SINGAPORE – Imagine an eclectic mix of Chinese traditional instruments, some Western orchestra instruments, drums and even electric guitars performing K-pop tunes arranged to accommodate the different instruments? For the skeptics who cannot even conceive how these can go well together, there have been many attempts to marry the sounds of traditional instruments and their modern counterparts.
For those who have been exposed to this unique mixture of instruments through Korean drama Heartstrings (starring Jung Yong Hwa as a guitarist and Park Shin Hye as the female protagonist who plays the gayageum-a Korean traditional instrument), or seen the recent live performance of AOA’s Get Out featuring Mina, this risky and meticulously crafted pair-up can either be a success, or downright painful to the ears, lest to say undermining the traditional instruments, who often cannot be heard due to the nature of modern instruments to be louder and more easily heard by the audience. Nanyang Polytechnic Chinese Orchestra (NYPCO), however, proved their mettle with their concert K-ATTACK II, held on the 3rd of November, 2012, at the Esplanade Concert Hall, Singapore.
The first section began with a majestic rendition of IU’s You and I, then continued with melancholic tunes like SISTAR’s Alone and 2AM’s I Wonder if You Hurt Like Me, and finishing with CNBLUE‘s Hey You. A percussion-only performance of BoA’s Only One, KARA’s Pandora and 2NE1’s I Love You, a song that shook the K-pop industry with its distinctly un-Kpop-like-sound, NYPCO performed songs across a range of genres, exploring diverse repertoires even under the K-pop umbrella itself.
Performing T-ara’s Lovey Dovey, SHINee’s Sherlock, SNSD’s Paparazzi and Huh Gak’s It Hurts and even the then yet-to-be-officially-released 2PM’s Masquerade in the second segment, NYPCO showcased their ability by covering recent and popular songs. The Sherlock performance was exceptional, made complete with the chants of “SHINee’s back, SHINee’s back” by the orchestra members. Fast numbers like Lovey Dovey and Paparazzi were no easy feat either, but the orchestra seemed to have fun even whilst having to deal with the huge number of notes. NYPCO ended the second segment by bringing the house down with an expected performance of the song that has been taking the world by storm-PSY’s Gangnam Style.
From a PSY doppelganger, sunglasses, the cheesy horse-dance, orchestra members dancing to Gangnam Style with style, to a girl member standing up and saying “Oppa, Gangnam Style” in a cute voice, NYPCO put in much effort to ensure that the audience would enjoy this particular song.
More great songs, for example, DBSK’s Keep Your Head Down, followed in the third section. The last song was most memorable, as it was not a single song, but a seamless mash-up comprising BIG BANG’s Fantastic Baby, Blue, Monster and Love Song. For the encore, the maestro apologized for not being able to play more songs, and to make up for that, the orchestra would “play one last song with at least ten songs”, and among these songs were SNSD’s The Boys and Mr Taxi, 2PM’s Put Your Hands Up, T-ara’s Cry Cry, F.T. Island’s Hello Hello, CNBLUE’s I’m A Loner, KARA’s Mister, BIG BANG’s Tonight, 4Minute’s Heart to Heart, B2ST’s Fiction, SNSD Taeyeon’s Can You Hear Me, U-Kiss’ 0330, and many more.
Songs that were most spectacularly delivered and which stood out in their powerful and accurate delivery and conveyance of the emotions were later revealed to be the songs arranged by one of its members. Displaying superb skills in blending the sounds of the different types of instruments, as well as in arranging pop songs for traditional instruments, this laudable accomplishment has not only depicted how the NYPCO is not only just a place for students to improve their craft, but also to try their hand at challenging the abilities of the instruments in terms of the songs they are usually associated to and deemed fit to perform. Although there is an absence of an overarching theme to the whole concert and thus the songs did not contribute to the whole flow of the concert-flitting from light-hearted songs to groovy songs and to emotional songs-, both orchestra and audience enjoyed themselves tremendously.
What makes K-ATTACK II a refreshing performance is that they pay homage to the music preferences of today through their traditional instruments . Having come a long way since being formed in 2009, the orchestra has grown from a mere 45 members to the current 155 members under the helm of conductor Mike Chiang. Majority of the friends who turned out to support members of the orchestra were evidently K-pop fans rather than fans of the traditional instruments. However, this concert merged the traditional with the modern, and even though the creation of this new sound inevitably eradicates a little the beauty of both the traditional and the modern, it is testimony to a brave new vision which the NYPCO has embraced to keep the Chinese instruments relevant in today’s society.
