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ADG7: Tiny Desk Concert

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Bob Boilen | August 19, 2022
How do you fit a gayageum and an ajaeng behind the Tiny Desk? That’s the question I whispered into the ear of our Tiny Desk audio engineer, Josh Rogosin, when we first saw ADG7 playing those five-foot long string instruments at globalFEST in New York City at the top of 2020. The Tiny Desk team solved the puzzle and the nine-piece Korean band filled the room with joy and a sound that’s unique in Tiny Desk history. ADG7 mixes traditional, shamanistic ritual sounds with Korean folk songs from Hwanghae Province. The group’s full name is Ak Dan Gwang Chil: “Ak Dan” translates as band, while “Gwang Chil” is in honor of the band having formed during the 70th anniversary of Gwangbokjeol, the National Liberation Day of Korea. The music is from the band’s 2020 album, Such is Life, and its self-titled 2017 album.

The three singers, Hong Ok, Myeong Wol and Yoo Wol, immediately capture my eyes and ears but my attention begins to sway toward Lee Man Wol, who appears to be blowing into a pipe organ she holds in her hands. The instrument is a saenghwang, just one of ADG7’s transfixing instruments — including brilliant percussion and a large bamboo flute known as a daegeum played by bandleader Kim Yak Dae — that make this enthusiastic and adventurous concert an eye-opener.

“Yeong Jeong Geo Ri”
“Hee Hee”

Hong Ok: vocals
Myeong Wol: vocals
Yoo Wol: vocals
Weon Meondongmaru: gayageum
Choi Byung Hwal: ajaeng
Chun Gung Dal: percussion
Sunwoo Barabarabarabam: percussion
Lee Man Wol: piri, saenghwang, taepyeongso
Kim Yak Dae: daegeum

Producer/Series Creator: Bob Boilen
Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin
Director: Kara Frame
Series Producer: Bobby Carter
Editor: Joshua Bryant
Videographers: Kara Frame, Michael Zamora, Pierre Kattar, Joshua Bryant
Audio Assistant: Andie Huether
Production Assistants: Jill Britton, Alanté Serene, Joby Tanseco
Tiny Desk Team: Suraya Mohamed, Marissa Lorusso, Hazel Cills, Ashley Pointer, Maia Stern
VP, Visuals and Music: Keith Jenkins
Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann

#tinydesk #nprmusic #ADG7
NPR, NPR Music, National Public Radio
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