Monday, 29 April 2013


"Arirang, Arirang, arariyo", Arirang, the 1,000 year old folk melody of Korea. It's  a simple tune that  lends itself to thousands of variations. It has such emotional power that it adapts to different people in different times. I can imagine it sung without accompaniment by a peasant in the mountains hundreds of years ago. Or in mass public celebrations of Korean identity. In the west, we're hung up on the dictatorship of self.  Much more organic, and beautiful, to me, the idea of a song taking on new life and being reborn with every performance. Below, three contrasting Arirangs. The first is basic pop with good scenery. The second is a more through composed artistic version with particularly wonderful words, which for me express the concept of the song. The third is a concert version of the second, with the same singer Kim Young-im and a western instrument orchestra. It's so good that it really should become part of the western classical repertoire.

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