Volume 6 / Chapter 209
The joint conference held in the Hudson Hotel went smoothly. To use the 20 minutes efficiently, the reporters agreed on their questions. They avoided repeating questions and asked insightful questions on music.
There were just 2 unavoidable questions that did not deal with music, and one was something that everyone wondered about – his money, earnings.
“I don’t know. I don’t know how much I’ve made. People I trust are handling it for me.”
After Jun Hyuk’s response, Lim So Mi took the microphone.
“You can just think that his earnings are much smaller than what you all are expecting. You cannot imagine him as a pop star or a Hollywood star. The classical market is small, even in America.”
Tara checked the time and sent the signal to end it. Then, a question that they had not expected or planned beforehand came out.
“Mr. Jang Jun Hyuk, you keep the Korean press at a distance. Is this because of what happened while you were participating in the audition program in the past?”
Lim So Mi was taken aback by the unexpected question, and when she was about to say ‘no comment’ to wrap the interview up, Jun Hyuk took the microphone.
“Yes, that is right. That incident was my first impression of our country’s press, and first impressions are hard to forget. That first impression was one of distrust.”
When Jun Hyuk answered without the slightest hesitation, the reporter who asked became speechless. But, there were reporters who did not lose this opportunity.
“Then, are you thinking of leaving this wall built up?”
“No. I will participate in any interview that involves questions regarding music like today. I intend to reject any interviews that only show interest in basic questions instead of music, even if it’s the American media. The press just needs to respect that boundary.”
This ended the joint conference. Jun Hyuk left to the hotel guest room for his one-on-one interview.
Lim So Mi told Tara what Jun Hyuk said at the end of his interview, and Tara was relieved because of his clean response.
When they entered the presidential suite, the broadcasting station’s staff was already installing lights and cameras.
“Jun. We’ll start in 30 minutes. Rest until then.”
“Why? They’re not ready yet? I’m okay so let’s just start right away.”
Tara smiled as she looked at Jun Hyuk who had adjusted perfectly for the interview. He will need to handle tighter schedules from now on, and there’s no need to worry at this rate of adjustment.
“Okay. We’ll get ready right away.”
When Jun Hyuk sat on the sofa to wait for the cameras to get set up, the producer in charge and interviewer entered the room.
“Huh? Teacher! What are you doing here?”
Jun Hyuk saw Yoon Jung Su and bolted up. He had met an unexpected person in an unexpected place.
“Wow. You’ve really changed so much you’re unrecognizable. You give off the aura of a maestro.”
Yoon Jung Su was also astonished by the changes in Jun Hyuk.
“Are you doing the interview?”
“It turned out like that. When the call first came in from the station, I rejected it because I thought they were trying to use our relationship. But, it’s been a while since I’ve seen you and it was a pity that we didn’t get to meet up in Japan. And I thought that it might be more comfortable with me if it’s something that’s going to happen anyway. Is that okay? If you’re uncomfortable, we can change. A culture news reporter is waiting just in case.”
“No, it’s okay. I was surprised because I wasn’t expecting it, but I wanted to see you too. It’s comfortable. I like it.”
The producer approached them while they were catching up.
“Mr. Jun Hyuk. We’ll be starting the interview now. Is it okay to continue speaking comfortably like you both have been doing?”
“Yes. It’d be more strange for Teacher Yoon to start speaking formally all of a sudden.”
“Thank you. Then, we’ll start filming and you should both continue speaking like you’ve been doing.”
Microphones were attached to their clothing, and 2 solo shot cameras and 1 main camera with a full shot started to run.
“Alright. Then, shall we start?”
“When’s the performance? Has the date been confirmed?”
“No, not yet. But, we’re thinking that it will be in 2 months.”
“It still doesn’t feel real when I look at you. You’re conducting the New York Philharmonic! It’s even funny when I think about it now, how I made you do things thinking that I could teach you… If the world finds out that I told Beethoven to try out mixing, they’ll be astonished.”
