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Contemporary Music Ensemble Seoul Contemporary Music
Ensemble Seoul
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Since Western music was imported to Korea one hundred years ago it has grown to become a primary counterpart of Korean traditional music. Korean musicians have tried to construct a new cultural environment in the name of the "new Korean music" that denies the distinction between Western music and Korean traditional music, and that harmonizes the two musical cultures. Contemporary Music Ensemble Korea (CMEK) was founded in 1998 for the purpose of creating this new Korean music and to promote it to the world as one of the universal musical languages.
CMEK mainly performs newly-composed ensemble pieces that use instruments and musical idioms of the two cultures. CMEK is interested in performing interdisciplinary works of music, performance and other genres and is recognized as one of the most promising ensembles of its kind. CMEK is considered a national treasure because of the new musical worlds it has opened up in Korea.
Ji-Young Yi, director and kayagum-player, has studied various traditional musical genres such as kayagum performance, song and dance since the age of five. She holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from the Seoul National University and is the doctoral candidate at Iwha Woman's University. She was a former member of the National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts and currently is a professor at Yong-In University. Due to her activities in Korea and abroad, she is regarded as one of the most brilliant contemporary musicians. She has been invited to various contemporary music festivals world-wide including Otherminds Festival (USA), Isang Yun Festival (Germany), Edinburgh Festival (UK) and so forth.
Jeong-Seung Kim, taegeum, has been brought up in a traditional music family. He is versed not only on the taegum (long transverse bamboo flute) but also the tanso (vertical bamboo flute), changgo (hour-glass drum) and other traditional musical instruments. He is famous for his performing technique in contemporary pieces. He graduated from the Seoul National University and is a member of the National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts. He is also a member of Intangible Cultural Asset for Kure Loco Ensemble.
Chi'-Wan Park, piri, saenghwang, changgo, is a member of the Intangible Cultural Asset No. 46, the Korean Classical Piri Music and Royal Marching Music, and the National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts. He studied at Seoul National University.

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