Korean singer Yoon Sang (front) and guitarist Lee Byeong-woo performing at a showcase for their upcoming concert "Play With Us" held at CJ E&M Center in Seoul, South Korea on July 26, 2010. [photographed by Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]
Yoon Sang says "I cast Sung Si-kyung right away when he contacted me about a song"
For those who are tired of all the summer festivals pouring forth, the concert "Play With Us" will be held at the grand theater of Sejong Center for the Performing Arts on August 5 and 6. The people who will provide a musical break right in the middle of summertime are Kim Kwang-min-I, Lee Byeong-woo and Yoon Sang. Under the blazing summer sun, the combination of these three musicians may feel stuffy to some people as they appear better suited for the fall season. However, the union of three musicians who say they "give each other consolation through music" rather presents us with a fresh feeling of refreshment.
At the "Play With Us" showcase, held July 26 at Seoul's CJ E&M Center, three songs were unveiled: the newly-arranged "Even If We May Be Far Apart Now" by Kim Kwang-min-I, "Us" by Lee Byeong-woo from the Korean film "My Lovely Week" and "What Love Is" by Yoon Sang. Although the three familiar songs were dressed in new arrangements, they had not lost their original colors. Watching the three musicians commune through music was enough of a sight to take our breath away, even if for just a moment, and make us fully focus on the music.
Besides these new musical attempts, Harim and Sung Si-kyung will be greeting the audience as hidden members of the show. In the case of Sung Si-kyung, who has not held an official event since being discharged from the military, will be letting us hear his voice for the first time in a while with new arrangements for songs "It Would Be Nice", "We Make a Good Pair" and "On The Street". Below is a joint interview with the musicians held after the showcase. Let us turn our ears and listen to the three men who speak softly and have a subtle sense of humor.
Q: How did the three of you decide to perform together?
Yoon Sang (Yoon): I came back to Korea in March because all my schoolwork ended last December. You could say that this performance was my personal proposal to the two singers. The music by two senior musicians Kim Kwang-min-I and Lee Byeong-woo, in particular, gave me consolation and courage. And whenever I spoke to them, they always answered me warmly. All my social connections had been cut off because I was studying for seven years (laugh) but now I feel like I have found the strong link again. The atmosphere was more enjoyable too because I had digged out songs I had forgotten about.
Q: On the outside, it is a bit hard to see what the three of you have in common and it makes me wonder how the concert would be composed.
Korean singer Yoon Sang speaks during a showcase for upcoming concert "Play With Us" held at CJ E&M Center in Seoul, South Korea on July 26, 2010. [photographed by Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]
Yoon: (Looking around) I am the youngest so I will tell you... (laugh) These are people who are capable of performing solo for two, three hours, so the intention was to have our solo shows and perform together in between. But while we were talking it over, there were so many songs that we wanted to perform together. We are still sorting them out but we are probably going to perform most songs together and I think the audience will be able to hear our individual songs in between to change up the mood.
Q: The concert is titled "Play With Us" but listening to the music by you three, I think it will be a quiet show. If you had a concept for this concert, what would it be?
Yoon: It probably won't all be filled with bright, strong tunes. It will be a show that has an introduction, development, turn and conclusion music-wise and I am feeling that the show has bigger potential as I prepare for it. Kim Kwang-min-I and Lee Byeong-woo are performers but they are also tremendous songwriters. I am realizing once again that when you have a good song, everything works out even with new arrangements and performances.
Kim Kwang-min-I (Kim): We are going to do fast songs too.
Lee Byeong-woo (Lee): I was telling myself I'll play the guitar aggressively just a moment ago, but I guess it felt quiet. (laugh)
Q: Yoon Sang will be the only one singing, so how will the ratio be between vocal and performance numbers?
Yoon: I will be singing for about one third of the show. I asked them to just sing one song each but they declined. (laugh) And [Korean pop singer] Sung Si-kyung, who was discharged from the military, contacted me about a song so I cast him right away. (laugh) He had worked with senior musician Lee Byeong-woo on the soundtrack for [Korean animation film] "My Beautiful Girl, Mari" in early 2000, and he got lessons from Kim Kwang-min-I so I told him that we should have a good time with these good brothers before putting out an album. Harim, who can play any instrument, is going to come and perform and we are going to sing his song too. Although there won't be any powerful rock numbers (laugh), I think people who like music will be able to have a comfortable, enjoyable time.
Q: I am wondering if your three-person project is going to continue in the future.
Yoon: I don't know how this will work out because Kim Kwang-min-I and Lee Byeong-woo are so busy doing other things. But starting with this concert, I hope that we will continuously be abe to perform on small or big stages whenever we want to.
Kim: Actually, music work is lonely work. But I think it is fun to gather around and do it together. It will be better if several more people could come join us. The more we meet and work together, the more time we spend together and get closer.
Reporter : Jang Kyung-Jin three@
Photographer : Lee Jin-hyuk eleven@
Editor : Lynn Kim lynn2878@
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>
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2015 51st PaekSang Arts Awards