Volume 3 / Chapter 101
-[TN: Here is a bonus chapter. This was too heartfelt to wait for tomorrow.]
Jun Hyuk was silent on the plane ride back to Korea. On top of being alone in America starting in the fall semester, it further added to his nervousness that he would be a student preparing night and day for exams.
“Jun Hyuk, don’t worry too much. The school is trying to teach you, not fail you.”
“Even so. I have to do subjects other than music when I can’t even speak well. Stuff like math and science.”
“All you have to do is be good at one thing.”
“Yeah. If you don’t know something, keep asking with a straight face. That’s all you have to do.”
Yoon Kwang Hun gave Jun Hyuk confidence while thinking of when he started his own study abroad.
He had heard that his English was good in Korea, but he was shocked on the first day of classes.
He could not understand a single thing the professors and students were saying with certainty. By connecting the few words he caught on to, he could barely follow along with the lesson. When the students raised their hands for a chance to answer the professors’ questions, Yoon Kwang Hun could not raise his hand once.
He was even suspected of having a speech impairment for one semester.
Change comes in a moment however. From the day he raised his hand to a question that he understood and gave a satisfactory answer, he gained confidence and quickly got used to the English language.
Jun Hyuk’s English now was better than Yoon Kwang Hun’s was when he first went to America. His vocabulary was limited, but that came with time. The remaining issue was to make it so Jun Hyuk was not ashamed of his English.
When they finished working on Jun Hyuk’s record, everyone who participated in the album gathered and listened to all 10 songs through the best audio system. Then they listened to it again as the MP3 files they would be released as and everyone was full of regret.
The shortened record did not reflect all of the hard work and care they had put into it.
“….. So we were thinking about releasing the record first and then circulating the tracks after about 2 months, but wanted to hear everyone’s opinions.”
This showed that they had given up on making money from this album. Jo Hyung Joong and Yoon Jung Su had determined not to lose the album’s value. It also stemmed from their confidence that the listener would be able to derive value from the album by listening to all of the tracks unlike selling a single track.
Jun Hyuk liked the completed album. The lyrics Yoon Jung Su wrote especially spoke to him. It was as if he had seen the details of his life and had melted it well into the entire album. He was even more satisfied because the gratefulness he felt towards Yoon Kwang Hun he had been too shy to express had been inserted everywhere.
The album jacket was just a panorama of the cafe that Jun Hyuk lived in for 2 years and the three characters, Jang Jun Hyuk. They started pre-orders for the album as the hot summer began and they had not expected many sales, but it exceeded 60,000 albums. At this rate, they could have the unexpected results of 150,000 sales after the official release.
“Of course our country’s driving force for albums sales is in fandoms.”
“I’ll say. I thought it’d be a success even if there were 10,000 pre-order sales… I guess Jun Hyuk still had fans.”
“Now as Jun Hyuk gains success abroad, this record’s value will go up?”
“Yes. We’ll have to count on that day to come.”
Jo Hyung Joong and Yoon Jung Su were encouraged by the unexpected sales and were relishing in the concert proposals that various promotion agencies presented to them.
“A concert would be too much, right?”
“It’s impossible. Even if we started preparing for the concert now, it would only be possible in October but Jun Hyuk is leaving in August.”
“Will the tickets sell if we leave the guitar and piano to someone else?”
“It would be asking for too much. Who would come to a concert without the protagonist.”
“What a waste. There’s nothing as good as a concert to promote an album.”
“We’ll have to wait. If Jun Hyuk decides to come back to Korea for winter break, we can scope the situation and try then.”
Yoon Jung Su spoke with a slight hope, but his expression was not bright. He could not hide the feeling that once Jun Hyuk left Korea, he would not return.
At the end of July, Jun Hyuk’s album was officially released.
In the midst of idol singers’ light single hook songs critics had come across a concept album for the first time in a while and were busy praising it just on the basis of its musical attempt. Yoon Jung Su heated the promotions by saying that it would be among the best of his musical life on entertainment programs.
Jun Hyuk’s album packaging was not flashy like those of idol singers. It did not have the commonly seen photo albums and all it contained was a thin booklet with the lyrics.
The publisher identified the buyers as Jun Hyuk’s adoring fans. Fans consider the presence of collection value more important than the music or price.
The publisher had suggested configuring a package with a photo album, cellphone accessory, and diary with a high price, but Jo Hyung Joong and Yoon Jung Su had turned all of it down saying that the music was all.
Early on the morning of the album release, Yoon Kwang Hun got in his car and headed to Seoul. He stopped by a large bookstore in Gangnam and picked up Jun Hyuk’s album from the display in the music shop and went to the parking lot as soon as he paid for it.
Once inside the car, he took the plastic wrapper off, inserted the CD, and turned up the speakers to listen to the music.
After the quiet guitar accompaniment started, Jang Na Rae’s bright voice began to fill the car. Jun Hyuk had never spoken about the songs or lyrics. With anticipation for what the lyrics meant, he flipped the cover of the booklet.
However, Yoon Kwang Hun did not think of reading the lyrics. The short line written on the back of the cover was more beautiful than any lyric.
- To my father.
The car was full of Yoon Kwang Hun’s dry sobbing rather than Jang Na Rae’s song.