Ajaeng Sanzo (AkdangEban, Korea)
(cdRoots code akd-281)
The Ajaeng is a bowed psaltery and is one of Korea's most ancient and extraordinary musical instruments. Ajaeng have between seven and nine strings made of wound silk, which were traditionally played with a thin dowel made of forsythia wood - giving the instrument a distinctive rasping sound. Tuning is accomplished by means of movable bridges, similar to those found on the Gayageum zither. In the hands of a master, the Ajaeng is capable of producing an extraordinary range of tonal effects: from a rich cello-like baritone to weird sonic manipulations that almost sounds if they were being produced by a distortion guitar.
For this recital, recorded live at Lee JangU Gaok (clan residence) in Gwangju, Jeollonam-do Province, Shu has selected a program of two works composed by his father, YongSeok Shu and one by his teacher, IlKoo Kim (Kim IlGu). While both works are based upon the intricate melodic structures and rhythms of Pansori (Korean narrative singing), Shu YongSeok ryu Sanzo explores subtle variations in timber in an almost abstract fashion. In contrast, the Kim IllKoo ryu Sanzo slowly unfolds over nearly half-an-hour, its kaleidoscopic melodies spanning the entire range of emotions before reaching a climax of complex rhythms and wild glissandi. The program concludes with an instrumental arrangement of the Shin Minyo (New Folk Song) Shinpaennorae, featuring the Ajaeng in an ensemble setting.
This recording is both an invaluable documentation of one of Korea's greatest living artists and a musical revelation for anyone interested in new music and new sounds from around the world!
This recording is an excellent, high quality presentation, produced to very high recording standards and issued as an SACD. It will also play on any standard CD player.
More recordings of sanzo from Korea
Shu YongSeok ryu Ajaeng Sanzo
Kim IllKoo ryu Ajaeng Sanzo
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