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Scent of Culture III
Music of the Caribbean Enlivens the National Assembly

Special Concert of ‘Editus’ Musical Group from Costa Rica
Kwak Yeon-ok, Writer
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The Korea Foundation and the National Assembly’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, Trade and Unification co-hosted a unique concert by Editus, a new-age musical group from Costa Rica, which was staged at the Grand Meeting Room of the National Assembly Building, on October 21.

Editus is a contemporary musical group from Costa Rica that has been performing for 15 years, during which time it has earned international acclaim, as demonstrated by its receipt of Grammy Awards in 2000 and 2003. The five-member group includes Ricardo Ramirez (violin), Edin Solis (guitar), Carlos Vargas (percussion), Mario Alvarez (electric bass), and Marta Fonseca (vocals).

Sounds of Nature
The opening work of the program was entitled “Woods.” Capturing the natural sounds of a wooded forest, such as birds singing and the fluttering of braches, from a passing breeze, on the guitar, violin, and percussion, the audience was led on a musical journey deep into an imaginary woods.
This atmosphere was continued in the second piece, “Wind and Woods,” which depicted a blustery wind that rustled the leaves of trees, then gradually subsided to a gentle breeze, thus restoring the quiet tranquility of the woods. “Wind and Woods” was composed for Editus by Luis Castillo, who had sought to reflect the sounds and atmosphere of the tropical rain forests of Costa Rica.

Diverse Types of Music
The Editus group presented a diverse musical program that included their own compositions as well as various popular selections. The audience could easily identify the distinctly Latin American rhythms of works such as “Good Bye, Grandfather,” a well-known tango piece by Astor Piazzolla, and “A Women from Malagueña” by Ernesto Lecuona. Living up to its reputation as a versatile group that specializes in a broad spectrum of world music, Editus performed a delightful medley which encompassed modern and traditional jazz, New Age works, classical music, and traditional South American music.

East Meets West
The fusion capability of the group was highlighted by the presentation of “One More Time,” composed by Alon Yavnai, and “Blue Bossa,” with a bossa nova beat, under a joint performance by Editus and Han Chung-eun, a Korean daegeum(transverse flute) player. The harmonious melody of the musicians, playing instruments from the West and the East, was truly enchanting and enlivening. For “Blue Bossa,” the melodies played on the daegeum would be repeated on the violin, which enabled the audience to enjoy the rich texture and flavor of the individual musical instruments.
In addition to playing in turn, the violinist and Han Chung-eun also played together, creating an energetic harmony, fueled by the lively bossa nova rhythm. At the conclusion of the joint performance, Han Chung-eun and the members of Editus embraced warmly, as a clear expression of their professional satisfaction with the creation of a new kind of music, derived from an integration of musical influences from opposite sides of the world.

Vocal Lyricism
Following the collaborative works with Han Chung-eun, the Editus members expressed their appreciation to the Korea Foundation and the Costa Rican Embassy in Korea, for the organization of the concert, and then introduced vocalist Marta Fonseca. Her lyrical voice and polished stage presence peaked the audience’s attention, along with enhancing the vibrancy of the venue atmosphere. Marta Fonseca’s voice became another musical instrument in her rendition of “Premonition,” an urban-style folk song of Costa Rica, which reverberated throughout the hall. At the conclusion of the scheduled program, the audience raucously called for an encore, to which Editus obliged with the passionate performance of a lengthy medley.

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