Sonagi Project is a Korean percussion ensemble that draws from traditional sources to create new, dynamic Korean music. Founded in 2006 by current artistic director Chang Jae Hyo, the group performs on traditional Korean percussion instruments, with a special focus on the janggu, the horizontal double-headed drum that has been integral to many genres of Korean music throughout its long history. Other instruments include the ggwaengwari (small gong), jing(medium-sized gong), and dungbuk(modified barrel drum). The group breathes new life into Korea’s traditional drumming as it brings these instruments into the twenty-first century, performing traditionally-based yet original repertoire for contemporary
audiences, both domestically and abroad.

Sonagi Project creates music informed by various traditional genres. Influences include pungmul gut (farmers’ percussion band ritual), samulnori (modern percussion quartet), and pansori (traditional vocal art of storytelling)—genres that have roots in Korea’s indigenous shamanic culture; the group also incorporates jeontong minyo (traditional folk songs) as well as elements of Buddhist music. In building on traditional forms to give their music a contemporary sensibility, Sonagi Project takes liberties with certain techniques and rhythms, and at times embraces outside sources. Indeed, some of their original works contain African and Brazilian influences. Yet their music preserves the sentiment, emotion, and spirit of Korean tradition.

The group is currently based in Seoul, South Korea, and has performed in North America, South America, Europe and East Asia, to popular and critical acclaim. They are a leader of Korean music among a new generation of artists and performers that continue to engage in cultural exchange, and are a vibrant force in the world music scene that now flourishes around the globe.

July 7, 2010

Festival Glatt & Verkehrt 20110

Samstag 31. 07.  Winzer Krems 18:00

Sonagi Project feat. Okkyung Lee & Hahn Rowe / Korea, USA
JANG JAE HYO vocals, janggo, kwenggari
RYU SEUNG PYO janggo, kwenggari
YIM MI JOUNG janggo, kwenggari, buk
KIM HANA janggo, kwenggari, buk, jing
AN DAMI janggo, kwenggari, jing
HAHN ROWE violin, electronics

The music of the Sonagi Project rests on two pillars: the traditional music of the Korean peninsula, including elements of Shaman rituals, and a cosmopolitan sensibility for rhythm.

The two-membrane jang-gu drums, gongs and pansori chants are the sound basics in a Sonagi Project concert. But what is so special about Korean music? Ensemble head Chang Jae Hyo Chang: “If China has a wonderful diversity of harmonies and Japan a deeper relationship to sound itself, then Korea may be the rhythmical face of this part of Asia.”

The quintet regularly offers workshops and likes to work with artists from other styles. For their performance at Glatt&Verkehrt this implies the encounter with two extraordinarily versatile representatives of the Korean avant-garde diaspora in New York: cellist Okkyung Lee terms herself a “professional noise maker” and published CDs with titles like “I saw the ghost of an unknown soul and it said…” or “Check for monsters”. In 2010 she worked as Artist in Residence in Krems. The Sonagi Project’s second guest for this night is Hahn Rowe, who has worked with Brian Eno, David Byrne and R.E.M., as well as in numerous film and theatre projects, and who, according to his own words “strums around on the guitar, saws on the violin” and “operates knobs”…

>> Onlinetickets