We played Korean Shaman Music and Per Nørgård' percussion works from his famous " Trommebog (drum book)", and kids from all schools reacted so enthusiatiscally and attentively, with no exceptions. For every concert, the children became quiet, focused, and inquisitive when they hear percussion music and new sounds. I could see in their eyes that they were completely mesmerized by Sori Choi's elegant and powerful Janggu solo performance and our performance of the East Coast Korean Shaman Music. Moreover, they reacted not only to fast and virtuostic rhythms, but also slow and simple ones. When we played a quiet and slow" Sun and Moons" by Per Nørgård, I could sense in the room that they enjoyed the long ringing Indian singing bowls and Chinese and Korean gongs. Rhythms reach somewhere very deep in human's biological system. It is very primordial.
At this moment in my life, I am very drawn to orally-passed-down traditional music, especially Korean traditional music. It touches the primordial core of human beings, and it speaks to me so directly. I am also very interested in applying what I learned from oral tradition to playing contempory music primordially. When contemporary music is played in very high level, it also penetrate into human's biological system, just like what traditional percussion playing can do.
As expected, the kids did not seem to care about which one traditional music is and which one the contemporary music is. What the most important thing for them is whether music speaks to them or not. They are also very interested in different sounds of instruments and its potential as we introduce the instruments. Anyway, this proves my point: old music is new, and new music is old; new sound is old, old sound is new. Thus my project name: " So New- So Old, So Far- So Near."
I am glad that this concert project not only works beautifully for ordinary concert settings, but also serves very pedagogical purpose for both kids and adults, and I am very grateful that the project is developing very well in Denmark.
Ying-Hsueh Chen @ Copenhagen