Musicians seek truth in compositions on life, death
Everyone on earth will sooner or later face death, and until that final moment, they live their own lives within the limits of time.
“SaengSa_music of the living, to those beyond,” two-day performance this weekend delves into this unavoidable question of life and death through contemporary music inspired by traditional Korean music, as well as animated visual arts.
Three composers, Jang Younggyu, Sebastian Claren, and Lee Taewon, each with expertise in film scores, contemporary classic music and traditional Korean music respectively, reinterpret traditional Korean music related to funerals, commemorative rituals or requiems into original works.
Audiences will be able to trace elements of traditional funeral music, the royal ancestral ritual performed at shrines, and shamanistic rites through the 75-minute performance.
Musicians of traditional Korean music instruments, including haegeum artist Kang Ji-eun, who is also the artistic director of the performance, percussion artist Kim Wooung-sik, geomungo artist Kim Joon-young, and daegeum artist Hong Yoo, perform nine pieces of music, along with lecture performances.
This multi-genre performance, combining music, theater and visual arts, has a basic narrative that starts from the death of a person.
People gather to hold a funeral, inviting the soul of the deceased to join the event.
At the commemorative ritual, the boundary between the living and the dead gets blurred, as both the living people and the dead soul mingle together and share ideas on life and death.
The ritual ends, and people send the soul back to heaven; and they return to their daily routines.
Through the music inspired by traditional Korean music and futuristic stage designs, this performance aims to encompass the past, present and future in one space, conveying a soothing message that life and death are interlinked and united as one.
It also asks questions to each audience member to ponder on the universal themes of life and death that they all face, while providing them a consolation for human finitude.
The performance is part of this year’s Seoul Performing Arts Festival (SPAF) program.
The two-day performance is scheduled to be held at five p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at Sejong Center for the Performing Arts’ S Theater.
Visit Interpark to reserve tickets at: ticket.interpark.com/.
“SaengSa_music of the living, to those beyond” presents contemporary music inspired by traditional Korean music, as well as animated visual arts.