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>COLD FISH: Directed by Sion Sono (Love Exposure/ Suicide Club)

2 Apr

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The latest feature from cult Japanese writer-director Sion Sono (Love Exposure), Cold Fish is “yet another step in Sion Sono’s rise as one of Japan’s most consistently bold and intriguing film makers… [and] stands as one of the most powerful, punishing works to come out of Japan this year” (Twitch).

Inspired by and loosely based on the real-life exploits of serial killer couple Gen Sekine and his ex-wife Hiroko Kazama (the perpetrators of Tokyo’s notorious 1993 “Saitama serial murders of dog lovers” killings), the film is a psychotic cavalcade of sex, violence and comedy that has been hailed by Variety for its “gleeful humour and dare-you-to-watch aesthetic”.

Shamoto runs a small tropical fish shop. His second wife, Taeko, does not get along with his daughter, Mitsuko, and this worries him. One day Mitsuko is caught shoplifting at a grocery store. There they meet a friendly man named Murata, who helps to settle things between Mitsuko and the store manager. Since Murata also runs a tropical fishshop, Shamoto establishes a bond with him and they become friends; Mitsuko even begins working for Murata and living at his house. What Shamoto doesn’t know, however, is that Murata hides many dark secrets behind his friendly face. He sells cheap fish to his customers for high prices with his artful lies. If anyone detects his fraud or refuses to go along with his moneymaking schemes, they’re murdered and their bodies disposed of by Murata and his wife in grisly ways………

Shamoto is taken in by Murata’s tactics, and by the time he realizes that Murata is insane, and a serial killer who has made over fifty people disappear, he is powerless to do anything about it. But now Mitsuko is a hostage at Murata’s home and Shamoto himself has become the killer’s unwilling accomplice. Cruel murders gradually cripple his mind and finally the ordinary man is driven to the edge of the abyss.

Not for the squeamish or those easily offended by graphic images of sex and violence, Cold Fish is a compelling, slowburn thriller, peppered throughout with unexpected twists and surprises and, to quote Variety, “the last reel’s a doozy.”

COLD FISH  is released by Third Window Films  at selected cinemas nationwide on 8th April 2011.

>Scattering Rhythms: Korean traditional music and Jazz Concert

31 Mar

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‘Scattering Rhythms: Korean traditional music and Jazz’ is the creative collaboration of Korean traditional music by three prominent musicians from three countries: a taegŭm master Hyelim Kim (Korea), the eminent jazz drummer Simon Barker (Australia), and a janggu player & professor at SOAS, Keith Howard (UK). The concert features traditional repertories and improvisatory pieces inspired by Korean traditional music and jazz. It explores the musical elements of two cultures to illuminate novel possibilities in musical treasures.

Date: 11 Apr 2011 19:00

Venue: Korean Cultural Centre UK, Multi-purpose hall
Fee: Free Admission
RSVP: info@kccuk.org.uk or 020-7004-2600

>Cutting the Cord

25 Feb

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Date: 21-26 February 2011 (Mon – Wed: 8pm, Thurs – Sat: 6.30pm and 8.30pm)
Vanue: Tristan Bates Theatre, 1A Tower Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 9NP
Box office: 020 7240 6283
Email:
info@flyingeye.org.uk
Web:
http://www.tristanbatestheatre.co.uk/ http://www.flyingeye.org.uk/
Admission: £10/£8(Concession)
Organiser: Flying Eye

Inspired by true stories, Cutting the Cord is an intimate and heart-warming physical theatre piece.

This is the kind of theatre that engages and touches its audience long after they leave the venue. – The Brighton Magazine

Where do you come from?
Where are you going?
When you are miles away from the place of your birth, can you ever feel truly at home?

This one- woman show tells the story of Sachi, a young Japanese woman, and her comedic, yet sincere struggle to find a ‘home’. Set in London and Tokyo, Sachi playfully relates the story of what it means to leave one place and put down roots elsewhere. Accompanied by live music and presented with magical theatricality, Cutting the Cord is a touching and poignant tale that invites people of all backgrounds to celebrate their own journey in finding home.

Cutting the Cord is supported by Arts Council England, Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and the Japan Foundation. Co-produced by The Basement and Brighton Festival.

>Oxford University Korea Society “Soul of Seoul” at Oxford Union

18 Feb

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Date: 23/02/2011, 19.00 – 23.00pm
Venue: Oxford Union Chamber, Oxford

Every year, the historical Oxford Union Chamber, having been graced with the presence of the most eminent scholars, politicians, and celebrities over the years, hosts an unforgettable Korean night, SOUL of SEOUL.

