Volume 3 / Chapter 103
[TN: I feel like every time I think I know just how amazing JH is…I’m proven wrong. Enjoy!]
Danny went to Jun Hyuk who was huffing and took the violin back.
“Hey, what’s wrong? Calm down.”
“This asshole. I’ll talk to you later.”
He was in such a rush that he kept speaking in Korean. Danny could not understand Korean and could not figure out why Jun Hyuk had slammed the door open and gotten angry.
When Jun Hyuk kept glaring at the girls, Danny gave them a look. They left the room cursing.
“You saw my score?”
“Ah, yeah. Is that why you’re mad? Because I looked at it without your permission? No, don’t get me wrong. I just saw it because it was on your desk. I didn’t go through your stuff.”
Jun Hyuk could not remember how to say ‘asshole’ in English. Thanks to this, Danny did not get cursed out.
Jun Hyuk took a deep breath and started speaking,
“It’s okay if you see my score. You just can’t be the first to see it. The person who can see my score first is in Korea. You can be the second to see it. Okay? And… it’s also okay for you to play my song. You’re just dead if you play it wrong.”
Jun Hyuk motioned his right fist at Danny. It was body language that could be understood all over the world.
“Hey, I played it wrong? What are you talking about? You think I can’t play something like that precisely?”
It was just a 3-minute song. Danny had the talent to imprint a score like that in his memory after reading through it once. It did not make sense that Jun Hyuk was saying he got it wrong.
Jun Hyuk looked at Danny for a moment, opened the cover of the grand piano and put his hands on the keys. Then he looked at Danny as he spoke,
“This is what you played.”
Jun Hyuk started playing the piano.
“Here… here… here… Now do you get it? You got it wrong in 3 places.”
Just then, Jun Hyuk remembered a word and he used it accurately,
However, Danny did not hear Jun Hyuk call him an asshole. He was surprised that Jun Hyuk had been able to pinpoint his mistakes while listening from the other side of the door, and he still could not figure out why he had made the mistakes. Jun Hyuk had showed him what he had gotten wrong on the piano just now, but he had not told him.
Danny brought Jun Hyuk’s piano to his memory, but he could not figure it out no matter how many times he thought about what Jun Hyuk pointed out. What did he mean he had gotten wrong?
Now that Jun Hyuk had calmed down a bit, he needed to get ready for his special class. Danny carefully spoke from behind Jun Hyuk. He was using easy English to get Jun Hyuk to speak.
“But… What’s the title of the song? There isn’t one?”
“There is. Number.”
“Yeah. It’s too complex.”
Once Danny saw that Jun Hyuk’s tone had subsided, he asked what he was really curious about,
“Are you going to tell me what I got wrong? My performance was perfect.”
Jun Hyuk looked at Danny who kept saying that he had not made a mistake and spoke again. He even succeeded in applying the word perfectly,
Jun Hyuk only said these words and left the room with 2 books. Today, he was to have a debate on literature.
When he returned to his room after finishing classes, Danny was waiting for him with a stiff face. It seemed he was going to stay in the dormitories today.
Jun Hyuk thought that he might be waiting for him out of anger because he had cursed at him before going to class. After Danny sat Jun Hyuk down on his bed however, he picked up his violin and started playing it carefully.
Danny spoke once the 3-minute performance was over,
“What do you think? Is there something still wrong with it?”
“How did you know?”
“Where I got it wrong before.”
Is this guy an idiot? Though he seems to be a pretty extraordinary violin player.
“I wrote the song. Of course I know.”
Danny did not have anything to say to Jun Hyuk’s simple answer. He was right. It was a given that the person who wrote the songs would know. He wanted to ask more specifically but gave up. He remembered that this skinny, tall kid from Korea was not used to speaking in English.
The short 3-minute song, ‘Number’ that Jun Hyuk wrote was very good. It was so good that even by glancing at a score that had been thrown on the desk, Danny had wanted to try playing it. Danny spoke to Jun Hyuk carefully,
“I heard you’re majoring in composition and command? I’m in violin.”
