Thursday, December 4, 2014

Jeonju International Sori Festival

소리: {soh-ree} sound, voice, ballad or speech.

One of the things I like best about Korea is the many festivals that take place over the summer. Now that summer's over, so are many of the festivals. But there was one this past weekend that I truly enjoyed. 
           Jeonju hosted the International Sori Festival. There were many performances from around the world that featured both traditional and modern music. The music was varied, both with the instruments they played and the voices that enchanted the crowd. Watching the effect the performers had on the crowd was just as amazing as being brought into another world as they told stories with their music.

Because of the many groups that were available to perform, there were two main stages. One was in Hanok village (the traditional shopping area). The other was the Jeonju Art Center. Due to time restrains I only was able to visit the art center stage, but the performances I saw were amazing. One of the groups I particularly enjoyed was Bulsechul. (불세출) What was so interesting about these eight men was how they played tribute to their traditional Korean heritage through their music. These gentlemen integrated the guitar with more traditional instruments such as the gayageum (가야금), which looks like a harp and sits flat on the floor to create harmonious sounds. The gayageum performance I saw blended both modern and traditional music into one song.  

Just before leaving the festival, I walked through the food tents and discovered to my excitement that there was a Turkish kabob stand. I enjoyed pork kabob with lettuce, ranch dressing and chile pepper sauce. I followed it with Turkish ice cream. I've seen similar stands in Korea, and while I've eaten the kabob many times, I've never tried the ice cream.

Photos and Article by Jessica Russell


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