Korea Times: A Maestro Who Saved Girl Genius Lost All Curiosity

A Maestro Who Saved Girl Genius Lost Curiosity-Sukhi Kang and TeRra Han

-Composer, Sukhi Kang(80) and Kayageum virtuoso TeRra Han(30)-


Jang Byung Wook Senior Reporter aje@hk.co.kr

The Korea Times (한국일보)



  • TeRra Han, Music Prodigy

-Mastered all three major kayageum schools in her early teens.

-After graduating from Seoul National University, activating  in New York, Tokyo, Paris etc.

-Claimed by The world’s greatest maestros.


  • Maestro, composer Sukhi Kang

-Director of 88 Seoul Olympic Opening Ceremony

– String Quartet, ‘Pyeongchang’s Four Seasons’ etc. in 2006

– Combining  traditional and modern concepts

– Pioneer of computer music and modern music of Korea


  • TeRra Han’s “Tribute Concert” to Sukhi Kang’s 80th Birthday

-Art cannot be trapped in the nationalism or any others

-TeRra Han, almost close to 30 years  as a kayageum player

-My teacher, Kang is the my pride in the life


From the Ureuk of Kaya in the 6th century to Sukhi Kang (80)  of the 21st century, the karma of arts that TeRra Han(30) the music genius were willing to embrace is literally transcending time and space.  Not content with Jazz musicians, even the avant – garde saxophonist John Zorn is naturally strucked by her encounter with her bringing her into her realm. It may have been a slight fling to her, but it was a continuation of transformation. It is breathtaking just to follow the brilliant trajectory that has been achieved in a long time.

People who are confident in English would prefer to see English Wikipedia. Let’s search for ‘Han Terra’. The facts covering everything from orthodoxy to avant – garde are laced with long skirts. Tradition and transformation are legal entities that can coexist in this way. “In the early teens, after taking the entire backstage of Choi, Ok-sam, Kim, Jukpa, Sung Geum Yeon Kayagum Sanjo, and graduating from the National Traditional Music High School with the first student of Kayageum, following her major career in Korea, there ws a new milestone: “2010 is the first gayageum player to be selected as a US Rockefeller Foundation fellow.” It was inevitable that the future with New York culture.

There she collided with the essence of experimentation, improvisation and avant-garde music. Contemporary jazz giant John John, as well as Philip Glass, Steve Reich, and other masters of minimalism, were impressed with the kayageum. For example, John’s testimony. “(Terra) If I had a musical influence from me, I would rather be thankful.”

Just before her residence in New York, she went to Japan and had time to introduce kayageum in earnest. She studied  Japanese traditional musical instruments such as koto, Shamisen, and interpreted Japanese original music by Kayagum. Beyond just taking a taste, it was a stepping stone to the true meaning of cultural exchange.

She came to Seoul. As if to show the coexistence of water and fire, it encompasses orthodoxy and progress. It is not an equality of an omnibus-style assortment, but a place to confirm and declare its own principal.

The gallery concert, which anchored by Lee Yoo Jin Gallery in Seoul on July 7, will be the first to be held on May 19, Daejeon Gallery Ian, Gallery Dam on 20th, and Lotte Gallery Jamsil on April 19th. It is a scene that confirms the mainstream of traditional kayageum, such as Seog keum Yeon, Choi okam, This is a chance to see the current status of the gallery concerts in five languages ​​in New York, Tokyo and Paris. The ideal is half of hers.

In the other half, in connection with modern music, we face the back of the moon. Currently, Révélation (the meaning of revelation, exposition, rediscovery), TeRra Han’s Kayageum, which is the starting point in mid April. In front of her, she put a short sign in, “Tribute Concert to World-wide composer, Sukhi Kang’. “In the concert, Sanjo kayageum, Pungryu kayageum, and 25 Modern kayageum will be shown. It is my first time to review my work from the perspective of Korean traditional music.” The age of 80 seems to be nothing more than a deed, and this vigorous active composer is inflated by some expectations.

The scenery of the composition work room that Bundang did separately is still. Because of the dense books and materials, it was a good idea to have a decent conversation. A tube amp and handmade speakers he made over 20 years ago tell the character of this space. “Excellent bass characteristics.” There is no electronic music composer with a good hearing because the German electronic music studio uses the loudest sound of the limit often, and France is practical if the German studio is academical, etc. The behavior of the composer who conveys the back scenery of the modern music world is a little inconvenient. On the day when the frostbite came, I slipped down the road and hurt my leg a little.

