Il-Dong Bae The Story of Sim Cheong: a p’ansori concert

If Volcanoes could sing, then they would sound like Bae Il-Dong.”  – John Shand, ABC Jazz

We are extremely excited to co-present with Musagetes, The Story of Sim Cheong: A daughter and her blind father – a p’ansori concert at the ArtsEverywhere Festival 2018!

Il-Dong Bae is highly regarded as one of Korea’s finest p’ansori singers. He has performed numerous
concerts both internationally and within Korea and his extraordinary life story is featured in the documentary, Intangible Asset Number 82.

Dong-Won Kim is a Korean percussionist, vocalist, composer, and improviser. He has studied Korean traditional music since 1984, including farmers’ drumming and dance, shaman music, and Pansori accompaniment. Currently Kim teaches at the Wonkwang Digital University in Korea.

This special evening will feature the talent of Il-Dong Bae, highly regarded as one of Korea’s finest p’ansori singers, performing alongside Dong-Won Kim, a Korean percussionist, pedagogue, vocalist, composer, and improviser. The p’ansori (fold opera) that they will be performing for the audience in Guelph has never before been translated into English.

Emerging during the mid Chosŏn era (1392-1910), p’ansori is a style of epic story singing performed by a vocalist and drummer (kosu). The vocalist narrates long dramatic tales through speech, song, and action, while the drummer accompanies the singer and gives calls of encouragement (ch’ŭimsae) such as ŏlssigu (right-on!) at the end of vocal phrases.

Traditionally, in order to master the various elements of p’ansori, singers would spend long periods (100 days) in isolation, singing into waterfalls in order to “break” the voice and reveal the “true” tone. Il-Dong Bae, a performer steeped in the eastern school (tongp’yŏnje) of p’ansori, is one of the few contemporary singers to follow this harsh tradition. While still a student, he traveled to Mount Chiri on the southern end of the Sobaek Mountain Range and spent seven years living by a waterfall, practicing up to 18 hours a day in order to reveal his voices.

For more information, contact Shawn Van Sluys.

The Story of Sim Cheong: a p’ansori concert
River Run Centre, Cooperators Hall
Saturday, January 20, 2018, 7pm
Tickets: $30 (Available at
ArtsEverywhere Festival

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