2017 KOREAN MUSIC FESTIVAL, NAIROBI
All roads lead to Safari Park hotel for the Korean music festival. The turnout did not lie; Korean music is quite popular to Nairobi music lovers. They turned up en–masse. The hotel’s pristine natural state was inviting. With a perfect landscape of short-trimmed grass, massive fan shaped trees and well paved walkways built along waterfalls and whistling winds, it offered the perfect environment for this event. There was a laidback, nonchalant charm to this evening.
A session of pleasantry exchanges amid refreshments begun. The waiters in their stand-out garbs weaved around and ambled past, serving drinks as the stylish guests and well-heeled visitors chatted and gabbed away. Some 20 minutes into this, we all walked into the arena, sat pretty and waited.
Adorned in white classy Korean traditional ‘hanboks,’ nine beautiful ladies made their way to the podium and sat behind their instruments. This was DASRUM, the Premier All-Female Korean Music Ensemble. Established in 1990, their vision has been to open a new future for Korean classical music. They have been playing as an orchestra, performing over 600 times and creatively presenting Korean classical music whilst expanding its styles into the new generation. Their overseas performances, beginning in 2005 had finally brought them to Kenya.
The numbers at play commenced with Sinsujecheon and slowly careered to Haegeum Sanjo, Sarangga, Jindo Arirang, Seoljanngu , to Sinbaetnori . The Korean traditional instruments led the tempo. From bak, piri, taepyeongso, haegeum, kkwaenggwari, Gayageum, Janggu, ajaeng to daegeum, they all did the magic. The audience could not resist the beauty. With cameras and smart phones in their hands, they crooned while taking videos and images. The applause came naturally.
The take home was Sangmo dolligi where a male illustrator skillfully twirled a long white streamer (attached to his hat), dancing around as the music belted out. That was exemplary! Sinbaetnori was appealing to boot going by how happy the performers seemed to enjoy. The peak came at the ‘Korean Sound of Kenya’ where the group turned local and played “Malaika” (a love song) and “Jambo”, alongside a seasoned local drummer. This experience was subtly patriotic. It left many captivated.
The event concluded on an energetic note. A standing ovation was followed by a rousing round of applause. The performance had perfectly radiated the beauty of Korean music.
Venue: Safari Park Hotel, Nyama Choma Ranch.
Date: 27th September 2017.
Story by Andreas Mutuku
Image Credits: The Events Guru