Saturday, July 14, 2018

Korean Court Music

Another backward-looking, catch-up-to-now post. The date of this happening was May 2, 2018.

This was really my first driving trip after the incident (which I still haven't told you about). Up until this day, I had only driven to the physical therapist. The Korean Cultural Center is not that far from home, but it is at the outer limits of where I was able to drive at that time. Then I had to walk once I got out of the auto, which was the greater challenge. 

So why make the trip? I saw on Facebook that the Korean Cultural Center was giving a workshop on Daechwita (Korean Court Music). I had to go. Months earlier, in my never-ending quest to discover and attain more lip-reed instruments, I ran across this video on youtube: You can imagine how this video drove me wild. Dig those crazy rags. I could wear that outfit! Especially the hat. As far as the instruments go, it was the trumpets (Nabal) that I was interested in. I have a surfeit of shells. While I don't have that double reed, I have as close to it as I need at the moment. Clearly, if there was going to be a workshop in town on this music, I needed to get myself there. 

The workshop was sparsely attended. No surprise. It was in the afternoon, not to mention that it is a somewhat specialized subject matter. They were a bit surprised to see such as I there. It was run by Gamin, a specialist in traditional Korean wind instruments and music. She was great. And she had two Nabal. I figured it was too much ask to actually be able to obtain one there, but I took some cash and asked anyway. The Nabal she had were not hers. I ended up spending the cash anyway, because she did have a spare Piri. Now a Piri is the last thing I wanted; it is a double reed instrument. I find double reeds extremely hard to play, despite the fact that I played bassoon for a while when I was a kid. I decided to get it because it has such an unexpectedly low and rich sound for an instrument as short and small as it is. Also, I was able to get a sound out of it at the workshop. To this day, I haven't gotten much beyond that first sound. I have to learn though. Some of my future life depends on me playing double reeds. 

Meanwhile, back at the ranch: You'll notice in the photo that there are shells. Those are my shells. I took them, along with a medium rag dung, because I wasn't sure what "workshop," meant. If we were going to play, would there be instruments? You never know at these things. Well, she didn't have shells, so I pulled mine out. I became popular instantly. We all had a grand time, as you can see from the photos. It was a very friendly group. I am going to try to get back to some of the Center's other events. I suspect that I will see my fellow musicians again. 

Gamin was able to help me secure a Nabal from Korea. It all happened amazingly fast. I was very impressed. Many thanks to Gamin. Best of all, the instrument is pitched in C, which makes things a lot easier for me. I haven't found an occasion to use it yet, but I know it will come. The same for the Piri. Actually, I would have liked to use the Piri on "Boxes," but I didn't get that double reed thing together in time. 

This woman in the foreground used to run a saxophone orchestra.

Nabal are collapsable. 

Gamin and I.

This is the official shot from the Korean Times.

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