Monday, March 3, 2014

Renowned Ensemble SamulNori To Appear At Harris Center March 11

Master drummers and dancers of this renowned South Korean ensemble share unique ancient traditions at Harris Center for the Arts.

International music and dance critics describe their and audience reactions across the world as "unbelievable," "compelling," and "soul searing" when describing the performances of SamulNori.

The New York Times reports that SamulNori amazed audiences at its New York debut in 1983 and is doing so again on its current American tour," 30 years later.

SamulNori is the name of a group of four dynamic musicians dedicated to performing and preserving traditional Korean music and dance. The name also refers to the style of music they created. Since these superb percussionists formed the group in 1978, SamulNori has sparked a renaissance in Korea’s music scene and garnered worldwide acclaim. The Boston Globe declares “the conservation of ancient tradition is seldom so much fun as this."

The Korean words ‘samul’ and ‘nori’ mean ‘four things’ and ‘to play.’ In the case of SamulNori, they refer to the four musicians playing and dancing with four percussion instruments. Founded by Kim Duk-soo, the group’s leader and master of the Changgo (hourglass shaped drum), SamulNori has become the leading traditional Korean performance group. The ensemble performs in many configurations but usually tours as a quartet with Master Kim at the helm. The origins of their music can be traced to what is usually referred to as farmers’ band music (Nongak) and ceremonial music. It also incorporates the influences of folk and religious music (Binari) and their intricate rhythms have become quite uniquely their own.

Over the years, SamulNori has toured almost every nation in the world including France, Germany,Austria, Great Britain, Sweden, Switzerland, Japan, China, Australia, Greece, Italy, Brazil, Israel, the United States and so on. On their tours, in addition to concerts they have conducted extensive workshops with local musicians to impart knowledge of SamulNori and Korean traditional rhythms.

In addition to their busy touring schedule, SamulNori is dedicated to furthering the tradition of their unique performance techniques with classes at the SamulNori Academy of Music in Buyeo, the middle province of Korea. They have been the subject of several books (including their own intensive instructional book) and have shot videos for many labels including SONY. Their 15 recordings are available on the CBS/SONY, Nonesuch, Real World, Warner Music and ECM record labels.

SamulNori will perform on Tuesday, March 11, at 7 p.m. Tickets are priced at $19-$29; premium $39; students with ID $12. Tickets are available online at or from Harris Center Ticket Office at 916-608-6888 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and two hours before show time. Parking is included in the price of the ticket. Harris Center is located on the west side of Folsom Lake College campus in Folsom, facing East Bidwell Street.
Blog Post information and picture courtesy of Harris Center for the Arts.

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