Noreum Machi: “A shamanistic and utterly visceral performance”

Flushing Town Hall caps off its spectacular lineup of Lunar New Year programming with the Korean percussion group Noreum Machi on March 1. The show will be an appropriate finale to Lunar New Year programming, as the group’s name refers to a performer who is so skilled that no one would dare to follow them on stage.

Noreum Machi specializes in the virtuosic percussion music known as Samul-nori and is the most widely recognized traditional music band in Korea. Founded in 1993, the group brings together traditional singing and powerful percussion in their musical and creative activities. The vibrant program includes spectacular percussion dialogues, haunting shamanic chants, and entrancing acrobatic dances.

“Flushing Town Hall is thrilled that Noreum Machi has traveled all the way from Korea to share its traditional percussion music with our audience,” says Executive and Artistic Director Ellen Kodadek. “Not only is the band the grand finale of our Lunar New Year programming, but it kicks off our own ‘#MarchMadness’ as the first of 18 programs in just 31 days.”

The award-winning group has performed in nearly 200 cities in 60 countries, earning global recognition as part of the official WOMEX (2014), CINARS (2016), and Mundial Montreal (2017) showcases. Juhong Kim is Noreum Machi’s artistic director, percussionist, and vocalist. Hyunju Oh and Howon Lee play percussion, and Taeho Kim and Youngjun Kim play wind instruments.

Samul-nori was first introduced to the West in the late 1970s as a modernized adaptation of the ancient Pungmul-nori, a ritual of farmers that originated in shamanism and animism. Samul-nori means “play four objects” and is performed primarily with four traditional instruments: the Jang-gu, Buk, Jing, and Kkwaenggwari. Each instrument represents different elements of nature—rain, clouds, wind, and thunderstorms. Yin and yang are also reflected through the various sounds.

You can see Noreum Machi perform at the 2016 WOMAD Festival in the UK here.

Tickets are $16, $10 for members and students, and free for teens. Visit www.flushingtownhall.org or call (718) 463-7700 x222 for tickets and more information.

Flushing Town Hall is accessible by car, bus, train and foot – located a short distance from the 7 train – at 137-35 Northern Blvd., in Flushing, Queens. Access for wheelchair users and individuals with limited mobility is available.

Once again, Flushing Town Hall is opening its doors to teenagers – for free. Under the “Teen Access Program,” all 13- to 19-year-old teens (whether a member or not) will be welcomed to attend any performance for free. The program is designed to appeal to students and help foster a greater love for arts and culture.

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