Our History (in a nutshell)
NYURI became an official ASSBAC (All-Square Student Budget Allocation Committee) Club in the Fall of 2003, after a year of contingent supervision under ASSBAC. Although this makes it seem like we are an infant club, this is far from the truth. NYURI is one of the oldest organizations in US, dating back to 1987, when a couple of NYU Korean students enjoyed the simplicity of playing poongmul, or as we like to call it, jammin’/i>. While overcoming tribulations, NYURI has successfully remained a group that continues to experience the harmony of coming together.
Throughout the years, NYURI has taught itself the art of poongmul and samulnori through videos, CDs, camps, and experienced players. Arguably, the greatest period of growth began in Spring 98 and continues today, with landmarks being set each year.
Jiyoung (Christine) Kim, an alumni of Yonsei’s Han-Uhl brought her talents, skills, and leadership to the team and taught Jwa-doh Pilbong for 2 consecutive years, teaching a little of tal-choom and minyo along the way.
Her greatest accomplishments include showing us the basics of poongmul, teaching us what it means to be poongmul players, and giving us a solid identity and a sense of what NYU Poongmul-pae can be (i.e. the importance of ho-heup, the dynamics between the leaders and other players, the balance that can be achieved between preserving the tradition and changing our pan-gut for modern generations).
Hyung Joon Kim from KTPAA (Korean Traditional Performing Arts Association) or Gook Ak Hyup Hwe taught us Young-Nam Garak--giving us a chance to learn our first official samulnori piece. These pieces have been invaluable to us since it allowed us to perform on stage when sun-ban was not possible. Furthermore, the dynamic beats and meticulous rhythms gave us a new perspective--this is an area that requires attention to details and control.
Having a solid foundation of identity within the community of poongmul organizations, we believed it was time for us to find our own “voice,” a term offered by Young Ki (Kyle) Kim, who has been a part of University of Chicago’s Loose-Roots. This brought a new concept of jjam-ppong ("mixed") garaks by the sangswe Hee-young Sunwoo (i.e. picking out different sections of certain pieces and putting it all together to make a new piece, and creating new sun-ban choreographies for what was originally a samulnori piece). Furthermore, thanks to Young Ki and his friends from Loose-Roots, it was during this year when NYURI first experienced playing poongmul with players who has had a different style of playing. Eventually the newcomers had tremendous influence on shaping NYURI.
It was sangswe Haena Kim's idea to make NYU Poongmul-Pae an official NYU club; she also came up with our club name: NYU Rhythmic Impulse (NYURI). The truth is NYU Poongmul-Pae has been around for more than 10 year by 2001, without being officially funded by NYU. We renamed ourselves as NYURI to symbolize the world, and modify the spelling of what was originally going to be NOORI into NYURI, so that we may simultaneously represent ourselves as an organization of NYU. Very clever, right? This is the story of our first-steps to becoming an official club with a solid identity. During this transitionary period of our club, Kay Yoon, the first and only female buk player of the group at the time, became the President to guide our organization as an official ASSBAC budgeted organization. It was also during this period that we found sudden fame and increase in membership from matriculating NYU students, primarily thanks to the continuous efforts by Hyun Jeong Ju, who has been part of the team for the past 2 years.
One beautiful April afternoon, celebrating the Asian Heritage Month, NYURI held its first Annual Washington Square Park Concert in both the Fountain and the Garibaldi Plaza. We played two creative “jjam-ppong” pangut, also known as “Woo Ri Nori” (Our Play), composed by Hee-Young Sunwoo and Young-Ki Kim. Also, the first act of Honamwoodo, Mr. Vong Pak’s Sul-Jang-go Solo and one samulnori piece called, “Young-nam-ga-rak,” were presented to some hundreds of people who gathered. NYURI, during its two-hour long concert, stole many hearts of many New Yorkers and the Han Guk Il Bo, Korea Times with our energetic performance.
NYU Rhythmic Impulse's (NYURI) first year as an official New York University student organization. SeungKon Geena Woo became the sangswe and the President, to not only continue NYURI’s legacy as a poongmul group, but also to situate the group within the University community as a student club. NYURI, however, was already famous for all the heart-pounding performances in various cultural, musical, and open-mic events on and off campuses. NYURI also networked (and is continuing to network) with other poongmul groups in the tri-state area such as Hanoori in NJ and Binari in Queens for such events as Jishinbalghi and Korean Parade.
