It has been over a month, since I’ve been at this year’s Jeonju International Sori Festival (전주세계소리축제). For the first time, I might add, and only one weekend.
Unfortunately, the weather turned rather bad on Sunday, typhoon “Sanba” was coming up from Jejudo, so there was no other way of returning back to Seoul early Monday morning. So I couldn’t see as many performances as I wished, still there were some amazing pieces. I have written two reviews for the festival’s official blog 소리타래, this time both in Korean. They have been published recently, of course with a lot of corrections and the inevitable 푸른 눈의 외국인 (“blue-eyed foreigner”) attached to the title.
The first review is about one of the main performances of the festival, 광대의 노래, which literally translates as “Song of the Clown(s)”. It is a memorial piece about Shin Jae-hyo (신재효), an important sponsor, scholar, and teacher of pansori, whose 200th birthday would have been this year.
The second text compares two performances of Jeokbyeok-ga (적벽가), one of the five canonical pansori-pieces. The first version by Yun Jin-cheol (윤진철) was a classical pansori performance, the second is a student production that kind of mixes elements of musical and changgeuk.
My latest article—a book review—is in English again, with an additional Korean translation. The bilingual version makes senses, as this article is as much for anyone learning Korean as for anyone interested in Korean traditional storytelling. The book 춘향전과 한국문화 (“The Story of Chunhyang and Korean Culture, published by 박이정) is a good introduction to the most famous pansori story and provides various extra material on the cultural phenomena mentioned as well as explanations of the more difficult terms employed.
So much for now from the Sori-blog, more is coming soon…
— 29 Oct. 2012 (月)