A unique blend of contemporary and classical music is set to take centre stage at the Katara Drama Theatre, featuring renowned Korean Fusion Band’s first performance in Doha on March 30, it was announced.
The quintet – Ah-Reum Lee, Hye Kyung Kwon, Yi-Su Chung, Kyung-Min Kim, and Ji-Hyun Kim – has performed in more than 60 cities in 40 countries, playing four different traditional instruments: gayageum (zither), daegeum (flute), janggu (drum), and electric violin.
“Queen introduces audience from all over the world to Korean music, as the band beautifully incorporates both Eastern and Western musical elements,” South Korean ambassador Kim Chang-mo said.
He noted that the band managed to popularise Korean music by playing various famous musical pieces, including movie and television soundtracks and pop songs, allowing them to reach out to young and old audiences globally.
A special song for Qatar “in Queen’s style” will be among the highlights of the concert, which is also set to feature the band’s rendition of popular Korean songs.
One is Arirang, a folk song that is often considered the unofficial national anthem of Korea – which has about 3,600 variations of 60 different versions of the song; and a medley of soundtracks of Korean TV series.
Queen will also put a captivating show of the theme song of ‘Mission Impossible’ and ‘Winter’ from Antonio Vivaldi’s ‘The Four Seasons’, as well as songs by famous Korean girl group Blackpink – reinterpreted with the gayageum backed by a cover-dance performance.
Fans of Dae Jang Geum, main character of one of the most famous Korean TV series ‘Jewel in the Palace’, get a treat at the event for the band’s version of Onara – the series’ ending theme.
‘Jewel in the Palace’ was exported to over 90 countries, significantly contributing to the popularity of Korean culture across the globe.
Part of the programme also includes a gayageum (traditional Korean instrument with 12 strings) solo performance by a band member who uses a 25-stringed gayageum.
About other Korean traditional instruments, the daegeum is a transverse flute made of bamboo which has a special aperture, covered with a reed membrane, giving it a characteristic sound; while the janggu is a traditional drum known for its distinctive hourglass shape and its two heads are covered with animal skin.
An electric violin, on the other hand, is a violin equipped with an electronic output of its sound.
Meanwhile, pansori is a Korean genre of musical storytelling by a vocalist and a drummer, which some similarities to opera. In 2003, Unesco recognised it as a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.”