A week and a half ago I had the good fortune to be given a free ticket to the Yeowoorak Festival by the K-Performance Supporters programme. There have been numerous performances throughout the festival, but I was offered the chance to attend one in particular - The Whale In The Moon - a collaborative concert between two particularly interesting bands, Second Moon and Coreyah.
Second Moon performing "Ice Pond" live on MBC
Second Moon are a funky, spunky "ethnic fusion" group made up of six instrumentalists and are perhaps best known for the contributions to the soundtracks of tv dramas like Princess Hours and Island. A mix of drums, keyboards, melodion, mandolin, guitar, double bass, uilleann pipes, accordion and violin.
Coreyah's music video "Whale Of A Time"
Coreyah are a little more Korea focused in terms of their musical sensibilities, five musicians using a mix of traditional instruments including daegeum, sogeum, geomungo and janggu alongside guitar, drums and other more eclectic musical tools to create a wide selection of worldly tunes that are complemented by singer Kwon Ah-shin's vocals.
A grand total of a dozen performers on stage that night, all attempting to play a mixed bag of the two teams' repertoires. Some tunes were more successful than others, with Second Moon's own compositions often outshining those of Coreyah. However, both teams played with aplomb and every musician seemed to be giving their all to every number, no matter the origin.
The audience (seemingly mostly composed of fans of both Second Moon and Coreyah) lapped every song up, but to be honest by the halfway mark I found my interest flagging, especially when two male members of Coreyah decided to perform an ear-splittingly bad rap number.
Still, it was well worth going and it makes me happy to know that the National Theatre of Korea is willing to invest time and money in an experimental music festival that attempts to break new ground and bring innovative artists together. I also hope I get to see Second Moon again at some point, but to be honest I think one performance from Coreyah was enough for me.
The Yeowoorak Festival comes to a close this weekend, but do not fear the National Theatre has already released its line up for the 2014/2015 season and then are plenty of productions that demand attention, including more screenings of performances from the National Theatre Live programme in the UK.