Portrait of Hwang Byungki: New and Traditional Music for Korean Instruments
The first two pieces in this concert invoke nature: forests, hills, streams, moonlight, wind, and a mountain retreat. Two Korean paintings in our collections, from the sixteenth or early-seventeenth century, depict solitary figures in dramatic natural settings. In one, a scholar gazes into a mist-laden mountain landscape. In the other, a figure stands under a pine tree amidst mountains and water.
In the concert piece "Harimsong," the composer evokes the sixth-century palace of Harim, where the kayagum [gayagum] is first documented to have been played, in 551 ce. Our collections of Korean art are rich in ceramics and jewelry from this era, part of the Three Kingdoms period. Examples include unglazed stoneware jars used to hold food offerings in the burial of deceased aristocrats
(see Jar 1 , Jar 2 , Jar 3 , Funerary stand with round-bottomed jar, Vessel Stand). Elaborate gold jewelry worn as earrings or suspended from crowns also was produced during the same period. One pendant hangs from a loop of solid gold, with sheet-gold, gold wire, gold granulation, and glass beads forming elaborate designs (see Ear Pendant 1, Ear Pendant 2, Ear Pendant 3).
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