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Diplomacy first

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The Creative Gugak was born more than a half century ago in Korea with a goal of creating a future for tradition and providing a listener- oriented environment for orchestras. The Gugak Orchestra performance, organised by the Korean Cultural Centre, is the part of the celebrations of Indo-Korean 40th Diplomatic year. The Contemporary Orchestra will perform Arirang Fantasy, Whisper of winds in the bamboo woods,The song of mountains, Mirth and Pansori by renowned Korean composers - Lee Inwon and Kye Seongwon and Lee Sangkyoo, Park Beomhoon.
The National Gugak Center, located in Seoul, is the primary institution of learning for Korean traditional music. With a history dating back to the Eumseongseo music institute of the Silla Kingdom in the 7th century. It is dedicated to ‘preserving and promoting traditional Korean music’.

The Contemporary Orchestra, which is one of the four main orchestras at the Center is based on traditional Gugak and is heavily promoted through performances.

Arirang, a Korean traditional song, the song was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity programme by UNESCO. Choi Seonhwan, a North Korean composer, created Arirang Fantasy describing the invasion of Japan, independence of the country, and the Korean War. It has become a masterpiece which represents Korean orchestral piece. Whisper of winds in the bamboo woods is composed by Lee Sangkyoo, who graduated from Gugak National School and created his unique world of the court music. This piece was composed in 1978 and received Korean President’s Award in Composition. Lee was interested in modern Korean poems, and this work is inspired by the poem Whisper of winds in the bamboo woods written by Shin Seokjeong.

Topographically Korea is very mountainous. Lee Keonyong composer of The song of the mountains, pictures Korean mountains and expresses the Korean musical tradition of simplicity and energy.

Park Beomhoon is a representative composer of Mirth who reinterprets shaman music through the orchestra.

His works such as Sinnaerim, Sinmodeum, and Sinmaji depict gods in shamanism directly or indirectly. Agricultural community festival is connected with shamanism. Samullori is a percussion music rooted to the agricultural community festival.  The composer represents a modern music community through this piece. Pansori is a vocal art that is performed by one person who sings, narrates, and makes gestures while telling a story.

The text of pansori is set to rhythm and melody. The sung portion of pansori is called sori, while the spoken portion (usually explanatory passages) is called aniri. A third component, the ballim (physical gestures), rounds out the theatrical aspects of this performance. Pansori is performed to rhythmic accompaniment played on the barrel drum by a drummer who shouts out cries of encouragement to the pansori singer. New pansori compositions, called changjak pansori, have emerged in modern times.
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