10″ 33 RPM clear vinyl screen-printed record
Slater: ‘seoul’ is a composed of field recordings and music that I recorded in Seoul, Korea during a residency at Seoul Art Space‑Geumcheon late in 2010 and performed in New York City for the first time on Radio Ruido’s radio show/podcast ‘Triangulation’ upon my return. The voices singing were recorded during a performance of the ritual dance, ‘Ganggangsullae’ by 50 or so women in the center of Seoul that I happened upon while walking around the city. ‘Ganggangsullae’ is a 5,000-year-old Korean dance first used to bring about a bountiful harvest which has developed into a cultural symbol for Korea. It incorporates singing, dancing, and playing and is exclusively performed by women. Traditionally, this dance is performed only at night without any instruments. Young and old women dance in a circle under the moonlight. On this particular night, they were outside in traditional black and white Korean clothing, holding hands, making a circle, and walking in lines rotating clockwise. They danced in many circular undulating patterns. The lead singer sings a line and everyone sings the refrain ‘ganggangsullae’. The song tempo progressively becomes faster. They sing about their personal hardships, relationships, and desires. During the dance, the women played a variety of games. For example, the women formed a wall in a circular line and they took turns walking across it on top of the other’s backs. The dance can last until dawn. The other voice that is mixed with ‘Ganggangsullae’ is my recording of a street salesman in the Geumcheon neighborhood, shouting “chap sal dduk” (glutinous rice cake) to attract customers. This traditional salesman’s style was repeated and almost sung and is rarely heard in Seoul anymore. These sounds are mixed with other various field recordings from Seoul that are layered and processed with guitar and the sound of my voice speaking that becomes a percussive texture. The artwork on the record is from drawings made with a traditional Korean bamboo brush and black ink that I created in my studio at Seoul Art Space_Geumcheon during the residency. Thank you to Fuse Works, Front Room Gallery, Jan Zimmerman (Zimbo) at Vinylizer, Ray Cross at Bushwick Print Lab. Published by Fuse Works. Signed and numbered.