“Fused aesthetic biculturalism, beautifully executed”
Park Jiha is a contemporary/experimental musician, hailing from Seoul, South Korea. Her music is rooted in traditional Korean instruments, infused with a multitude of contemporary elements and structure.
Philos, her second album, is more or less a crossroad, where eastern and western traditions meet, exchanging words, notes, feelings, sounds, themes. Jiha, a multi-instrumentalist, play an oboe-like, traditional Korean instrument called piri. It is is a double reed bamboo flute, and quite loud. She also plays the saenghwang (mouth organ), yanggeum (hammered dulcimer) and percussion. That merging of traditional and modern music – one Korean, the other western – is what makes Philos such a journey, traversing within all these different paths. Masterfully conjoined sonic particles are formed into formidable, ethereal and uplifting compositions, where everything interchanges with each other. Fused aesthetic biculturalism, beautifully executed.
Each track includes Jiha’s full involvement, being behind each instrument and the composer as well. The exception is Easy, a poem written and recited by Dima El Sayed hailing from Lebanon, who visited Korea to participate in the Hwaeom Spiritual Music Ritual; a piece inspired by Jiha’s work.
Multilayered, yet minimal, improvisational too, this is Jiha’s personal treat to traditional Korean music. Something done with utmost love and care!
Conceptually this is very interesting too, as Phílo-, borrowed from the Greek, means loving (eg philology). Philos – the plural of philo, evolves and blooms in that context, signifying Jiha’s musical approach. The essence of this album is bonding, friendship, togetherness, coexistence in musical terms. Sounds good? Absolutely!
Heavyweight 180gm vinyl and deluxe 4-panel digipak CD.