Volume 2 / Chapter 85
On the large screen and TV monitor behind the stage, scenes of Jun Hyuk’s rehearsal and his image performing multiple instruments in Jo Hyung Joong’s recording studio came out.
Meanwhile, a float appeared behind the stage and 60 orchestra members took position on the dark stage.
Kim Ki Sik suddenly turned the lights on with a signal, and the conductor and Jun Hyuk slowly came up from either side of the stage wearing tuxedos. As soon as they appeared, all of the orchestra members stood up and showed courtesy to the conductor and pianist. The audience exploded in greater applause than they had shown until now, and the staff were running around trying to quiet them.
The two men bowed lightly toward the audience and shook hands. Hwang Suk Min stood on the podium in front of the orchestra, and Jun Hyuk sat in front of the grand piano.
As soon as Jun Hyuk sat down in front of the piano, the audience became silent.
When Hwang Suk Min held the baton up exaggeratedly, the audience stopped breathing for a moment. The baton was controlling not only the performers, but also the audience.
When he moved his baton, the rest that Jun Hyuk had so demanded was expressed and the audience let out their breath when the first note came out.
The strings, winds, and piano appeared. There was applause at the introduction beginning with force. When Jun Hyuk played the piano on top of the smooth and low cello sound, a few people in the audience began murmuring the lyrics as though recalling memories.
The music grew more and more elaborate.
Practicing and playing in a concert with an audience were markedly different. The audience’s gazes and applause, their energy changes the performers. Performers who cannot get past this wither, while those who are able to accept all of it, become more ambitious.
Hwang Suk Min intended to show the best performance and used his baton to steadily raise the tempo. Jun Hyuk felt the tempo change suddenly and looked at Hwang Suk Min.
The provoking smile that Hwang Suk Min had shown upon their first meeting.
Jun Hyuk understood the conductor’s demand and raised his tempo. When he started the climax, he was standing up and playing the piano. When the violin played the guitar solo played by Kim Sae Hwang in the original, Jun Hyuk’s fingers became even faster.
Producer Kim Ki Sik filled the screens with a close-up of Jun Hyuk’s fingers.
Hwang Suk Min ignored the two times they repeated the chorus in rehearsal and repeated it four times, dragging out Jun Hyuk’s piano endlessly and the violinists had to move their bows in a frenzy as though their strings would break.
The TV editing was as brilliant as the music was elaborate, displaying the orchestra’s grandeur.
After Hwang Suk Min and Jun Hyuk played the last note as they met eyes, they were panting. In the control room, Kim Ki Sik was panting along with them.
If it had been a recorded broadcast, he would have been able to produce a screen layout far more thrilling than an action movie… His face was full of regret.
When a performance that was supposed to be 5 minutes long ended after 6 minutes, the audience and judges were giving a standing ovation.
The audience’s endless cheering and clapping showed who the main of today’s show was. The MC had no choice but to bring conductor Hwang Suk Min to Jun Hyuk’s side while he was waiting for the judges’ commentary. When Hwang Suk Min appeared on the stage again, the applause became louder. He gave a smile of satisfaction as he took Jun Hyuk’s hand, and they greeted the audience once more.
“An instrumental without lyrics falls short in delivery. However, I believe that Jun Hyuk showed his inherent power to the audience with the melody and harmony of the piano, rather than delivering a message. I enjoyed it very much.”
Continuing from Yoon Jung Su, two judges only had compliments to give. There needed to be a villain to create balance however. The villain role was taken on by Son Jin Young.
“The music was so perfect that there are no flaws to point out. Though Jun Hyuk’s ability does play a part, it is true that you piggybacked on the emotion that an orchestra invokes. We cannot leave out the aspect that if you had done a piano solo without the orchestra, you would not have been able to create a piece of this standard. We need to consider this in order to make a fair judgment. My score is…..”
The cheering continued each time a score was revealed.
“That was Jang Jun Hyuk, who is the only participant today to receive over 90 points from all of the judges. As such, the judges’ scores have been finalized. Now, your votes will decide the fates of the 12 participants. Please enter your last votes while watching these highlight videos.”
On MC Moon Kyung Min’s encouragement, the highlight videos came on and advertisements aired.
“Performances of the top 12. We will end the voting soon.”
MC Moon Kyung Min announced the eliminations in a tone full of suspense,
“Participant number 4, Nam Seung Hee. Number 9, Kwak Hye Sung. These two people are the first eliminations. Please give them a round of applause.”
When the announcement was over, Nam Seung Hee burst out in tears and Kwak Hye Sung looked calm.
Jun Hyuk’s first performance ended like this.
After the performances, another stage of happiness and sadness was to open. After today’s stage, there was only one person backstage who was happy. It was Jun Hyuk.
The participants thought it unfair that Jun Hyuk went last and had an orchestra backing him up.
Jessica was especially shocked because she thought that she had shown a perfect performance. She was nervous that she would not be able to win no matter how well she sang because the text votes were always in favor of Jun Hyuk.
The broadcast station did not reveal the texted vote results to the public, but the participants heard it from the crew. They would have also alerted each of their agencies to this as well. Jun Hyuk had taken over a whopping 78% of the votes.
Jun Hyuk was not happy because of the favorable results. It was because he had felt the power provided by an audience for the first time. He had been able to feel that the audience gave their bodies to his music and had been impressed by it.
The fact that there was someone listening to his music gave him happiness incomparable to that of performing with the orchestra.
There were two other people who were immersed in happiness. One was Producer Kim Ki Sik. Though he had been apprehensive, his first attempt at an instrumental had been a huge success. When he received an encouraging call from the director of the station, he could guess that the viewer ratings were phenomenal. S
The other person was conductor Hwang Suk Min. He felt he had discovered a born performer with a perfect performance on a first live stage, and his ability to accept and keep the flow going even with a sudden change.
“Jun Hyuk, there’s somewhere you have to go with me tomorrow.”
“Let’s go meet the most recognized pianist I know in our country. I was going to take you once the program was over, but I can’t wait any longer.”
Jun Hyuk must have become curious at the mention of the best pianist, because he nodded his head delightedly.
Hwang Suk Min rushed to find Producer Kim Ki Sik who was enjoying the aftertaste of the performance. Kim Ki Sik also ran to Hwang Suk Min as soon as he saw him.
“Ah, teacher. Thank you for today’s performance. We were able to create a lively stage because of you. Thank you so much.”
“It’s no problem. Jun Hyuk made the stage what it was. All we did was provide the accompaniment.”
After they exchanged courtesies, Hwang Suk Min said the reason he had sought out Producer Kim.
“Producer, the next stage is in a week?”
“Yes. It’s every Thursday.”
“Then can I borrow Jun Hyuk tomorrow morning?”
“Tomorrow? Why do you need him?”
“Oh, there’s a music professor who would like to meet Jun Hyuk.”
“Jun Hyuk? Is this because of the piano?”
“Yes. He won’t have time?”
“Oh, it’s okay. But… can a camera follow you?”
He did not know where Hwang Suk Min was taking Jun Hyuk, but it was a producer’s instinct. They need to film it whatever it is. He needs to follow the cardinal rule that scenes result from editing banal things.
“Yes. It’s nothing really. We want to use it for broadcasting material. It won’t be at a level to be an interference.”
“Oh, I guess…..”
“Yes, then I’ll tell Jun Hyuk. Then can we meet here at the broadcast station tomorrow morning?”
“Let’s do that. I’ll be here by 9.”