Korean Blues

I had my first trip to South Korea.  I was in Seoul and, while I only had a little time to explore, I found a phenomenal music scene. 

There are nearly 11,000,000 permanent residents plus the visitors. I've heard the total population may add up to 25,000,000 at any given time.  The city is vibrant and never seems to shut down.  Another thing that became clear was, unlike most cityscapes where you navigate at the street level, in Seoul, you also have to look up; there are a lot of incredible places hidden in the elevation.  I visited a little Jazz bar named Burn with a friend and, even knowing the address, we had a very hard time finding it.  The only sign was 3 stories up on the side of the building.  I did get to sit in with a local artist there.  She was singing karaoke style which proved to be a bit of a challenge, had to find the key all by ear.

The only other music this trip was during a dinner with friends.  I had a handful of harps with me and the folks at our table were asking general questions, "Why so many? What's the difference between them?"  The discussion went on to bending notes (where you take a note and bend it to a different pitch) so I demonstrated what that sounded like.  I had my eyes closed, just going with the music and when I opened them I found the entire restaurant turned in their seats, looking at me.  I thought I was in trouble for a minute; but they gave me an ovation and went back to eating... turned out OK. 

It was an incredible place and I only had a few evenings to explore.   I'll be back again, soon as I am able!

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