Volume 4 / Chapter 156
[TN: Find out how Isaac Stern’s feelings about JH becomes elevated through one conversation]
Isaac Stern thought that he had halfway succeeded since Yoon Kwang Hun is about to tell him something new on his own.
“Jun has talent that no one, not even I, can quantify.”
“Yoon, I also know that Jun’s talent is tremendous.”
Isaac Stern leaned forward at Yoon Kwang Hun’s resolute expression.
“Jun is not just a talented composer like Mozart who can produce a song within moments, or an extraordinary pianist like Glenn Gould.”
“Yes, I know that. He’s more than that.”
“No, it’s not that. He’s not at that level.”
Yoon Kwang Hun shook his head. How should he express something he does not know the exact nature of himself? His frustration showed in his face as well.
“He’s… Well. How should I put it?”
Yoon Kwang Hun took a sip of water.
“In my safe, there are already over 60 songs that are just classical music. Of them, there are experimental songs like ‘Inferno,’ but there are also gems that are reminiscent of Beethoven.”
Isaac Stern’s eyes shifted at the mention of the number 60. He knew that Jun Hyuk composed every single day. It is surprising that he has 60 songs already, but if they are comparable to Beethoven, it must mean that they are not ordinary.
“Ah, I heard. You’re the first person who Jun shows his scores to.”
“Yes. It is a gift I am receiving from Jun.”
Isaac Stern saw the frustration leave Yoon Kwang Hun’s face for a second to show a smile, and could understand how Jun Hyuk thought of this man.
“Do you know why I am not mentioning money to someone who wants to contract as a management agency? Even if I release those scores in the safe, they will bring in so much money that Stern Corporation will not be able to handle the taxes that Jun has to deal with. Money needs to be the bottom-most article in our contract with an agency.”
“Why have you kept those many songs in your safe?”
Isaac Stern was genuinely curious.
“Because of Jun. He is not satisfied with his work yet.”
He is a musician who will never know satisfaction. This is a good disposition. Isaac Stern had seen a lot of musicians who in the effort to make a new album, consumed themselves and ended up collapsing. Since his curiosity had been resolved, it is time to rectify Yoon Kwang Hun’s misunderstanding.
Isaac Stern spoke carefully,
“There’s something you’re mistaken about. To worry about taxes, he has to make that much money… but reality isn’t like that. Classical music albums don’t sell that well these days. Now, it is the world of performers who are led by conductors. Most of the sources of their income come from concerts and CFs. Of course standing conductors do receive great salaries. The certified checks don’t come out to much for this album’s sales.”
It has been a while since classical moved from the world of composers to the world of performers. Music fans still love Beethoven and Mozart. The difference is that they now pay attention to who can perform it better.
There are just 3 of the certified checks that Isaac Stern mentioned. They are Lang Lang, Li Yundi, and Yuja Wang. The common factor is that they are all young Chinese pianists.
Their concerts sell out all over the world even from putting their posters on the wall. They have the tremendous power of China behind them. Chinese people are their source. The second they come out with new albums, the Chinese sell them out.
Due to these circumstances, record labels do not hesitate to release their albums. Since they keep releasing new albums, they grow more as stars. It is the perfect cycle.
“But Jun is Korean. How many classical albums sell in a year in Korea? You are starting at 0 in a basic market.”
Isaac Stern went into a long explanation to bring Yoon Kwang Hun out of his misunderstanding of the current market for classical music. However, the fact that he wants to work with Jun Hyuk means that he has that must trust in Jun Hyuk.
“Jun needs to become a star who oversteps nationality. And I think that is completely possible. Even if that’s the case, he won’t be able to bring in an enormous amount of money.”
However, Yoon Kwang Hun was still shaking his head as he stood up from his seat.
“Wait here a second. It’ll be much easier to understand if you see it than by my trying to tell you.”
Yoon Kwang Hun ran up to the 2nd floor and came back down with his arms full of music scores. It was different seeing the 60 scores bundled together in one place than when he had heard about them. It is a tremendous amount.
“Look through them carefully and let’s talk again.”
Yoon Kwang Hun gave Isaac Stern another cup of coffee and left him there. He is giving Isaac Stern time to look through them by himself to evaluate them.
Isaac Stern could not take his eyes off of the scores until it was long past lunch time. Even though he had been given a slice of cake to hold back his hunger, he did not touch it once.
When Isaac Stern turned the last page of the score, he knew that Yoon Kwang Hun had not been saying what he did because he had a misunderstanding or because he has high expectations. As the report had said, Yoon Kwang Hun is someone who knows how to give an objective and honest assessment.
There are a lot of the experimental songs that he had mentioned. They are scores that bring up strange feelings as though trying to test people. He was not even able to read through all of the 1st part of the song ‘Inferno’ that he had only heard about in the media.
They bring out different kinds of emotions in people and raise their senese. It is the first time that he realized a score itself could make someone feel emotions as if watching a movie.
Isaac Stern stood up without speaking and walked outside the cafe. Yoon Kwang Hun was surprised and was about to run after him, but he stopped when he saw Isaac Stern light a cigar.
‘Anyone would want to enjoy the aftertaste. He he.’
It is the first thing Isaac Stern said when he re-entered the cafe.
“It’s okay. I was just a bit surprised when you left without saying anything.”
“No, it’s not that. I am apologizing for not recognizing your assessment of Jun Hyuk’s abilities.”
Isaac Stern gave such a respectful apology, that it was awkward. He had only thought of Jun Hyuk as an extraordinary pianist more than as a composer. After seeing the scores however, he even had the thought that the piano is just a tool for Jun Hyuk in composing.
He picked out a few scores and showed them to Yoon Kwang Hun.
“These aren’t classical.”
“Yes. Jun likes pop music as well.”
“Of the 60 songs you mentioned, how many of them are pop?”
“Ah, you misunderstood me. There are 60 something classical songs. There are more than 100 pop songs. I picked out a few that I like.”
He was shocked. The 1000 that Yoon Kwang Hun had said was not calculated simply with time. He had come to the result while thinking of Jun Hyuk’s abilities.
The Beatles who had introduced a different flow to pop. Led Zeppelin, who opened the door to heavy metal by putting a ton of adrenaline in the blues. Miles Davis who reigned as the witness to jazz history. Kurt Cobain who opened the doors to the 90s.
Isaac Stern looked at the scores and thought that Jun Hyuk would follow similar footsteps to these great achievements. But this is just his thinking. More than that is possible, but Isaac Stern’s imagination is up to here.
“So now you understand why I said that it is an ability that we cannot know the depths of?”
“Yes. These scores say it better than any long explanation.”
“If you would like to fully convince me for a contract, you’ll need to change the direction of your thoughts. I guess you’re not just trying to convince me. It is something that is absolutely necessary if you would like to manage Jun.”
Yoon Kwang Hun’s words are not demands, but a warning. Isaac Stern had no more to say or any more business to do now.
“I’ll visit you again. Then, I will show you complete preparations to properly help Jun. Of course… I don’t have a lot of confidence. Ha ha.”
When Isaac Stern left the cafe, he finally felt his hunger.