“No, I really had fun then. I learned a lot about sound mixing thanks to you too.”
The producer liked how Yoon Jung Su started out by reminiscing about their past. Their informal conversation might bring out a better picture than going by a script that the writers put together.
“Let me first ask something I’m personally curious about. Why on earth did you go out on a competition? You can put work on stage whenever you want through your company. A place like Stern Corporation would be able to get your score in the hands of conductors all around the world.”
“It was because I wanted to conduct. I thought that I might not be able to conduct if I release the song through President Stern… and I wanted to get an evaluation on my work.”
“So? Are you satisfied?”
“Yes, since I am now able to conduct with the New York Philharmonic.”
“Honestly, did you also want to brag? Look! I could even write something like this with my feet. Like this?”
The producer gulped as he watched through the monitor. Getting Yoon Jung Su on was the best move. He must be the only interviewer who could throw such a question as though it is nothing.
“Excuse me? With my feet? Ha ha. Hm… I can’t say that’s totally untrue.”
It is totally expected considering Jun Hyuk’s age. Even Yoon Jung Su in his 40s wants to show off his talent and ability.
Yoon Jung Su saw the producer check the time and turned the cue sheet.
“Your statement on Beethoven. I looked up what you said exactly and you said, ‘within a range to follow him’. But you didn’t say ‘until when’. It seems like this could mean that the final goal is to create a piece comparable to Beethoven’s but also that you could surpass him if you wanted to. What was your true intention?”
“Is this an official question? Or is it personal?”
“Why? What’s the difference?”
“If it’s official, the answer is the same. It needs to be compared through music, but we have to wait because I don’t have enough work to be evaluated on.”
Yoon Jung Su heard Jun Hyuk’s answer and was locked in thought for a moment. And he looked at the producer as he spoke.
“Sorry, but can you turn the camera off for a second?”
“I want to hear the other answer off the record. Producer Park. Aren’t you curious about Jun Hyuk’s real thoughts?”
Producer Park hesitated for a moment before signaling to the camera man. He is also curious about the 21st century Beethoven’s real thoughts.
“Done, right? Tell me honestly.”
“I can make a piece at a similar level at any time right now. But, I have to catch up to become a musician like Beethoven at his position.”
“What’s Beethoven’s position like?”
“Since symphonies can be divided to those before him and those after him.”
“Then what about you? What changes before and after Jang Jun Hyuk? No – what do you want to change?”
“I don’t know. I can’t say exactly what it is. But I want to hear that kind of evaluation one day. That something can be separated to before and after Jang Jun Hyuk. I don’t know what that something is yet.”
Yoon Jung Su is not the only person who is surprised. Lim So Mi and Tara, listening to Lim So Mi’s translation, were also surprised. Tara was able to confirm once again that she had done the right thing in quitting her job with the Boston Symphony and coming to Jun Hyuk.
“Wow. The dimension of your goal alone is different. Even a big footprint on the history of music is a big deal, but you’re saying that you’ll be a backbone of music history.”
The cameras came back on while Yoon Jung Su was admiring him.
“Great, then next question. Between your roles as composer and performer – including conducting – which is the one you like more?”
“Composer. I have yet to experience the bliss I feel with composing while conducting or performing.”
“Bliss from composing?”
“Yes. I said this in my interview with Gramophone too, but it’s a feeling like my head is going to explode as I think of musical motifs. An entire song rings ‘boom’ all at once. When I thought of the motif of choral concerto, the sounds that would come from 29 instruments for over 1 hour filled my head in 0.0001 seconds and then exploded like fireworks.”
It was hard for Yoon Jung Su to understand Jun Hyuk’s words. 1 hour changes into 1 moment? Does this mean that time stops? Or…?
“I can’t even express that bliss. I move that musical motif onto a score. I add anything missing or modify the parts I’m not satisfied with as I move it onto the score. And there’s another bang in my head when the song is complete.”
“You’re saying you hear that long song at once?”
“Yes. I think that’s really the sound of heaven.”
