A shamanic legacy | The Sinawi Ensemble

Digital version


100% secure payments
  Garanties sécurité

(à modifier dans le module "Réassurance")

Kim Hae-sook, gayageum bridged zither
Lee Jae-hwa, geomungo fretted zither
Kim Young-gil, ajaeng bowed zither
Ahn Sung-woo, daegeum flute
Yu Kyung-hwa, percussion     

Namdo sinawi - Pungnyu sinawi - Jindo sinawi

This is the first album entirely dedicated to the sinawi, a traditional music on the edge of jazz. The sinawi is music improvised by a small instrumental ensemble that accompanies the dances and singing of shamans during rituals. As many shamanic rituals are no longer practiced, the sinawi was transformed into concert music and its musical content has also been altered.

Today, the sinawi is improvised on several instruments within a rhythmic and modal framework which is set in advance but which leaves the musicians a great deal of liberty, as in the hard bop. Melodies composed in a single melodic mode merge in harmony and create a real polyphony interspersed with instrumental solos. Korean musicians do not improvise that much, compared to other cultures, because it requires spontaneity, imagination and perfect mastery of the sanjo, this long instrumental solo by which a real musician can be distinguished from a mere instrumentalist. This is the case of the members of The Sinawi Ensemble who are known as sanjo masters in their own instrument.

The sinawi, art music drawn from the shamanic ritual, has a future of enrichment and diversification ahead, as this album tries to demonstrate by opening the rhythmic and somewhat monotonous shackles of the ritual sinawi and by offering three versions of sinawi ranging from the purely shamanic style to that of the art music of the 18th century.

This album is the culmination of a series of 5 albums of sanjo released by the Maison des Cultures du Monde among which 3 albums have been awarded by the Charles Cros recording academy.


Data sheet

Release year

You might also like