PEOPLE HAVE lost their interest in Korean classical music for quite some time. However, there is someone who has constantly tried to introduce us to a totally new world of traditional music. Park In-woo (Sr., Dept. of Political Science & Int. Studies) is ceaselessly attempting to extend the boundary of musical genres. In 2007 he won the Korean Song Contest for developing a new genre by adapting Korean classical music to progressive metal. A year later, he released his first solo, titled In My Diary.
My first encounter with music
I started playing the classical guitar when I was 16, and then, while in high school, I took a composition class, where I was able to try out different kinds of music with my classmates. Upon finishing military service, I started to gain professional knowledge about composition. Although I wished to go to the college of music, my parents wanted me to have a wide range of experiences. They suggested that, at least for the time being, I should pursue an academic path. That’s why I entered Yonsei Univ. to study political science. Still, I do not regret this.
My first album, In My Diary
I was in charge of the whole process of making this album. There are three tracks, each of which represents my own experiences and emotions. I personally write a diary everyday, and I sometimes find impressive phrases or words in it and make a melody out of them. As such, I am inspired by everyday life. Happiness for me is a half-boiled egg with a yolk shaped in a perfect circle or a \500 discount at the store. Simple things that people easily pass by pile up and make life enjoyable.
Passion for Korean classical music
I want to try out as many genres as possible. These days, I am preparing for my next album, which includes Korean traditional music mixed with rock. This kind of music starts with a slow tempo like that of Jeongak (court music) and shifts dramatically later on. All the tracks have exciting and funny lyrics, which derive from Korean fairy tales. I love Korean traditional music because it has a dramatic rhythm and structure. I find it so sad that fewer and fewer people listen to it. However, the more you know it, the more you are fascinated by it.
Living as a true musician
I believe the greatest factor that makes my life as a musician difficult is not living on a low income or a lack of social recognition, but inner conflict. When I have to write a piece within a certain amount of time, I am forced to create music in a style that is different from my own because of money. Then, I sigh and ask myself, “Why am I supposed to do this?” However, as I think about the day when I first started this job, I try not to lose faith in my own style. I think musicians should create original pieces, which is why I always try to develop my own style of music.
Some people envy my career as an artist, saying that I look happy because I do what I like. Yet this is a misconception. Every job has its own merits and faults. Even if you follow the general trend, and prepare for the state examination, you should still try to do your best. There is no reason to regret the path you have chosen. Remember, what you are doing may be the best choice for you. So don’t be afraid of what you’re doing. Don’t look back or doubt it.