Rita Pardue's Sound Mind |

Noreum Machi at Levitt Pavilion MacArthur Park

Percussion to me is like a heart beat in a band. I've collected a variety of percussion instruments over the years during my travels as a touring musician. I even hired a welder to build me a percussion tree so I could hang all of my chimes, bells, blocks, and cymbals. Today at KPCC's Mohn Broadcast Center in Studio G, I'm producing a spot featuring a group called Noreum Machi. They are a new group from Korea that performs the virtuosic percussion music known as samulnori Incredible! This type of music was introduced to the West in the late 1970s by the legendary ensemble Samul-Nori. Samulnori is a modernized staged adaptation of ungmul nori, a ritualistic celebratory event with origins in shamanism and animism performed by rice farmers and professional musicians at harvest festivals. I am searching the internet to learn more about this fascinating group. Noreum Machi's colorful program includes spectacular percussion dialogues, shamanic chants, and acrobatic dances.

The core instruments used are the janggo, an hourglass-shaped double headed drum that could be considered the national instrument of Korea since it is used in all forms of Korean music; the buk, a double-headed barrel drum; the kwaenggwari, a small gong originally used in the royal ancestral shrine music; and the jing, a large gong. Other instruments used selectively are the piri, a small eight holed high-pitched oboe; the taepyongso, a conical oboe; and the bara, brass cymbals used in Buddhist and shaman ritual music. For more information on their upcoming performance at Levitt Pavilion MacArthur Park, go to http://www.levittla.org.

(Audio is Levitt Pavilion underwriting spot with Minnesota MPR voice talent, Steve Seel and music bed features Noreum Machi.)