On 23rd February 2011, the Chamber will again be filled with the cultural landmarks of Korea, from the immensely popular bibmbab and traditional alcohol to taekwondo and hanbok showcases.
SOUL of SEOUL is “THE” Korean night in Oxford, aimed at promoting awareness of Korean culture amongst the future leaders at Oxford. It is truly an extravaganza, featuring the very best of Korea: Bibimbab, Korean snacks, Taekwondo, Korean alcohol, Korean B-boy, K-pop, Korean Calligraphy, Traditional Costumes, Traditional Music… and so much more.
The event is indeed a celebration befitting of our nation’s beautiful culture and has been serving as a milestone in entrenching the presence of Korean community.
Last year’s festival was a great success, with the tickets selling out well before the event. This year, the Oxford University Korea Society aims to make it even better.

>Come and Play Korean Samulnori (Drums & Percussion) #3

4 Feb

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Date: Saturday, February 12th, 3.00pm-4.30pm (for everyone interested) / 4.30pm-6.00pm (for those have some experience)
Venue: Goldmine Studios, 269 Poyser Street, London E2 9RF
Fee: £9 (all instrumens provided)
Contact: Jeung Hyun Choi (07981 298 638 / jeunghyunk40@gmail.com)

Samul nori is a genre of traditional percussion music originating in Korea. The word samul means “four objects” and nori means “play”; samul nori is performed with four traditional Korean musical instruments:

* Kkwaenggwari (a small gong)
* Jing (a larger gong)
* Janggu (an hourglass-shaped drum)
* Buk (a barrel drum similar to the bass drum)

The traditional Korean instruments are called pungmul.

Samul nori has its roots in nong-ak (literally “farmers’ music”), a Korean folk genre comprising music, acrobatics, folk dance, and rituals, which was traditionally performed in rice farming villages in order to ensure and to celebrate good harvests. Specifically, samul nori music derives from utdari pungmul (the gut, or shaman ceremony rhythm of the Gyeonggi-do and Chungcheong provinces of South Korea), as well as the genres of Yeongnam folk music and Honam udo gut, combined with more contemporary improvisations, elaborations, and compositions. Such nong-ak is steeped in traditional animism and shamanism, but also shows influences from Korean Buddhism. While nong-ak often features the use of wind instruments, samul nori only features the aforementioned four percussion instruments.

Each of the four instruments represents a different weather condition: the janggu represents rain, the kkwaenggwari thunder, the jing the sounds of the wind, and the buk clouds. The idea of yin and yang is also reflected in these instruments: the buk and janggu (leather) represent the sounds of the earth, while the jing and kkwaenggwari (metal) represent sounds of the heavens. Although generally performed indoors, as a staged genre, samul nori depicts the traditional Korean culture, an agricultural society rooted in the natural environment.
Samul nori is characterized by strong, accented rhythms, vibrant body movements, and an energetic spirit.

Samul nori has gained international popularity, with many samul nori bands and camps worldwide. Since the 1980s in South Korea, there has been a marked increase in the amount of fusion music, combining samul nori and Western instruments.

Jeung-Hyun Choi is a Korean traditional percussion player and currently working as managing director of DULSORI, the Korean traditional music group. She has taught Korean traditional percussions and songs for over 20 years. Shae has led many international workshops in Korea and abroad, including SOAS World Music Summer School 2008.

>BUNKASAI in London

24 Jan

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Date: Saturday 5th March 2011
Venue: Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4RL
The ‘Bunkasai’ is designed to introduce various different aspects of Japanese culture to the UK, appealing to fans of both traditional and modern, as well as to the casual and family visitors, by introducing the Japanese language, culture, food and drink.

This is the first time ‘Bunkasai’ has ever been held although it’s sister event, the
‘Japanese Art Festival’ http://www.japaneseartfestival.com/ has been held for the past 5 times.
In 2010 approximately 2000 people attended this event, check out http://vimeo.com/17101179 and/or http://vimeo.com/1710010
A previous event was held in February 2010, check out
http://vimeo.com/12392343 and/or http://vimeo.com/12596229

‘On Stage’
• Shamisen
• Shakuhachi
• Martial Arts
• Language panel with Japanese language Teacher
• How to teach Japanese language using Anime song
• Panel by Japanese language students
• How did Anime & Manga give the influence to Japanese study
• Para Para dance,
• Lecture ~ History of Japan, Bushi-do, Shinto, Life style, Kimono & Tea Ceremony
• Kimono fashion show
• Cosplay competition,
• ‘University Challenge’ competition (Anime Club and Japan Society in University)
• Origami table
• Karaoke at night

