Ajaeng Ajaeng 2LP
Ideologic Organ 39 / AUS / 2020
Ajaeng Ajaeng: with respect to European string instruments, the technique col legno affords the direct encounter of wood and string, opening the way to a more tactile conception of the sustained sound, while bringing the materiality of the bow and its practices into question. In violin, viola, cello bows, Pernambuco wood offers an ideal example of extraction, colonialism, deforestation. With the Ajaeng, a Korean musical instrument, the situation is more complex. The dialectic of court to folk music, always political, always incendiary, may be heard here in the encounter of forsythia and silk, of Dae Ajaeng to So Ajaeng, and on a broader level of Dang Ak (Tang Dynasty music) to Hyang Ak (native Korean music) and their representations. This music is made for meditation. On retreat in 2019 I had a revelation: there is no difference between the prayer, the hearing, and the void. There is nothing original in this idea; Wonhyo and many sages have thought it before.