A free-music marathon in North Jeolla

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A free-music marathon in North Jeolla

Your typical concert does not involve sitting through eight straight hours of performances a day for two consecutive days. But that is exactly what free-music artists like Park Chang-soo, Alfred Harth and many others are offering this weekend.
In “Voice of Asia, Free Music Festival,” artists from around the world will gather at Yewon Arts University in Jeonju, a small city in North Jeolla province. Divided into several teams, the artists will create sounds that fit the broad theme of Oriental philosophy. Considering that the performance is free, all one has to do is make a reservation.
Free music refers to impromptu performances with no any rules; there’s no such thing as a mistake. Based on skilled fundamentals and techniques, free-music artists have a reputation for transforming what floats into their mind into quality music. Korea does not yet enjoy a large free-music scene, whereas Japan and parts of Europe have had established free-music scenes for decades.
Park Chang-soo, one of the few free-music artists of Korea, says his genre serves as a tool to express Oriental ideas, which is the core theme of this performance. “Free-music artists tend to depart from Western style and techniques; they’re more attracted to Asia and the Third World,” Mr. Park said. “We’re more into Asian music, which will make a quality performance.”
Many of the performers, from Japan, India, Germany and England, are meeting for the first time in Jeonju. As such, no one can predict what kind of music will emerge. And that stays true to the spirit of free music, which is all about impromptu presentation.
Divided into groups, performers will play under sub-themes like “Bone of Space,” “The Technique of Ecstasy,” “Mother Nature” and “Like the Mountain, Like the Water,” which are ideated from the teachings of Buddha, Confucius and other Asian philosophers.
Performers include the acclaimed Japanese pianist Shuichi Chino; Alfred Harth, a German avant-garde artist and saxophonist, and Mike Turnbull, a percussion player from Britain. Many performers use traditional instruments, making for an interesting stage.
The performances run from 2 to 10 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday.


by Chun Su-jin

For tickets, call (063) 231-7070.
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