Park Jiha is both a composer and a performer of Korean traditional instruments such as Piri, Saenghwang, Yanggeum and Voice. In her recent compositions she uses equal parts Korean folk, Western classical and experimental jazz which create a contemplative mix to fall in love with.
Park Jiha first gained attention as the leader and producer of the duo 숨[suːm], which she founded with a fellow musician. Park played traditional Korean instruments like the piri (a double-reed bamboo flute), saenghwang (a mouth-blown pipe organ), and the yanggeum (a hammered dulcimer). Now Park has begun a new ensemble named Park Jiha. The Seoul-based group’s instrumentation is similar to 숨[suːm]’s but adds percussion, saxophone, bass clarinet and vibraphone.
Park Jiha’s sound is not easy to categorise. The pieces feature cavalcades of notes that crescendo and then fade to a whisper like great post-rock songs. At times Park’s compositions feel as unbound and as improvisatory as free jazz. The dense textures recall ambient electronic music. The first album of Park Jiha, entitled Communion, was released in Korea in 2016. With this album, Park Jiha was selected for the official showcases at Classical: NEXT 2017 & WOMEX 2017