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Ajaeng concert to explore reinterpretations of court, folk music

Jan. 27, 2023 - 17:12 By Hwang Dong-hee
Ajaeng player Choi Hye-rim (Seoul Donhwamun Traditional Theater)

A concert dedicated to the traditional Korean string instrument ajaeng will be held on Feb. 14, at the Seoul Donhwamun Traditional Theater, located in Jongno-gu.

Titled “Choi Hye-rim’s Ajaeng with Yang Seung-hwan,” the 60-minute performance is part of the traditional music performance hall’s project for this year, the organizer announced in a press release last week.

Ajaeng is a horizontal zither mainly played in court music and folk music. The instrument has seven strings for court music, eight for folk music, and sometimes as many as nine to twelve strings.

In the February concert, Choi will expand the possibilities of the ajaeng in collaboration with composer Yang by reinterpreting different genres of traditional music with modern techniques and ensembles with other instruments.

The program includes newly composed songs “Starlight Meditation II,” Intertwined II” and “A duet of viola and ajaeng.”

In 2020, Choi held a series of solo recitals, titled “Sensibility,” which explored the expressive and unique sounds of the traditional string instrument. Choi, a National Gugak Center member, also released a solo album with the same title.

Other performers include gayageum player Lee Ji-hye, percussion Lee Jun-hyoung, violinists Yoon Jong-su, Lee Jin-seong, violist Park Yong-eun and cellist Ahn Ji-eun.

Ticket costs 20,000 won, and can be reserved through Seoul Donhwamun Traditional Theater’s official website or Interpark Ticket.