I have always enjoyed watching buskers perform, and I have been fortunate enough over the years to have seen some amazing musicians, magicians, and performers – plus a few real weirdos of course – just by walking down the right (or wrong) street at the right (or wrong) time.
Even when their performances weren’t exactly in line with my musical tastes, I respected the fact that they had the courage to share with complete and sometimes totally disinterested strangers the things they love doing. Regardless of the presence or absence of skills and talents, I was always envious of them and often imagined myself standing in their place, drawing a generous and huge crowd. Continue reading “Busking at Insadong by Nakwon Music Mall”
I was living in Daegu in 2005 when I first heard about Nakwon Music Mall. After a 13-year break from regularly playing guitar due to a repetitive strain injury, I decided it was time to try again as the simple joy of playing music had been missing from my life for far too long. My quest for a new guitar started in Daegu but ended in failure, so I asked a musical friend about music stores in Seoul. “You should go to Nakwon” was her helpful reply. And so I did.
Continue reading “Musical Memories 2: Nakwon”
The recent release of John Williams seventh Star Wars score for Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) coincided with me having some extra free time and the desire to write more here on my strange WordPress. That convergence of planets resulted in me reflecting on both my early memories of music and the subsequent formation of my musical tastes which largely involve a penchant for instrumental music. John Williams’ music in general, and in particular his score for the first Star Wars film (1977), played an important role in the formation of those musical tastes, and his music continues to this day to be a regular and cherished part of most days.
Continue reading “Musical Memories 1: John Williams”
November 5 was a really special and memorable night. It was one of those nights I feel lucky to be living my rather abnormal life. I love it when two of my interests converge, and that’s exactly what happened on November 5.
Continue reading “Open Dorm Concert! November 5, 2015”
I put together this list last year for one of my classes in which students created their own Word Press blog and wrote about two of their passions. The idea being to encourage students to write by asking them to write about the things that interest them the most. I wrote this as a guide to give students an idea of what I expected from one task, which was to create one top 10 list related to one of their passions or two top 5 lists related to both passions. While thinking about new content to add here, I remembered I have quite a few posts on that class blog that I could happily place here with a few changes, tweaks, and updates. For this post, I made a few edits, I added a lot of addition links (I like links), I included a reference to a Hitler-praising cult leader, and I fine-tuned how the videos appear as I prefer smaller sized videos that take up less real estate. I also corrected one typo which thankfully none of my students noticed. There are probably more, but that’s life.
Continue reading “Top 10 Favourite Scores for War Films”
Escape To Despair: Stories of North Koreans Living in South Korea
A very big thank you to Lee Tae-hoon, founder of The Korea Observer
, for inviting myself and my fellow band members to perform a few songs for brave Kim Hye-song. Never could I have imagined my two passions in life (music and totalitarian regimes/cults) could ever combine in the form of such an unforgettable experience. Below is Hye-song sharing her story. If you can watch it and not cry, there is something seriously wrong with you:
The event came together very quickly and quite frantically with a phone call from Mr. Lee late one recent Friday afternoon asking if we (my band) were available to perform at some point over the weekend. Continue reading “Songs for Hye-song & Escape to Despair”