Though the sounds of Korean popular music may already be familiar to Western audiences, the deep and rich musical legacy of Korean traditional music extends far beyond the Top 40 list. Black String seeks to tap that wellspring in a revolutionary way. By drawing upon Korean music as well as jazz and rock, they create a dynamic new sound based in improvisation to create a fierce, moving energy. Formed in 2011 as a part of a Korean culture exchange program with the United Kingdom, Black String has since exploded onto the international scene with acclaimed appearances throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia.
The group is fronted by Yoon Jeong Heo, virtuoso of the geomungo (a six-stringed zither) and cultural ambassador of Korean traditional music. She is joined by Jean Oh on electric guitar, Aram Lee on daegeum (transverse flute) and yanggeum (Korean adaptation of the hammered dulcimer), and Min Wang Hwang on ajaeng (zither) and janggu (percussion). With a nearly-psychic sense of intuition, the group crafts enveloping soundscapes, sinuous musical narratives, and bracing grooves that draw listeners close to the heart of the Korea’s fascinating musical history in an entirely new way.
Black String performs on the Logan Center Stage on Sunday, January 13 at 3 pm. Before the performance, they will join Professor Travis Jackson for a talk about their musical background and traditional influences.
2pm pre-concert talk with Travis Jackson
Presented in partnership with the UChicago Center for East Asian Studies with generous support from a Title VI National Resource Center Grant from the United States Department of Education, and the Korea Foundation.
Selections to be announced from the stage.