If you , the K-pop lover, want to wave light-sticks to your favorite songs with like-minded friends but cannot afford the skyrocketing prices of tickets to see your idols, why not look forward to next year’s concert by NYPCO? Besides being treated to a performance full of laughs while learning to appreciate music produced by a Chinese orchestra, this is one concert where you definitely can experience that wordless sense of contentment derived just from listening to music-it will be an attack (or K-ATTACK) on your senses!
Event covered by Adrian@hellokpop and Yunting@hellokpop
Known throughout Korea for their phenomenal stage presence at live shows, indie rock band Galaxy Express hasn’t released a new album since Naughty Boy in 2011. Even without a new release, the group has been extensively touring throughout Korea and just recently finished up their US tour this summer; with a highlighted performance at this years SXSW in Texas. The group, comprised of Park JongHyun (vocals/guitar), Lee JuHyun (bass/vocals), and Kim HeeKwon has become a force to be reckoned with when it comes to high octane psychedelic rock and roll.
On September 4, Galaxy Express released its new music video for You and I. The music video shows the group jamming around a large bonfire while playing an uptempo rock track. The track has a infectious beat and the group’s vocals are as impressive as always. Seen the new music video yet? Check it out below:
What do you think of Galaxy Express’ new music video?
Sources: (News & Video): HundaiCardWeb, Photo: Galaxy Express
After his debut in March and the release of his first single You and I and his second album Voice, Minken has returned once again with the third single album titled Full of Sunshine. The song Full of Sunshine was created by the singer-songwriter MyQ, Rollercoaster‘s guitarist Lee SangSoon, and Milk Tea‘s member Remi.
Also included on the 3rd single is the song 샤르륵, sung by Remi, who is also known as HongDae’s goddess. With 샤르륵’s lively rhythm and Remi’s voice, it makes a perfect combination. Minken said:
“Instead of the word ‘featuring’, I use ‘via’. I will not only work with singers but also with skilled composers, arrangers, artists to try a variety of music.”
The new single is a very lively Latin pop song. It’s been released a few days ago on August 24th. Check out their soothing new song:
Sources: (News & Photo) – CSMUSIC& Representative; Video – BubbleFeetMusicCH4
Couple Lee Hyori and Lee Sang Soon recently went on a holiday overseas with their friends.
A representative of Lee Hyori’s company stated on the 18th of July, “they took a 5 day, 4 night holiday at the end of June to visit Palau Islands. They did not go alone, but were accompanied by their friends.”
Lee Hyori and Lee Sang Soon were both modestly dressed during their Palau holiday, and enjoyed their holiday playing water sports. Tourists said that the couple accepted requests for signatures happily and did not seem to pay much attention to their surroundings.
Lee Sang Soon and Lee Hyori had their relationship made public in November last year, and Lee Hyori revealed details on her boyfriend and their love story on KBS2’s Happy Together 3 in March and SBS’s Healing Camp in April. She proceeded with confidence about her relationship, even putting up a collaborated performance with Lee Sang Soon on SBS’s music programme You and I for the broadcast on the 13th of May.
Picture source/Source: Naver
Korea’s little sister, IU, has released the full PV for her new Japanese single, You and I.
Back in March, IU released her first Japanese single titled, Good Day, and now, You and I will be her second single released in Japan. Both are Japanese versions of the hit Korean originals.
As reported earlier, the album will available in three different editions, with three different jacket covers: Type A, Type B and the normal edition. You and I is scheduled for release on July 18.
Check out the PV, tracklist and jacket covers below!
Type A – First Press Limited Edition (CD+DVD)
01 You & I (Japanese Version)
02 少年時代 (井上陽水カバー)
03 You & I (Remix)
01 2012年4月～5月全国5大都市にて開催された「IU Friendship Showcase～Spring2012～」の模様を追ったドキュメンタリー
02 You & I -Making of Music Video-
Type B - First Press Limited Edition (CD+DVD)
01 You & I (Japanese Version)
02 少年時代 (井上陽水カバー)
01「You & I」 (Japanese Version Music Video)
02 今年5月に韓国で公開された最新Music Video「Every End Of The Day」をフルサイズ完全収録 (約27分: 日本語字幕つき)
Normal Edition (CD only)
01 You & I (Japanese Version)
02 少年時代 (井上陽水カバー)
03 「You & I」 (Instrumental)