As I started performing more and more in Korea, I started realising the depth and popularity of Arts and Culture in the Korean society. Although on surface one would see a totally westernised society, but deep inside the people are really bound to their roots. Korean culture is quite old and after the modernisation, since […]
To the south edge of South Korea there are over a thousand of small and big islands. Some of them have volcanoes on them too. Jeju island being the most famous, there are several others which are big enough for habitation.
Geoge island is the second biggest island from the south sea. Two years ago I got to know that I am to perform on Geoge island, and I was quite happy about it. Several years ago I had performed on Jeju island. I think it was some very big festival where thousands of people had come. I also remembered that it was very beautiful place. So I became even more enthusiastic about this concert and the journey to the island.
I clearly remember my first encounter with Korean musicians. In February of 2002 I got a call asking if I would be interested in recording a fusion project with some Korean musicians. And that the budget isn’t much but I might like it. The budget was never used to be good then anyway, so I said yes.
In the studio there were 5-6 musicians from Korea and some local. The recording which was supposed to take 3 days, took 7 and at the end it was all fine. No one in the Korean team could speak a word of English except their manager! And thus whatever anyone wanted to say to other musicians about music or anything totally was dependent on this manager who could barely speak English, But could communicate well. All in all we were having good time and creating some interesting music too.
For my performances I have visited South Korea 12 times since 2002. I love the country and it would be like my second home. Seoul is like one mega hill station and the weather, people, customs, cleanliness, things you see, things you get, markets, rivers, roads, houses, monasteries, buildings and architecture, handicrafts and electronics everything is just beautiful. Although I have observed some non Korean people who have lived there for a couple of years or more tend to get fed up with the country !
Koreans have a different and enchanting sense of beauty and generally you can see it everywhere. [Different than the Indian or western, which we keep seeing ] What I love most about Korea is the amazing blend of their ancient culture and the totally modern lifestyle. It is very common to see some 80 years old person using Samsung Tab and playing games on it! This would be a rare sight in India that I know.
Koreans are tech savvy people and love to use it to its best, even with the most complicated processes are to be performed. Some years ago a Korean chap even died while he played online games nonstop for some 56 hours !