“Well… I don’t even know what to say because I can’t imagine it.”
“You haven’t felt like that before? The song you write becomes compressed and explodes?”
Jun Hyuk looked at Yoon Jung Su with sparkling eyes, but he only showed a bittersweet smile.
“I’m an average person. I don’t have anything like that. I create a framework with a theme melody and work it out from there. It’s a struggle, an extremely ordinary style.”
Yoon Jung Su was frustrated that there was nothing he could empathize with in Jun Hyuk’s words when he is also a composer. And he became lost imagining the sound of heaven.
But, all he could think of, was the sound of a grand fireworks festival.
“That doesn’t happen for me every time either. There are just times when it does feel like that. And there are a lot of times when I make a framework to work off of like you said. Oh right. You have scores you wrote but haven’t revealed, right?”
Yoon Jung Su snapped out of his imagination.
“Yeah. The people who know about them are going crazy because I haven’t released them.”
“Of those, there are a lot that I wrote in the normal way. And there are other songs where I felt bliss from thinking of a motif and completing a score.”
“It’s different. You’re not revealing them because the feeling is different?”
“Not all of them, but there are songs like that. The feeling must have changed because there’s an unnecessary part in there.”
“Then between the normal way and – what is it? – where it goes bang and it explodes, which do you like more?”
“I can’t separate them like that. The regular way is just different. There’s an aria that I’ll be working on in a few days, but I did a lot of calculations while writing that. I like that one a lot too.”
Yoon Jung Su sighed heavily.
“Ha ha. Well. I can’t conduct this interview.”
“An ordinary person like me can’t imagine or understand… I think another genius needs to interview you.”
Yoon Jung Su felt the producer shooting daggers at him and spoke again,
“Oh right. We shouldn’t be like this. We only have an hour.”
“Oh no, it’s alright. I like it because this doesn’t even feel like an interview and it feels like I’m just hanging out with you. Hang on.”
Jun Hyuk spoke to Tara, who was checking the time.
“Tara? Do we have anything scheduled for after this? I want to spend more time here. Is that okay?”
“Jun, wait a second.”
Tara went into the bedroom with the producer in charge and Lim So Mi.
“Mr. Park, let’s do this. Film however you want from now on without a time limit.”
Lim So Mi was surprised, but she translated into Korean. She was also so enwrapped in their conversation that she felt it a pity to end it after an hour.
“What? Really? Well. Thank you.”
The producer was so happy he wanted to jump up and down. An exclusive interview without a time limit. There could be no other jackpot.
“There’s just a condition.”
“We won’t look at the final edited clip and tell you what to do with it. But, show us everything you filmed and completely delete any parts that we request. You should be able to edit with the rest.”
The producer heard Lim So Mi’s translation and frowned. Claiming editorial rights is inevitable, but censorship?
“It sounds like you want to censor it. Isn’t that too much?”
“Yes. We need to make sure that anything unnecessary is not left recorded. If you call it censorship, I guess it is.”
Tara used the word censorship without hesitation. She is certain that it is not an unreasonable demand to erase the parts they are uncomfortable with when she is making such a great offer.
“If you don’t want to do it, the cameras will go off after exactly 1 hour. They can continue speaking after the cameras are off if they want to.”
“Then it doesn’t matter how much there is after we erase parts?”
“No. We won’t care whether it goes to 2 or 3 hours. Isn’t this an exceptional offer? If I were you, I wouldn’t even have to think about it.”
It really is an offer that he does not have to think about. The producer thanked Tara and continued the interview.
“Tara. Isn’t it too good? They could just keep speaking personally once the cameras are off.”
“It’s okay, Catherine. They can record Jun interview so happily as much as they want. He looks great when he’s smiling. His likeability is going to go up when Korean viewers see that.”
“Then, you’re thinking of the situation in Korea?”
“Yes. Jun will perform in Korea one day. It’s good to make a lot of fans when he has the chance to.”
Lim So Mi looked at Tara again. Her business mind is extraordinary.