Invite The Spirit | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Invite The Spirit




Western rhythms derive from the heartbeat, but Korean music is traditionally paced by breaths. On their self-titled album (recorded in 1983 and long out of print) Invite the Spirit brought heart and lungs together by wedding Korean music to free improvisation. Sang-won Park's kayagum--a zither with 12 silk strings and movable bridges--established a stately pace, while percussionist Charles K. Noyes avoided timekeeping altogether, instead using his drums, bells, and musical saw for textural embellishment and arrhythmic punctuation. Guitarist Henry Kaiser's encyclopedic knowledge of folk, free, and ethnic forms further broadened the stylistic palette. The spacious improvisations acknowledged the cultural distance between the players even as they enhanced the trance-inducing atmosphere implied by the group's name. The trio performs infrequently; this is its first concert in half a decade. Kaiser won't be present due to a scheduling conflict; in his seat will be Chicagoan Jim O'Rourke, an exquisitely sensitive improviser who's recorded two albums with Kaiser. It's anyone's guess where O'Rourke's catholic tastes and multiinstrumental skills will direct the band's Chicago debut, but I can't wait to find out. Wednesday, 9 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 276-3600.


Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Photo of Charles K. Noyes by K. Ivanov; of Jim O'Rourke by Nathan Mandell; of Sang-Won Park by Thi-Linh Le.

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