Follow us on
join us facebook
Korean band Gong Myoung sings the language of joy
It was a simple show but presented in an extraordinary way by the Korean band on the penultimate day of the Hindu November Friday Review Fest on November 21. The Korean team is christened “Gong Myoung” after an instrument crafted by them from bamboo. The four-member band comprises Park Seung Won, Cho Min Soo, Kang Sun II and Song Kyoung Keun. "I know two languageee... I speak Korea large. English short,’’ a shy Song Kyoung Keun kept repeating at intervals. Taking upon himself the role of a spokesperson of the band, a reticent Keun tried to speak a few words in English, though haltingly. “Thank you”. “I love you”. He was unable to proceed beyond these. But one could sense the humility in him when he tried uttering these little English sentences. With his broken English, he, nevertheless, was able to strike a rapport with the audience. The `short’ English knowledge was good enough for him to communicate well with the audience, who grew excited as the show progressed.

He explained how the rest of his team members were `short English’’ in his own broken short English words. And, the presence of huge Korean contingent among the audience excited him and he soon enough switched over to the language he is conversant with – the Korean. Among the audience, one could spot a large number of Korean children as well. In the end, it turned out to be a pleasant treat for the children too!

The instruments used by them seemed rather primitive. But they were of fine quality. Flutes of various pitches, drums, cymbals and the assorted other instruments handled by them conveyed their comforts with things that are natural and communicated their love for the nature. There was something aesthetic about these instruments when the Korean musicians played them and produced quality music that evening. The show indeed had left a fairy-tale effect on the listeners.

The evening began dramatically. None was on the stage. But a strange music had all of a sudden begun to envelop the auditorium. As everyone looked furtively here, there and behind, the Korean performers trooped in – one by one - from the door behind, playing some funny-looking instruments. They played, danced and waded through the audience to get on to the stage. It took one back in time to the famous Pied-Piper story. Such a dramatic start had set the stage for enlivening Korean show. It was refreshingly a different experience for conventional music-buffs who frequent the Music Academy. The four Korean musicians in the end proved to be great showmen as well!

A flute at the centre of the stage, a guitar, the percussion instruments and drums with a traditional mark – they all looked out of context at this venue. But the music they produced out of these kept everyone captive. The performance of the Korean band encapsulated the old, young and everybody who were present that evening.

The music managed to garner the attention span of even children, who watched with curiosity as the young musicians displayed their showmanship to perfection. Indeed, the music seemed to have had a magical effect on the audience.

A distinguishing feature of this band is that all its four artistes are good handlers of assorted instruments such as mouth organ, flute, drums and percussion.

The Korean show was melodious mostly, breath-taking at time, funny in-between and lively all the same. The deep resonating sound from big, tall and cylindrical bamboo instruments had a nice effect on ears. And, the way they played them was fodder for the ears. The wonderful thing about them was that they made everything they did on the stage look ever so simple, easy and elegant. The band was commanded by Song Kyoung Keun, who gave a deft show of his flute playing. He set his own tunes for what he played.

The `percussion session’ comprised a set of instruments made out of their creativity. All the four, sat cross-legged on the stage and played their instruments fast. There was harmony in music. And, the co-ordination was complete. A perfectly synchronized percussion show left the audience gasping. It almost made one to wonder as if it was a robotic show! There was this item where they produced music with bamboo cylinders of odd heights. The four Koreans on show proved remarkable and made telling impact with their awe-inspiring feat. As the show was coming to a close, Song Kyoung Keun ran down to the audience and took two children to the stage. It was a wonderful sight when the two kids danced to the artistes’ music.

The Korean band was here in India for the first time, thanks to The Hindu Friday Review November Fest. “We hope to meet you again,” said Song Kyoung Keun. When the audience sought more music from him, the “Gong Myoung” band readily agreed to play their favourite item yet once more.

The Korean show in a way was a reiteration of a long known fact: The music has only one language. That is the language of joy.