This year there will be several collaborations with international artists and the festival opens with the remarkable, Black String, joined by musician, composer and broadcaster Kathryn Tickell.
On Black String's latest, highly acclaimed album, Mask Dance, they combine the geomungo (traditional zither) and janggu (drum) with electric jazz guitar, electronics and daegeum (bamboo flute). Founded in 2011 and led by Yoon-Yeong Heo, they explore the deep, bass-like sound of the geomungo to create mesmerizing, innovative music, pushing the borders between tradition, modernity and improvisation, as Yoon-Yeong explains, 'Korea has a very long music tradition but we are modern people. We live in Seoul in the 21st century although I think in my DNA there is something very old, a deep reflection of traditional Korean culture… The music of Black String is based on traditional Korean folk and court music and has very complicated rhythm patterns. Our music is about collaboration because we want to make Korean traditional music accessible to a wider audience."