“It is kind of Hommage of him, Sukhi Kang. Even though I am working outside of his field, it is a great thing to express myself actively and boldly.” In Korea, this recital is the first time since 2010. The masterpieces of teachers such as ‘Ye-hwa’, ‘Cheon-tae-hyeong’, ‘Nam-ga’, and ‘Five scenes for Kayageum’ were the subject of a tremendous quest,

It is the first time that Kang ‘s representative works such as’ Pyeongchang’ s Four Seasons ” Nirmanaka ” and ‘Buru’ are played with Kayageum. Han’s shoulder is heavy. The burden of the composer’s expectation is also included. “For example, at the time of composing, I was going to have a humanness because I played a mechanical minimalism and put it on a kayageum playing which was a cold melody.” The Beatles’ hit song ‘Get Back’ is ready for encore, so I can not help but be curious. Actually, it was a work that Kang built as a commissioner of Toshiba Records in Japan in 1986.

But what is the implicit title of the performance? Composers studying the customs of Western music can not understand the kayageum, and some of the works that they understand and have a feeling of foreign body. I was confident that I would be able to confirm that the foreign body was overcome. “In large measure, it matches with Sanjo’s original concept of player centrism.” There is a more fundamental reason beyond the point of view problem of 8.

It is also an uncommon spot to demonstrate the specificity of the kayageum in terms of hardware. The ‘five scenes for the kayageum’, composed for the 25 – stringed kayageum, expand the concept of pitching and play for the first time as a performance of the kayageum. The sight of such a transposition in three minutes will surely be a sight to see. The important thing is that it is the aesthetic choice of Sukhi Kang. It is not a dimension of improvisation or happening in order to accept it as part of the music until the process. It is not an accident but an intended event, part of creation.

Age difference was only a number. The meeting between the two generations was made in 2004 when she prepared an academic paper. At the time, the young college student tried to analyze his composition, five scenes of the gayageum of Kang, who was a technically difficult piece. “I wanted to overcome the gap between modern music and kayageum that was serious to me at the time.” “I felt that the performance of Korean instruments was technically degrading at the time,” said the teacher who was listening. kayageum is a pathway to the nature of the world or music.

“In my opinion, Mr. Kang will definitely like me as a performer.” TeRra Han ‘s words would have warmed up a part of the heart of the old man who is engaged in the work as if to cling. Still, he is active in wrestling with large sheet music. Composition commissioning is still a stimulus that inspires him. “All the works I have published, including the Prometheus fire at the opening ceremony of the 88th Olympics, have been commissioned.” Explain that it is natural for a pro. However, this concert by his pupils is filled with the warmth that flows in contemporary music that is just as cool.

In spring 2006 (the season of Pyeongchang), which was commissioned by the Dae Gwan Lyeong International Music Festival in 2006, the tradition of beauty and the concept of modernity are combined. The violin solo is a gayageum of Terra. In ‘Buru’ (1976), with the dancing and singing of the TeRra, he literally becomes the general drama of ‘ The body of the kayageum turns into a percussion instrument. Every part serves as a musical instrument. This work, which embodies the voice of a mother who read her books as a child, met her.

The girl, who mastered the three professions(schools) of kayageum, became a sophomore in classical music and lost all curiosity. She thought about quitting gayageum after thirst that I wanted to do more difficult than regular course. Although Seoul National University Music Department did not provide a clue, Kang, Sukhi who was known as a Korean composer of Korea at that time, rescued her. When she was in the fourth grade, she greeted through introduced by one of her friends. “It is still vivid that the artistic problem should not be confined to a nationalist perspective.” New musical world was so open to her that he made traditional music training more robust than anyone else.

Supporting her path is a firm self-esteem. She knows better than anyone why Westerns are enthusiastic about the performance of Korean traditional music including recall of the most traditional kayageum sanjo in overseas concert. She said, “30 years of time in the Kayageum soon.” She has the best teachers in Korea, and at least she is proud of not dropping the quality of her music.

“I do not like it.” She said a 30 – year well plate. I should be able to make all the sounds of the world kayageum. Her kayageum is, then, the most reliable, sacrosanct. It is the basis for studying Sukhi Kang’s work, “It is because of the pride of a Korean classical musician who is going to be more classical. The teacher is amy pride as itself.” But if somebody call me on TV shows, every time refuses. It is because we make the nature of our things so easily deteriorate.

She currently lives in New York City Manhattan with an Artist Visa, not a student ID. Professor Robert Provin, a world musicologist, named her the “moving work of art” in 2010, who was named a sponsor of the Asia Culture Council of the Rockefeller Foundation.


Translated, HBS Creatives.

[Ⓒ Internet Korea Daily (www.hankooki.com), reprint and redistribution prohibited]


TeRra Han, The Korea Times, Sukhi Kang, Kayageum, Gayageum, TeRra Magazine


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