Yi Ji-young plays “La Cucaracha” – Korean style
Photo by Irvin Olivares

Yi Ji-young plays “La Cucaracha” – Korean style

28/11/2017
15:34
Alida Piñón
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The artists is considered one of the most representative gayageum players of Korea

The debut in Mexico of Yi Ji-young – considered by many one of the most representative gayageum players of Korea, with a musical repertoire ranging from the most traditional pieces to the most modern and avant-garde performances – and Kim Woong-sik, a janggu player, became a window into the history and culture of a nation.

From elegance to intensity to full expression, and from tradition to the interpretation of Korean music of the 20th century, the concert of the Koreans was one of the most acclaimed presentation of the Miguel Bernal Jiménez Music Festival of Morelia, which took place at the Municipal Palace of the city.

These two instruments, the gayageum and the janggu, are part of the most ancient musical tradition of Korea, and according to Yi Ji-young, they have a very special characteristic: they're used as the grounds for modern expression; in fact, Yi Ji-young herself has claimed most composers aim their energy towards merging the ancient with the modern.

This Korean artist has a strong presence in international music festivals, such as the Asian Composers League, the Otherminds Contemporary Festival, or the Pacific Rim Music Festival, and for this program, Yi Ji-young gave us Chimhyangmu by Hwang Byung ki; Hukdam (Mud fence) by Lee Haesik; Highwire Act by Donald Reid Womack; and traditional Korean music.

According to expert Juan Arturo Brennan, the gayageum is a musical instrument similar to the sitar, with 12 strings, that according to Korean tradition, was invented in the 6th century.

Given the touching reception she had from the Morelos audience, Yi Ji-young returned to the stage three times more and played as an encore two Mexican popular songs “La Cucaracha” and “Cielito Lindo,” with sounds from her traditional instruments.

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