The rhythmic sound of drums of the Sonagi Project could be heard playing in Freedom Square Friday afternoon.
The Sonagi Project is composed of five musicians from Korea, who have taken traditional Korean music and added their own personalities and new twists to the sound.
The group performs traditional Korean percussion instruments, with a special focus on the janggu, the horizontal double-headed drum that has been integral to many genres of Korean music throughout its long history, according to their Facebook page.
This is the group’s second tour of the United States. Director of the Asian Arts and Culture Center at Towson Suewhei Shieh said the performance was held to introduce students to Korean culture.
Chang Jae-Hyo, the leader of the troupe, said that the group was started in 2006, though he had been studying music much longer.
“I started studying Korean singing in 1986,” he said. “Most of the people in the group began studying in the late ‘90s or early 2000s.”
He also said that though the music they make is rooted in Korean tradition, he tries to incorporate other elements when he composes.
“I care about other the cultures of other countries, and I add elements of that to the traditional music,” he said. “Music is not a thing that stops. It is not like something in a museum. It keeps moving.”
The music had students moving as well.
“I thought it was really cool,” Trudimae Atuobi, a senior who said she was leaving her bio class when she heard the drumming, said. “You just want to dance when you hear it.”
Sophomore Brittany Wells said she also enjoyed the music.
“They started to play and I just wanted to dance,” she said. “I couldn’t believe how fast they were moving their sticks.”
After their performance in Freedom Square, the Sonagi Project hosted a drumming workshop in the Potomac Lounge. Students also got to sample Korean snacks like seaweed crackers and cinnamon tea.