Saturday, September 4, 2010

Bike Shop and Songpa Sandae Noli

September 4th, 2010
Hard to believe it’s already September. Still seems awkward to write 2010.

I finally rode my bike down my hill (and my hill is MUCH steeper than Tuna Canyon, albeit only for about 300 meters before it gets more Tuna-like) and to the bike shop. I found my old bike shop under a new name and a new sign but the same roof with the same owner. They tightened up my pedals and helped me figure out this other niggling problem. And I got a bottle since I forgot to bring one with me. This bike shop is one of the most pro-shops in Korea, in case anyone wants to stop by—한강 싸이클 HanKang Cycle, 02.796.3627, under the pedestrian bridge that crosses the main street heading between 삼각지 Samgakji and the river right after 용산 Yongsan Station. Riding back (remember the grade of my hill is insane, perhaps 20% grade for 300 meters, no crap. You walk up this hill and you almost lean forward and touch your fingers on the ground as you walk) I made it through a little more than half the steep part before I couldn’t keep it up.

송파산대놀이Songpa Sandae Noli practice today. We practiced through the basic motions two times with 이수환 Yi Suhwan drumming then they practiced the 5th Act twice. Then one more basic run through and there was a meeting. Some tension flying around I won’t be writing about here. It was an uneventful practice, otherwise, with very little serious instruction. Other than a general feel that Act Five needed one more run through, there was no real correction or anything like that going on.

Finally got to introduce 경진 Gyeongjin and Karjam, we had dinner (I think Karjam was excited by a large meaty feast) and went to see Gyeongjin’s friend, Dong, play piano at this avante-garde “project” (apparently they don’t call themselves a club). We drank weak rose-hip ice-tea and waited and waited. At last the show began with a man of western European heritage on guitar and a Korean guy on –everything—spread around the stage(percussion items, keyboard, a blow pipe thingie). I basically ignored the western guy. The Korean guy was really really talented, he was completely coming up with new stuff in front of us, it was pretty exciting, if not necessarily something you’d listen to without watching him and his antics at the same time. Dong’s piano playing was highly skilled and he was performing his own original compositions from memory but every time certain pitches sounded somewhere in the darkness a snare drum rattled annoyingly. And the mic had way too much reverb. I kept day-dreaming off in the too warm too dark room.

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