HAEPAARY (pronounce as ‘he̞pʰa̠ɾi’) is an alt-electronic duo, consisting of HYEWON (instrumentalist) and MINHEE (vocalist) from Seoul, South Korea. They have reinterpreted the melodies and lyrics of Jongmyojeryeak, the royal shrine music of the Joseon dynasty, and Namchang Gagok, a Korean traditional vocal genre that has always been performed exclusively by men. HAEPAARY's tracks demonstrate Hyewon and Minhee's brilliant disentanglement of formality and disciplines of Confucian music with their re-articulation of rave and trance. HAEPAARY's soundscape of refinement will invite intimate strangers to its secluded party.
Minhee (Vocal) Hyewon (Instrument)
HAEPAARY’s performance set in 2021 is mainly based on ‘Born By Gorgeousness’, the latest EP.
The title song, ‘Born by Irreproachable Gorgeousness,’ encapsulates the radical ambiguity of their music, starting with a strong bass that builds a mysterious tension, capturing the enigma of materiality and gender, and reappropriating the original structure of Jongmyojeryeak, a royal shrine music from the Joseon dynasty.
‘Shining Sentences,’ is based on music that traditionally starts the royal ritual of paying respects to the ancestors. Haepaary transforms the soundscape by emphasizing auditorily the meaning of the Korean title, “shining sentences,” rather than the ritual procedures the original music represents.
Throughout the album, HAEPAARY bends traditional Korean genres, including Jongmyojeryeak and Namchang Gagok, a vocal genre previously performed exclusively by men. The tracks brilliantly disentangle the rigid formality and discipline of Confucian music, rearticulating the old through rave and trance. It’s a new ritualistic universe that’s heavy but light, strict but free, restrained but inviting dance - a universe of contradictory desires.
HAEPAARY’s music has many names: alternative techno, ambient, dream pop, or even alternative ritual music. Previously a genre of music that rigidly stood the test of time, wishing the eternal peace of Korea’s ancestors, Jongmyojeryeak is now ‘Born by Gorgeousness,’ stirring the deeply embedded desires of Haepaary listeners, perhaps to simply dance.