‘Workshops’
• Calligraphy
• Tea Ceremony
• Drawing Manga
• Cooking
• Food tasting of Japanese food (normal,vegetarian courses) & Japanese sweets
• Sake tasting study course
• Okonomi yaki & Dora yaki cooking trial
• Wadaiko (Japanese drum)

>An extremely talented violinist, EungSoo Kim & Pianist, Moon Young CHAE

15 Jan

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‘This is the most beautiful violin sound I have ever heard!!
(Hungarian Maestro Violinist and Conductor Tibor Varga)

‘Perfect!’
(Strad, Korea)

‘An extremely talented violinist with full of temperament, awareness of musical perception’…(Julian Rachlin, Concert Violinist)

EungSoo remarks himself as a musical virtuoso and his wide concert engagements demonstrate this: concerts with Sinfonie Orchester Berlin, Biel Symphony Orchestra, Göttingen Symphonie Orchester, Daegu Symphony Orchestra, Kyungbuk State Symphony Orchestra, Chungnam State Symphony Orchestra, Prime Philharmonic Orchestra and others. Especially, his recital in Poland was broadcasted by Radio Gdansk with very positive critics. Also, his debut in the Berliner Philharmonie hall in 2007 was highly successful and he was reinvited to perform Mendelssohn Concerto, Dvorak and Tchaikovsky Concertos. Moreover, his debut with Khachaturian Concerto in Seoul received overwhelming attention and a fantastic review. The concert was broadcasted on TBS Seoul.

The following concerts are solo performances with Orquestra de Cordoba, Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, Mantova Chamber Orchestra, Oviedo Filharmonica, Wonju Philharmonic Orchestra and Changwon Philharmonic Orchestra etc.

EungSoo is a top prize winner of the Zinetti International Chamber Music Competition, Maria Canals International Music Competition, Tibor Varga International Violin Competition, ‘Rodolfo Lipizer’ International Violin Competition and Spohr International Violin competition. EungSoo also played for Leonidas Kavakos, and he praised Eung Soo for his wide and diverse technical and musical capacity.

EungSoo was born in Korea and started the violin at seven. Only after a year, he won the first prize in the Ulsan local competition. After graduating Seoul Arts High School (Prof. Tae-Sik Pyung), he moved to Vienna and studied with the renowned teachers as professors Igor Ozim, Kriszstof Wegrzyn and Boris Kuschnir.

EungSoo has a CD from Azzurramusic supported by the City of Verona and the the next CD from Telos Music Records is already receiving high attention for its extraordinary quality and unique personality.

Moon Young CHAE, a Vienna-based pianist, performed the Grieg Piano Concerto when she was thirteen with Korean Symphony Orchestra where she was commented as a ‘sentational young pianist’. She extended her studies at the Purcell School in London and she studied with the world-leading teachers like Patsy Toh, Yonty Solomon and Irina Zaritskaya. She received the Master of Music Degree from the Royal College of Music where she also performed Scriabin Concerto with the RCM Sinfonietta.

Whilst having studied in London, Moon Young has received numerous scholarships such as Myra Hess Scholarship, Martin Scholarship and she won the Yamaha Scholarship Europe in 2002. Her achievements from competitions include the First prize from the Zinetti International Chamber Music Compeition and Maria Canals International Music Competition (2004), the Second prize in the Concorso Internazionale Ciltta di Pinerolo (2001), the Second prize in the Intercollegiate Beethoven Competition (2001) and the special prize in the Concorso Internazionale di esecuzione musicale Provincia di Caltanissetta.

Moon Young is also a devoted chamber musician. She has performed enourmous chamber music concerts and she has worked with professors like Boris Kuschnir, Pavel Vernikov and Igor Ozim and her partners include Julian Rachlin, Lidia Baich and Alisa Weilerstein and her husband Eung Soo KIM. She also has an album from the Decca with a Scriabin Prelude and the first album with Eung Soo Kim is released by Azzurramusic.

Moon Young has performed in prestigious venues such as Konzerthaus and Musikverein in Vienna, The Purcell Room, South Bank in London. Moon Young performs actively with Eung Soo KIM and as a soloist in Vienna, London, Lindau, Koblenz, Seoul, Daegu and venues including St. Matin-in-the-Field, London, Regent’s Hall (UK) Little Angels’ Concert Hall, Seoul (Korea), Stadttheater, Lindau (Germany), Gesellschaft für Musiktheater Wien, Beethoven Gedenkstätte, Schubertgeburtshaus (Vienna).