As I mentioned before, I really love many different kinds of music… and one of the genres I really enjoy listening to is Pansori.
I’m not going to give too much information about it, but rather a small intro.
Pansori is a form of traditional Korean music in which a single singer tells a story. The vocalist is generally accompanied by a drummer who plays the buk. Singing pansori requires a lot of difficult vocal techniques. Students learn these techniques by listening and copying their teacher.
I actually think that pansori could be described as… the opera from the East. And Korea’s primadonna would then definitely be Ahn Suk-seon (안숙선).
Ahn Suk-seon is named “the nation’s Important Intangible Cultural Asset No. 23 and the artistic-talent holder of gayageum-sanjo and byeongchang.” I really really admire her so much!
I had the opportunity to see her performing in Brussels and Ahn Suk-seon was simply amazing! I totally understand why she is a pansori master. Her voice, her facial expressions, her emotions… it was all so wonderful. She sang the Heungbuga. A famous story about a poor but good man.
Originally I thought I couldn’t go to the concert because I already had another plan, but in the end I managed to make some changes in my schedule and I got some tickets.
The point is… because I looked for tickets only a few days before the performance, my seat was on the first row. So I had to look up all the time. But honestly… I think those were the best seats! Although my neck hurt a bit afterwards, I was sitting so close to her and I could see every smile, every frown, every little movement she made with her fan! Oh… her elegance!
After the performance I had the chance to talk to her personally and she was so sweet and nice! She kept holding my hands and told me that she had seen me sitting in front and that she was happy that I listened so attentively. It was really a dream coming true for me!
You can see her here singing a very beautiful version of Arirang. I totally adore Jindo Arirang (진도 아리랑) and Miryang Arirang (밀양 아리랑) and when master Ahn sings it, I like it even more! She also made me fall in love with Munkyeong Arirang (that’s the first one she sings in the video 문경아리랑).