cropped-soso-cha7.jpgphoto by Inu Nah

Emerging as one of the most influential experimental Daegeum(Korean transverse bamboo flute) artists, Seungmin Cha was trained in traditional music and its discourse. A graduate of the School of Music at Seoul National University, Ms. Cha has developed her career as a solo Daegeum artist, the director of her music ensemble Shiro as well as composer. She is performing both solo and in bands as part of the indie music scene of Seoul’s Hongdae neighborhood. Her performances incorporate traditional (jeongga and minyo), indie, experimental elements. You can see the evolution of Gugak (Korean traditional music) through her as a traditional music performer, who is at the same time, a contemporary composer and independent musician in the underground scene. She received a prestigious Asian Cultural Council fellowship in 2016 and is currently living in NYC until October with ACC’s support.

  2016 Seungmin Cha x Yeonkeong Oh duo – SOSOJUDAM , Theater Veloso, Korea
  2015 Seungmin Cha project ‘Shiro’ – Alleyway Fantasy2 – Around a street corner, Theater Veloso, Korea
  2014 Seungmin Cha project ‘Shiro’ – Alleyway Fantasy, Theater Veloso, Korea
  2013 Seungmin Cha project ‘Shiro’ – Sumuk Garden, Changwoo theater, Korea
  2011 Seungmin Cha project ‘Shiro’ – What flower wants to say, Changwoo theater, Korea
  2010 Seungmin Cha project ‘Shiro’ – Jiyong and Sowol, LIG Art center, Korea
  2009 Seungmin Cha project ‘Shiro’ – Sing with Poems, Changwoo theater, Korea

  2013 Music Exhibition
  – No.9 – These are the Things that I Threw Away but Couldn’t Bear to Do So
  part 1 : Memories of broken heart(Oct.26th 10am-6pm @ Museum of Art, Seoul National Univ.)
  part 2 : Mourning and Separation(Nov.23rd 10am-6pm @ Museum of Art, Seoul National Univ.)

  2017 Seungmin Cha x Yeonkyeong Oh duo : SOSOJUDAM
  2016 Seungmin Cha project ‘Shiro’ 3rd : Alleyway Fantasy-Around a street corner
  2015 Seungmin Cha project ‘Shiro’ 2nd : Alleyway Fantasy
  2011 Seungmin Cha project ‘Shiro’ 1st : What flower wants to say

  2005 B.A. Korean Music Department of Seoul National University
  1998 Korean Traditional Music National High School
  1995 Korean Traditional Music National Middle School
  study under Kyuil Hwang, Sambum Choi, Inwan Hwang

  2017 Asian Cultural Council Fellowship, Artist-in-Residence, NYC
  2011 Korean Traditional Performing Arts Foundation program, Artist-in-Residence, NYC
  2010 Korea Arts Management Service program, Artist-in-Residence, NYC

Daegeum Sanjo(2015 & 2010)

Yongseok Seo School Daegeum Sanjo full length version

Yongseok Seo School Daegeum Sanjo
– performed by Seungmin Cha on Dec.17th, 2015
– accompany Janggo by Woonjung Sim

Sanjo is a genre of folk music based on “heoteun garak (scattered melodies)” which pairs a melodic instrumentalist and a drummer in a virtuosic display of folk music performance mastery. Originally, sanjo was a performance type in which an instrumentalist would improvise within the framework of rhythmic cycles but these days sanjo pieces have become rather fixed in a form that has been cultivated over time. Most contemporary performers of sanjo play pieces faithfully as their teachers played and/or created them. Yet, recently, more and more performers have been creating new sanjo framed by the now-predictable structure of slow-to-fast rhythmic progression. There are many sanjo pieces for each instrument, with each piece associated with a particular master performer. Seo Yong Seok developed his own version of sanjo based on the melodic phrases learned from his teacher Juwan Han (1904-1944). This particular sanjo is known for remaining faithful to pansori characteristics, employing techniques of modulation and transposition for dramatic effect. The rattling effect of the vibrating thin rice paper (cheong) covering one of the holes as air pushes forcefully through the instrument is reminiscent of the sound of wind rushing through bamboo. The entire version of this sanjo lasts about one hour, and we will hear an abbreviated version today.

