Today’s lady of exception is 정민아  (Mina Jung). She is a gayageum player with an unbelievably poetic voice… Involved in the Seoul indie music scene, she plays in the Hongdae area in Seoul (Hongik University surroundings) . She uses a customised Gayageum with 25 strings, as opposed to the regular 12 strings. The song I’m featuring today is probably her best known. 무엇이 되어 (Whatever we may become). I recommend you serve it with a cold rainy day or a lazy hot summer’s afternoon.

Here are the lyrics to this beautiful song:

무엇이 되어 – 정민아

바람이 되어 만날까 구름되어 만날까
강물이 되어 만날까 바다되어 만날까
그대가 무엇이 되었어도 그 무엇이 되었어도
난 그대 가까이 있는 무엇이 되고 싶네
돌이 되어 이별할까 나무되어 이별할까
물고기로 이별할까 가재되어 이별할까
그대가 무엇이 되었어도 그 무엇이 되었어도
난 이대로 그대와 나 사이 이별하네 이별해
그대가 무엇이 되었어도 그 무엇이 되었어도
난 이대로 그대와 나 사이에
이별하네 이별해
무엇이 되어 만날까
어찌 이별할까

I tried my hand at translating it, a personal first, so be kind…

Whatever we become  -Jeong Mina

Meet as the wind or meet as clouds

Meet as the river’s water, or meet as the ocean

Whatever you become, whatever we become

I will want to see you, whatever we become

Leave as a pebble, or leave as a tree

Leave as a fish, or leave as a crayfish

Whatever you become, whatever we become

I will want to see you, whatever we become

Whatever you become, whatever we become

I will want to see you, whatever we become

Separate to separate

Lets meet, whatever we become

How can we ever separate?

Lyrics in Korean sourced from: http://innerman.pe.kr/16433

If you’re interested in listening to more music, click here.

This is the one I have on loop at the moment. It’s called 잔상 (Jan Sang:[Ocular Spektrum / Afterimage]) and the video is recorded by RECANDPLAY.NET [friggin awesome site by the way]. This is not the full version of the song. I love the contrast of the gayageum with itself.  Sometimes smooth and liquid and other times strong and sharp. A beautiful string combination with the warmth of  Seo Young-Do on the guitar.

In addition to me going completely Jeong Mina crazy, I am undertaking the endeavour of looking her up in Hongdae, and hearing her live. Who knows…I may get an interview if I am exceptionally lucky. Thumbs crossed.

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