Black String & Kathryn Tickell
LONDON Union Chapel
London’s Festival of Korean Music opens with Black String + special guest Kathryn Tickell
This year there will be several collaborations with international artists and the festival opens with the remarkable, Black String, joined by musician, composer and broadcaster Kathryn Tickell.
'I first encountered Black String through World on 3 on BBC Radio 3. The first track I heard was so intense and compelling - vast soundscapes, full of strange noises - alien, yet full of humanity. The more I listened, the more I felt drawn in by the music, and a sense of connection started to grow. There were little flashes of communication between their instruments and mine, the strength of tradition that underpins my music and theirs. I can’t wait to hear what sort of music we might make together!' (Kathryn Tickell)
On their latest, highly acclaimed album, Mask Dance (ACT Records), Black String combine the geomungo (traditional zither) and janggu (drum) with electric jazz guitar, electronics and taegum (bamboo flute). Founded in 2011 and led by Yoon-Jeong Heo, they explore the deep, bass-like sound of the geomungo to create mesmerizing, innovative music, pushing the borders between tradition, modernity and improvisation, as Yoon-Yeong explains, 'Korea has a very long music tradition but we are modern people. We live in Seoul in the 21st century although I think in my DNA there is something very old, a deep reflection of traditional Korean culture…. The music of Black String is based on traditional Korean folk and court music and has very complicated rhythm patterns. Our music is about collaboration because we want to make Korean traditional music accessible to a wider audience.'
Kathryn Tickell is widely acclaimed as the foremost exponent of the Northumbrian pipes and her work is deeply rooted in the landscape and people of Northumbria. She has released 15 of her own albums to date and has recorded and performed with Sting, The Chieftains, Penguin Café.
Part of K-Music 2017
‘One of the most exciting groups in South Korea today’ (*****Songlines)