101217_Daegeum Sanjo @ roulette

Daegeum Sanjo in the Style of Master Seo Yong Seok

Master Seo Yong Seok developed his own version of sanjo based on the melodic phrases learned from his teacher Master Han Ju Hwan. Seok’s entire version takes about an hour to perform and is known for faithfully transferring the melodic characteristics of pansori, employing the great techniques of modulation and transposition which help to create a great dramatic expression that is not found in other versions of daegeum sanjo.




NYC archive_Trip in progress (2017)

It’s always great to play with wonderful musicians and dancers in NYC!

20170926_Seungmin Cha x Miyoko Satoh

My improvisation set with a healer, singing bawl artist Miyoko Satoh was full of stillness, healing and brightness. It was a real meditation indeed. We were in somewhere beyond somewhere.

20170917_Seungmin Cha x Devin Grey x Henry Fraser

Oh my god, Thank you for being such a bad ass!
Daegeum: Seungmin Cha / Drum: Devin Grey / Bass: Henry Fraser

20170915_Stillness in Queens_Seungmin Cha x JunYi Chow x Karen Y. Chan

Live music improvisation by JunYi Chow and Seungmin Cha
STILLNESS IN QUEENS is an experimental video and sound art performance exploring the beauty and quietude of everyday life in Queens. Audience members are invited to experience the borough in a new way, and an evening of stillness, by engaging in a multi-dimensional dialogue between video and sound. The performance provides an accessible space for deep contemplation on the complexities of Queens within the simplicity of stillness. This event is made possible in part by funding from Queens Council on the Arts.

Thank you Lucid culture for an amazing review of us!!! :

20170831_Seungmin Cha @ Soup & Sound

What a night I had. I was so full with great music and wonderful Sundubu Jjigae! Thank you musician friends for sharing your beautiful souls!! Thank you Andrew for organizing, hosting soup and sound!!

20170812_Seungmin Cha x Ami Yamasaki duo

Had a great surreal moment with amazing Ami Yamasaki. Thank you Oren for the wonderful supporting and hospitality all the time. It’s always happy and nice to perform at The Owl Music Parlor! Thank you friends for coming!!

20170810_Seungmin Cha x Marc Hannaford Jam session

How beautiful piano of Marc Hannford!

20170809_Seungmin Cha x Andrew Drury x Tomeka Reid Jam session

Wonderful Andrew Drury(Drum) and Tomeka Reid(Cello)

20170722_Seungmin Cha x Peter Evans Jam session

Great gathering and playing music with Peter Evans.

20170625_Liminality_Like a Buddha

A tune work in progress for my last performance which will be held  on Oct. 1st. I’m going to improvise Daegeum on this iron soundscape featured by Alain Kirili who is a sculptor. Original poem is “239th Chorus” Written by Jack Kerouac.  Alain Kirili read the poem and made sound by hitting his sculpture. Recording and Sound arrangement by Seungmin Cha

20170623_Seungmin Cha x Devin Grey Jam session

The first improv. session happened in 2011. Such a wonderful reunion after 6 years

20170610_Dance Performance_TRAVELLER



Had wonderful moments with these dancers who are also ACC grantees.

20170530_Seungmin Cha x JunYi Chow Jam Session

Currently working together under the theme of Dialogue.

Upcoming events with JunYi on

July 20th @ The Owl Music Parlor (497 Rogers Ave Brooklyn)

September 15th “Stillness in Queens” @ Flushing Town Hall with JunYi Chow and visual artist Karen Y. Chan


SosoJudam(小小奏談) literally means Le Petit Chose or a trivial conversation. Since Daegeum artist Seungmin Cha and Gayageum artist Yeonkyeong Oh have been performing together since 2009, they’re always trying to merge poetry and music gradually and beautifully. Sosojudam is a deep inner conversation between two different instruments. They communicate, make and perform inspired from the beauty of moon cycle.

