Went to a Korean traditional music performance a few nights ago. The event started with a famous singer/percussionist doing a shaman blessing song. This is customary at a public event — the singer exorcises negative energy and prays for good fortune for everyone attending. He starts with the story of the founding of Korea, and then sings about where he’s from and where he is now. Then before the blessings there’s a long list of negative energy to exorcise, most of it time-honored: “the negative energy of your parents’ illness” and “the negative energy of the foundations of your house” were two of the evil influences the singer exorcised for us. He’s allowed to add anything he feels needs to be added, and in this case, after singing about his trip from Seoul to New York, the singer started his list of exorcisms by eliminating for us New Yorkers “the fear of dying in the streets.”
I love New York.