Silence, stroke, reverberation, stroke, silence...
The measured pulsing of gongs and the nuanced, improvised parts of the waisted changgo drum are rooted deeply in the ancient shamanic rituals of ssitgim-gunt. They serve to cleanse the soul of the dead, while celebrating life at the same time. The eight young musicians of Baraji, fascinated with the rites of the Jindo island, come on stage to deliver their interpretation of traditional Korean music.
The singing, another hugely important element of Jindo music, is eloquent and powerful, featuring a particular kind of violent melismata. Leading from high up or down low, they guide the attention of the listener to
the main melody, supported by sounds of accompanying instruments: a small, two-stringed and vertically held fiddle called haegeum, gayageum – a long zither, and daegeum – a bamboo flute. Each of those is capable of imitating Korean vocal style.
Concerts of Baraji are not far away from theatrical performances, during which musicians let the compelling tale of their
bond with Korean tradition unfold. Committed and focused, they splendidly build the tension. The listeners experience a wealth of sounds coming from the stage, greatly harmonious and perfectly disciplined, though not lacking in brilliant solos and spontaneous musical dialogues.
Yulhee Kim – vocal,
Taeyoung Kim – janggu
Seonghyeon Kang – kkwaenggari
Soungjae Cho – Ajaeng, buk
Kwangyoon Jeong – daegeum, jing
Youngbin Oh – piri