Preview: 숨[su:m] at the Small World Music Festival in Toronto

Image courtesy of 숨[su:m]'s Facebook
Image courtesy of 숨[su:m]’s Facebook
I was super excited when I found out that 숨[su:m] was coming to Toronto this fall because I missed seeing them earlier this year at South by Southwest (SXSW) and I’d heard good things about them. Luckily, they are doing a North American tour with a stop in Toronto on Tuesday, September 29th. Of course, not only does this mean I get a chance to see them perform (yay!) but so do you as tickets are on sale now.

Now, if you’re not familiar with 숨[su:m], whose name is translated to “A Pause For Breath” in English, is a lovely duo of Korean musicians who blend traditional and modern to create a unique sound that shouldn’t be missed. You won’t want to miss their Toronto debut.

Speaking of their Toronto show, it will be a part of the Small World Music Festival which intrigued me enough that I contact Small World Music to learn more about the festival and why they selected 숨[su:m] to play in it. Keep reading to hear what they had to say.

All answers are by Alan Davis, Executive Director of Small World Music.

Can you please give me some background information on Small World Music?

Small World is a celebration of cultural diversity expressed through music. A charitable organization, its vision is based on sharing cultural experience and building bridges between cultures. In this role, the company has presented close to 400 events since 1997. The festival is now in its 14th edition. It has hosted many Canadian debuts by international performers; has given a platform to hundreds of developing Canadian artists; and has established an international reputation for presenting innovative programming that uniquely represents Toronto. This year’s festival features seven local debuts and artists from Mali, Estonia, Spain, France, Palestine, Ethiopia, the US and of course Canada.

Why was 숨[su:m] selected?

There’s a lot of interesting music coming out of Korea right now and I’d venture to say, a lot of government support for those artists. Jambinai comes to mind as a band doing some very adventurous stuff. SUM is a unique combination of ancient and modern. The kind of crossover that speaks to discovery and ‘opening ears’. Also, they’re on tour!

Is 숨[su:m] the first Korean group/musician to play at the festival? 

Memory gets fuzzy when you’ve been doing this as long as I have, but I do believe so yes. Years ago, we worked with some local Korean groups but this is the first international touring ensemble. I hope it brings our message to the community as we’d love to present more!

Anything else you’d like us to include?

SUM will be a gorgeous concert in our beautiful, intimate venue. I would also encourage people to be aware of our free program the week before at Fort York. Lots of great music on tap!

Just the facts

  • What: 숨[suːm] is coming to Toronto as a part of the Small World Music Festival.
  • Where: Small World Music Centre (180 Shaw Street, Studio 101, Toronto)
  • When: Tuesday, September 29th @ 7:30 pm
  • Why: Modern music on traditional instruments.
  • How much: Advance: $15, at the Door: $20

Cindy Zimmer

Live life to the fullest everyday - this is a the philosophy I try to live by and it's taken me on many adventures. I write about Korean culture from a non-Korean perspective as the editor/founder of ATK Magazine and I'm the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Korean Film Festival (TKFF). Previously, I ran a Korean-English language exchange group (in Toronto) for 3 years to stay connected to my three years living in Korea as an English teacher. I love music, film, food and sports and write about 3 of the 4.

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