December 11, 2013
by Rebecca Jackson
It’s that time of year – the countdown to the end of one year and the beginning of the next. Performing with Danielle and Tiffany at the MJHS Hospice Center in New York has me reflecting on this idea of transition in a renewed way.
We performed in a narrow hallway with the hopes the sounds would travel to all the rooms. Most of the patients were unable to get out of their beds. Staff and loved ones occasionally squeezed past us, sometimes stopping to listen. I noticed how these pieces we’ve played before were being played differently, with greater tenderness and vulnerability. As our music began there was a woman who became restless in her room so they put her in a wheelchair and brought her to the doorway, just a few feet from us. Her eyes were closed and she leaned as if sleeping but each time we finished playing she groaned in approval. When I first saw her, I saw my grandmother (who I lost last year), and I was overwhelmed with emotion.
Why are good byes so sad? The pangs of missing someone you love so much brought to you by the inevitable cycle of life.
I remember my Korean grandmother telling me not to cry when she dies. Have you seen a Korean drama lately? Weeping and wailing take place in every scene, an accurate reflection of the deep-seated passion which is inherently part of my maternal culture. So of course my response to her was, “I will cry SO much.”
Life is so short. Smile more, laugh more, enjoy more, love more, feel more, because the gift of life doesn’t last forever. As a musician (or as a human being for that matter!) it is so easy to get bogged down in the chaos and many trivial annoyances. Our hope performing for hospice patients was to serve them but we received much more in return. Our souls were replenished and we were reminded to cherish the incredible power of music.
December 2, 2013
by Danielle Cho
Saturday night’s show at the cozy but packed Culture Hub in New York City showed a true intersection between music and technology. In NYC, DJ Spooky (aka that Subliminal Kid) and Sound Impact presented a series of musical pieces, inspired by John Hong and JinHee Lee’s book on Korean architecture, Convergent Flux. DJ Spooky is Artist in Residence at the Seoul Institute of the Arts and he used his DJ Ipad software to play his tracks. In Seoul, Professor Kang Eun-il and a group of musicians played the haegeum, a traditional Korean instrument resembling a fiddle. The haegeum is one of the most widely used instruments in traditional Korean music, and Kang Eun-il is highly praised for her effort to combine traditional and modern music to present a new “crossover” genre.
So how was this possible to have two live concerts happening in two cities with a 14 hour time difference? Thanks to Culture Hub and their cutting edge technology, the show was a live streamed concert where audiences in both Seoul, New York City and around the world could enjoy. Although Culture Hub can fit about 50 people in the space, we had about 2,000 viewers watching live.
Sound Impact was privileged to have special guest violinist, Jennifer Choi, who showed off her impressive improvising skills as she jammed with the haegeum players in Korea via internet.
It was a great concert and an exciting endeavor! Stay tuned for a recording project coming your way!