Jun Hyuk thought that his roommate might be a little vapid. He had just shown him an amazing violin performance, but to think that he would not know that he is majoring in violin?
“I heard the rumors. They say there’s a genius from Korea. So great that the school even offered special studies.”
Danny wanted to compliment Jun Hyuk on ‘Number’ and wanted to become closer to Jun Hyuk who had written it.
“I heard that he didn’t even need to go through the admission auditions and was accepted on a few music files and compositions alone, but I didn’t know that would be you…”
Since people applied from all over the world to famous schools of music, it was normal for foreigners to send in videos of their auditions.
Clayton however, held a tradition of requiring an audition in person in front of the interviewers no matter what. This was due to Hoffman’s own stance that applicants needed to experience and overcome the pressure that an audition provided.
The only exception to this tradition was Jun Hyuk.
‘What is this idiot talking about?’
Danny chattered for a while, but Jun Hyuk could not understand him very well. He was not used to Danny’s accent either because he was French Canadian.
Since he was 8 years old, a rumor that he was a violin prodigy had spread in his neighborhood, and at 11, he came in 1st place in the junior section of the Montreal Competition. Danny, the 19 year old genius violinist who could speak English, French, Japanese, and Spanish fluently, was being treated like an idiot by Jun Hyuk.
The music classes were more of a mess than Jun Hyuk thought they would be. Jun Hyuk had taken Yoon Kwang Hun’s words stressing the importance of learning theory to heart, and had come to this school. But even after attending a few classes, he had not learned any theories.
The professors of this school did not mention any composition theories. They mainly pulled music apart and put it back together using words like freedom, the destruction of form, essence, and innovation. He recorded his lectures because he could not understand them well, and Danny often listened to them and explained them to him in easier English.
The professors assumed that the students already knew compositional techniques like counterpoint, harmony structure, and fuga, and did not explain them. It could be that Danny taught Jun Hyuk more of the theories that he wanted to learn.
Classes often set a theme song and had the students imagined or speculated why it needed a certain harmony structure.
“Jun, why do you think Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 8 was created as a homophonic (harmony progressing with just one melody)? And why do you think there is another development in front of the exposition in the 1st part?”
At first, everyone called him Jang. But when they realized that Jang was his last name, they began to call him Jun which was easier to pronounce.
“Excuse me? Homo what?”
“What does homophonic mean?”
For a moment, the classroom was full of laughter. As there were not even 10 students in a class, there was no way for him to avoid the professor’s questions. Classes were conducted so that teachers and students, and students and students exchanged questions and opinions.
The most annoying aspect of studying abroad for students who attended ordinary schools in Korea was this teaching method. It took a lot of time to get used to this format of endless questions and debate.
The fortunate thing was that Jun Hyuk had not attended an ordinary school. He did not find a lecture format of exchanging ideas awkward, and accepted it as natural.
He was also keeping in mind the method Yoon Kwang Hun told him. If he did not know something, he needed to keep a straight face and ask until he did know.
“Homophonic means progressing with a harmony with just one melody.”
Furthermore, he liked that no matter how basic his questions were and the students laughed, the professor did not laugh and answered them.
Jun Hyuk cocked his head. Why was he asking such a useless question? Is there not just one answer to it?
“I’m sure Beethoven thought of a melody… and that was the best way to express that melody.”
The professor continued with the debate even with Jun Hyuk’s pointless answer,
“Could there have been a better method? Is there evidence that there was no better way to express it?”
“I don’t think there’s a better way to express it no matter how much I listen to Beethoven’s piano.”
The students laughed again. They could not keep the debate going in this way. By saying that he thought about it and there is no better method, he might as well have said that he had gone inside Beethoven’s head. He was just being stubborn.
Professor Hirani still did not laugh.
“Hm. Alright. Then how many methods have you thought of that you’re saying you don’t think there is a better way?”
As soon as Jun Hyuk said 100, the laughter disappeared and silence swept over the classroom. Professor Hirani’s eyes widened and was speechless.