Music Group SE:UM, the quintet of three jazz musicians and two Korean traditional musicians, have been working on creatively fusing the melodies and rhythms of Korean traditional music with the elements of jazz and world music.
SE:UM started to draw public attention when they received a five-star review at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2015. Since then, they have toured in Asia, Europe, and America as well as Africa and Middle East, and been highly recognized for their unique musicianship.
SE:UM also has been expanding their musical horizons through collaborating with various musicians from classical orchestras to jazz musicians from Japan and the USA to the traditional music ensemble of Dubai, both on stages and at studios.
Joon Lee (gayageum, Korean percussion) Jaeha Lee (contrabass) Jongsang Park (trumpet, flugelhorn) Minhyung Lee (Korean percussion, voice) Hachul Song (saxophone)
In Korean Breath – Ten Thousand Waves, Music Group SE:UM tries to reproduce Manpasikjeok, the legendary pipe from the ancient time. The legendary pipe’s loud sound and the music of SE:UM are similar in that they both originate from human breath.
As the sound of the legendary pipe saved the perilous world, the music made with each musician’s inner breath will breath with the audience, and bear their thoughts.
SE:UM wishes to deliver hope and comfort to the audience, and their warmth to spead out to the world like ten thousand waves.
1. Guest (5‘)
The abyss that devours humans comes from a place unknown, and shakes up their lives. The evil energy that suddenly appears like an uninvited guest may have been coming to us very slowly but surey from a long time ago. The tight tension among repetitive jing, contrabass and steel gayageum forewarns the coming of the uninvited guest. 2. Seven (7’ 30”)
Seven is the contemporary ritual music praying for peace, inspired by the dance of Cheoyong, the ritual dance repelling the Plague God and the Demon.
The 7 beat rhythm represents the seven exorcising peaches on the mask of Cheoyong. The escalating melodies on top of the unstable 7 beat rhythm peaks into the peaceful unison. 3. Cloud Path (6’)
The Eonmori rhythm is mixed with 2 beat and 3 beat rhythms as human lives with happiness, anger, sorrow and joy. The ups and downs of the life tire one out, but they also provide a sense of accomplishment. Imagine freeing yourself from the hardships of life and walking on clouds. 4. Ten Thousand Waves (10’)
Ten Thousand Waves is inspired by the folktale of Manpasikjeok. As the music from the folklore brought peace to the chaotic country, Music Group SE:UM hope their music brings comfort and healing to the listeners. Based on the theme of the court music of Manpasikjeok, the melodies of gayageum, saxophone, trumpet and taepyeongso form a big wave. The solo improvisation of janggu makes the accelerating music surge, and at its climax, the Korean rhythm and the jazz melodies merge into ten thousand waves, the music that embraces the world.
Soorim New Wave Showcase: Korean Breath - Aura
Mt. Umyeon Starry Night Festival
Arirang Festival @Concert Hall, Seoul Arts Center w/ Millennium Symphony Orchestra
Korean Breath – Aura
New Year’s Concert
selected for PAMS Choice at Performing Arts Market in Seoul
selected as Collaborating Musician at Platform Changdong 61
selected as resident artist at Bupyeong Arts Center
selected for UlsanAPaMM Choice
received 5-star review at Edinburgh Festival Fringe