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Review: North Korean Music Students

JohnInKansas 08 Feb 12 - 08:35 PM
GUEST,999 08 Feb 12 - 10:06 PM
Seamus Kennedy 08 Feb 12 - 11:22 PM
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Subject: Review: North Korean Music Students
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 08 Feb 12 - 08:35 PM

North Korean accordion students take on A-ha
By Adrienne Mong

BEIJING—Here's a little diversion for anyone needing a little break from sports this weekend (Superbowl, anyone? Jeremy Lin, anyone?).

It's a chirpy version of that 1980s A-ha standby, "Take On Me," performed by…

Accordion players.

In North Korea.

The five musicians were filmed at the Kum Song School in the capital, Pyongyang, in December last year.

They were introduced to the A-ha song by visiting Norwegian artist Morten Traavik, who had been travelling to and from North Korea as part of efforts to bring musicians and artists from the isolated country to Norway for an arts and culture festival this month.

According to one report, the accordion players surprised Traavik with their improvised version of the Euro-pop song two days after he presented them with the CD. He then filmed them playing the song and posted it on YouTube to promote the festival, which runs from February 8-12.

*** ***

Probably of interest mainly because we see/hear little about what goes on musically (or any other way) in North Korea.

The brief video shows a credible performance, but tells little about how "foreign" the style may be for the students who performed in it, or if it may a genre with which they may be more familiar than might be expected.


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Subject: RE: Review: North Korean Music Students
From: GUEST,999
Date: 08 Feb 12 - 10:06 PM

Much can be made of a Scotsman if caught while young.

The swig of live performance is somewhat lost in the song rendition. They seem not to 'feel' what they perform. One/two mistakes means it's a musically faultless performance, but it has a stilted soul.

There was a very young girl playing guitar (posted and linked to on Mudcat recently) and she too was from Korea. Korea produces automatons if what we hear is common.

The technically best (TKD) fighters I ever met were Korean. But they had no verve because it was all too rehearsed. I lost more than I won, but I walked or limped away after it all. If this is an example of how to produce musicians, imo, this falls in the realm of please don't. Let it stay by the wayside. It ain't all that good. imo, and that's an opinion, not an argument starter. YMMV.

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Subject: RE: Review: North Korean Music Students
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 08 Feb 12 - 11:22 PM

Not bad. Notice how the girls sit with their legs tight together, and the boys sit with legs wide apart. Vive la différence!

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