Hee-Young Sunwoo took over as sangswe while SeungKon Geena Woo continued her presidency. Our Second Annual Washington Square Park Concert was in April. We performed one pan-gut by Hee-Young Sunwoo, the first act of Honamwoodo, and Young-nam-ga-rak. Once again, our beloved teacher and friend, Mr. Vong Pak performed Sul-Jang-Go solo; but this year, he brought his mo-deum-buk to play young-nam-ga-rak with us which added a true thunder-like base sound.
NYURI kicked off the Fall 2003 semester with the opening of the brand new Kimmel Center for University Life. Here, we were invited to welcome the student body with the solid rhythms of poongmul in the opening ceremony of the E&L Auditorium and our first performance of the new school year. NYURI’s new E-board, consisting of Liz Chong Eun Rhee as President, Bonhee Chung as Vice President, Florence Soyoon Kim as Treasurer and ¡°Webmistress,¡± Peter Choe, as camera man, promoted to Secretary, and Young Ki Kim as our fearless Sang-sswe, was able to work together to create many more opportunities to share our music and spirit with the NYU/NYC community. The fall semester was a huge success with invitations to perform for events like the Annual BK Party in Brooklyn, the historic Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride in Corona Park, a Mets pre-game show at Shea Stadium, and even an 80th birthday gala in Bayside! Although NYURI’s resilient nature helped create a successful year, there were many obstacles along the way.
Despite the ample space in the new student center, NYURI was denied a practice and storage space for quite sometime. After much persistence, persuasion (and daily visits to the Operations Office) NYURI was given a regular practice space on the 6th floor. However, we still lacked a storage space for our drums. With a stroke of luck, Chong Eun was able to store all 15 Changgoos, 5 Buks, 2 Jings, 3 Ggwengari’s and one Nong-gi (banner) around the small bed in her small room at Palladium. Even in the rain and snow, NYURI members gathered every Friday night to lug 20 drums from Union Square over to West 4th Street for our weekly practices. We then schlepped all of them back to Union Square in the wee hours of the night after practices (which were followed by many many nights at Ap Gu Jung/K-town to share the laughter, tears, jung, gunbae’s, and conversations about the past, present, and future of NYURI).
Towards the end of the semester, Ji-Young Kim, a sunbae from the early days of NYU Poongmul Pae, joined us to teach Samdo Sulchanggo. During the winter break, 5 NYURIans gathered with Ji-Young Kim to learn the piece in its entirety during a 5 day workshop at Palladium, ending with a work- in-progress show, which gathered an audience of over 50 people.
NYURI began another busy semester with many practices and performances with the new Bu-swe-in-training, Chris Chung. We were invited to perform at NYU Medical School’s Culture Night, NYU’s Korean Culture Night (KCN), the annual Lunar New Year "JiShinBalki" parade, and also hosted a drum workshop for the mentors and adoptees of Also- Known -As. Meanwhile, on January 9, 2004, NYURI’s VP- Bonhee Chung persuaded Kimmel Operations into giving us storage space for our growing number of drums. (’Tis a day that will go down in our history!) This allowed easy access to our drums with one less obstacle in our way. For the future officers of NYURI: when working with NYU administration, ALWAYS BE PERSISTENT.
Another momentous event was the FIRST NYURI Membership Training (MT) in February, where 9 members drove down to Chong Eun¡¯s parents house in Virginia. We bonded, practiced, drank, ate, drank, sang, drank, and made NYURI history!
NYURI ended a memorable year with our 3rd Annual Washington Square Park Concert. We invited guest performers from Philadelphia’s SoriMori Korean Cultural Troupe to perform Jindo Buk Choom. The crowds continued to gather throughout the day as we performed a pan-gut by Hee-young Sunwoo, called "Woori Nori," Young Nam garak, Sulchanggo, and the "Northwestern" pan-gut by YoungKi Kim. As always, we were blessed with beautiful weather, one-ness in ho-heup, and a renewed hope for NYURI.
Who We Are Now
The NYURI Family has continued to become more diverse as each member brings his and her own ideals, energy, and spirit to our drumming group. In the 2003-2004 school year, each of us shared a part of ourselves that allowed NYURI to grow in spirit and further explore the roots of Korean cultural drumming. In doing so, we, as cultural advocates, play an important role in shaping Poongmul into what it is today.
If you have any questions or comments related to this site, please email us.