Alleyway Fantasy – around a street corner (2016)

The band Shiro says, not sure since when but, they started to see “alleyways” and they wanted to take a walk on them. On alleyways where so many stories travel across, Shiro wanted to meet everyone living on alleyways. So they walked on alleyways while reading poems, writing music, and making videos of alleyways. With these, they had a showcase last fall in which their poems, music, and videos all came together.

Shiro’s journey continued in 2015 and they gathered, recorded music . Finally they released 3rd album ‘Alleyway Fantasy 2 – Around A Street Corner’ in 2016.

Shiro introduces 3rd album as a musical journal of what they found when they walked around a street corner. The album is constited of music based on 10 poems; ‘New Spring’ by Jiha Kim, in which they captured alleyways around Danginri power plant during late cherry blossom season, ‘Where The Pond Was’ by Jang Seok Nam on Oksu-dong redevelopment zone, ‘Just Kept Going Around’ by Yi Won in collaboration with a rock band walking in Hongdae alleyways, ‘Where The Chair Is’ by Jang Yiyeop on redevelopment area in Myeonmokdong, and more.

Alleyway Fantasy (2015)

Shiro (詩路, “Poetic road”)Second Album “Alleyway Fantasy “

 Shiro has been writing music with beautiful poems to find exciting combination ofmusic and literature. After 4 years since their 1st album, “What flowerwants to say”, they release their 2ndalbum, “Alleyway Fantasy.” Seungmin Cha (leader and Daegum) hasworked with poems of poets such as Sowol Kim, Jiyong Jung, Ahnjin Yu, Je Im,Heinrich Heine, Sihwa Ryu, etc. Their 2ndalbum “Alleyway Fantasy” isan album made with old colleagues Yeonkyeong Oh (Gayageum), Heeyoung Kim(Jung-ga, Min-yo), and newly added Taehun Lee (Guitar). With differentbackgrounds, the members formed a band and worked with sentimental poems of SeoknamJang and bold/jaunty poems of Yiyeob Jang. They went from traditional Koreanmusic to experimental and indie music to record their own take on alleyways andsucceeded in creating 10 tracks for the 2nd album.


01 What does the winter say as it passes by(inst)
02 The path
03 The butterfly lives there
04 Walking in Mullaedong
05 Mountain village
06 Chebudong Sangryoungsan
07 I am
08 Distance
09 Good moment
10 What does the winter say as it passes by

What flowers wants to say (2011)

Seungmin Cha made her debut in 2009 at Chunchamanbyul concert with her group Project Shiro, which seeks to bring music and literature together by creating songs with beautiful poetry. “What flower wants to say” is her first album released in 2011.

JANYA (2011)

In Sanskrit, JANYA means to be born, while in Korean, JANYA means around dawn. JANYA was created by four unique musicians— all derived from Korean descent and all women. The music is a fusion of East and West. The East: Seungmin Cha- Daegeum, Eun Sun Jung- Gayageum and Woonjung Sim- Janggo. The West: half-Korean American Singer Lola Jung Danza. Something magical exists between these four musician women and so, JANYA was born, around dawn.


Lola Danza is half-Korean and born in the USA. Danza has a Bachelors degree from Berklee College of Music and a Master’s degree from Aaron Copland School of Music. She has toured all over the world with her own musical projects and has played with legendary musicians including Ornette Coleman, Steve Kuhn, Sheila Jordan, Lewis Nash, Bob Moses, John Lockwood, Ben Monder, Mat Maneri, David Tronzo, Bob Gullotti, Luciana Souza and Leni Stern, to name a few.
Eunsun Jung, a Gayageum player, graduated from National School of Korean Traditional Music and earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Seoul National University. She actively performs worldwide, countries include France, Belgium, Germany, America and Japan.
Woonjung Sim is a percussionist working on her Master’s degree at Seoul National University and is a team member of Gong, which plays musikdrama. She plays not only traditional music but also theater music and contemporary music. She has a wide musical range and incredible performance skills.
Emerging as one of the most influential experimental daegeum (transverse bamboo flute) artists, Seungmin Cha was trained in traditional music and its discourse. A graduate of the School of Music at Seoul National University, Cha has developed her career as a solo daegeum artist, as well as a composer and illustrator.
JANYA has performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. They have also played all over New York City at various clubs and theaters.