyeol (all kinds of music) Concert” hosted by Bukchon Changwoo Theater, and in the same year was selected for “Tune Up,” a granting program for popular musicians sponsored by CJ Culture Foundation. The following year, Coreyah proved that traditional Korean music could attract just as much attention as flashy rock music when the group made it into the top 16 on KBS’s “Top Band II,” a band survival show. In the same year, the band was invited to “Sfinx Mixed,” a world music festival held in Belgium, and then toured four European countries. In 2013, Coreyah received the highest mark at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The band is thus active both at home and abroad.
The name of the group, the Sino-Korean homonym Co - Re - Yah, refers to inheritance of the past, but now serves to draw living modern people toward more attractive music using old music elements. Translated into Hangul, (the Korean alphabet), Coreyah also means “whale”—the group’s totem animal and good luck charm.
“Mesmerising and wonderful”
“Exotic and strangely familiar”
“Infectious...a beautifully layered sound”
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