K-Music: Geomungo Factory

LONDON Cadogan Hall
5 Sloane Terrace


The first-ever British concert by Korean cult band Geomungo Factory, who have taken the geomungo – an ancient form of zither – and explored its future as well as its past. You can make comparisons with Steve Reich, jazz improvisation, folk and ambient, and parallels with groups like Portico Quartet, it all sounds totally original. Like Konono No. 1 from Congo and Hanggai from Mongolia, Geomungo Factory sound ancient and contemporary at the same time.

 “You can’t make innovations if you don’t know the tradition”, they say, so the first half of this concert explores the throbbing, percussive, cello-like sounds of four geomungos. They let rip in the second half with their own compositions – dark, fascinating pieces that seem to evoke the sound world of Steve Reich, and include new instruments that they have created.

“The music of Geomungo Factory sounds very contemporary and very ancient at the same time. A deep, muscular sound, both percussive and melodic, is at the heart of their musical world” – Simon Broughton, Songlines (5* 'Top of the World' recommendation)