June 19th, 2011
After working on my conference paper for several hours I headed to the 국악원 Gugakwon to meet up with 최해리 Choi Haeri, a dance researcher that professor 조경만 had introduced me to. The conversation was very fruitful and rewarding. Both because Haeri is really knowledgeable and intelligent and gave me great new information and shook loose some ideas that have been percolating in my skull, and also because I think we could become friends, certainly she's quick thinking, critical and intelligent, just the way I like my friends.
During our conversation even there was a constant stream of other people coming through because a performance was beginning at 5. I had tickets, as it was 진옥섭 Jin Okseop's big deal annual performance, and there were a lot of people I knew there, including 엄승용, 고석진, 손병만, 이병옥, 이수환 and many many more. After the bell had already started ringing to tell everyone to go in and find their seats Karjam finally arrived. I need to start telling him things start 30 minutes before they actually do. It really stresses me out when he's late.
The 30,000 won seats had been sold out when I got around to buying tickets (the entire show sold out!), and I decided 40 or 50,000 per seat was too much for me to justify, so we were in the 20,000 won seats on the third floor. Karjam was frustrated that he couldn’t see well enough. That's true, we couldn't. The show was interesting. I studiously recorded all of Jin Okseop's emceeing for later analysis. I need to go visit him and take a photo of him. His name will definitely be sprinkled throughout my dissertation. After the show a friend of Haeri's introduced me to one of the performers, but it wasn't the performer who had wowed me… not quite sure why Haeri thought I should meet her. Mid show 장사익 Jang Sa'ik had come up on stage and sung two songs. Karjam was even more blown away live than when we listen to Jang's music at home, so he insisted that I introduce him to Jang afterwards. Mind you, I've met Jang before and I'm a total fan, but that doesn't mean Jang knows me. Whatever, I'm ballsy enough to walk up to the most famous person in the lobby and say "my husband, a Tibetan singer, really wants to meet you." They took a photo together, exchanged cards and Jang invited Karjam to stop by for tea and Chinese noodles. Hmmm…. Should we really?
June 20th, 2011
During the day Karjam and I hung out with 영훈 Yeonghun at the studio as he mixed some of Karjam's songs. Then I went to 봉산탈춤 Bongsan Talchum. Class was interesting. We had two new students, both students majoring in 연극 drama, both at Bongsan Talchum because they strategically believed that learning a Korean way of moving (what the man said) and more about traditional theatre (what both said) would be useful for them in their future. Also this graduate student, 김현철 came back. He was in class in August and September, but was back now after the school year ended. He majored in 국악 Korean music for his undergrad and is now majoring in Music Education. I like him, but he looks like he's in high school. Speaking of, 현석's friend 동호, attended his second class. And 미행 Mihaeng is back. She gave me some nice handmade soap. She's so negative I really wish she wasn't back, but she likes me, so… I'm torn. Oh and 윤희 Yunhee, the dancer, came back. It was a lively day. We practiced 7 monks and did 할미 Halmi (grandmother) only.
June 21st, 2011 Summer Solstice
We had recording again today, with Hilary Finchum-Sung coming in the morning to record a violin track for "A Song for Tsemphel" (this title might change). The song is so sad, because Karjam's friend is serving a 15 year prison sentence for political reasons and Karjam misses him so much (and worries about Tsemphel's family). The song had already been quite good, but it didn't feel as sad as the lyrics. With the addition of Hilary's violin track the song really came alive. When we listened to the song after she was done both Karjam and I cried.
We had lunch with Hilary and then it was time to meet 김유나Kim Yuna. Originally we were going to have a special student of Hilary's Bitna do the 아쟁 ajaeng, but her grandmother got seriously sick, so Bitna introduced another ajaeng player. I've been emailing with Yuna but this was the first meeting. She was so cute in her black high heels, ruffled white blouse and black skirt. Her hair even was quite stylish. She had taken my injunction to be ready for the camera quite seriously. She needed more of Yeonghun's explanation than any other of the musicians so far, as it was her first time in the studio, but her expression of nervous delight to be putting on the headphones for the first time was just delightfully cute. Karjam and I stayed at the studio integrating Samkuchet's singing into the two songs (she sent files from Gannan) until nearly 8 pm.