Tuesday, 22 September 2009

PEOPLE #17: Via Trio, a Piano Trio Team

Via Trio is a piano trio team, whose music was released as two records in Korea, and has been full in play as a piano trio team. There are 3 members in Via Trio: the violinist and the leader, Joo Hee, Lee, the cellist Ji Yoon, Seo and the pianist Eun Hye. This time their new record "Via Trio International version- we go to Europe to play Arirang" came out. And as the title of the record indicates, they had really been to European streets to play their songs for 35 days.

Interviewed by Judy Jung (judyjazz@naver.com)

On July 22 we, Via trio, took the first step on Frankfurt, Germany. And we first opened a house-concert, playing the songs of our new album , where we lodged at a private residence in Frankfurt. After that, Via Trio continued to give a performance in many streets, churches and christian Institutions in Europe according to prearranged plan until August 25: the streets of Baden-Baden, Festival d’Avignon (especially we were the only Korean participants in this festival), Heidelberg, Berlin, Prague, the square of National Theater of Paris (Théâtre National de l'Opéra de Paris) and Notre Dame de Paris, and Edinburgh Festival. And Berlin Sarang Church, Rotterdam church in Netherlands, the Salvation Army's shelter for homeless people in London, Korean Festival held in Kingston, Onjeonhan Church in London.

From our childhood we had a longing for Europe without special reason. However, as time goes by we could recognize the reason why we had yearned for Europe for a long time. Since there exist a variety of ethnic and cultural differences among European countries, we thought they could respect each other's cultural diversity. We believed that the cultural openness toward those who have various cultures and customs allows many artists to come out. Therefore, we, Via Trio, can be confident that our songs will be accepted to European people without cultural barriers.

To be frank with you, what we concentrate on with the greatest care is the arrangement. From the time of being planned we had a distinctive idea of playing “Arirang”, which is the most beloved traditional song among Koreans. In addition we firmly believed that our melody could definitely be attractive to European people. However, we had to think over the way of making them become familiar with our songs. Accordingly, we searched for our songs that had similar melodies and lyrics with European songs. To our surprise through this process, we could find out the suitable songs possible to match ours, so we were able to blend ours with theirs, arranging the songs. We hoped that they could easily accept, feel and enjoy emotions and feelings of our melodies by blending ours and theirs.
Unfortunately The Korean music market has shrunk more and more. The classic music market, what is worse, is more serious. What causes the market to be depressed is that many Internet users are exposed to only the user-friendly Internet environment in which they could download illegally whatever songs they want to listen to without guilty. Thus, those who work in the field of music have been damaged financially. However, Via-Trio thought that a crisis is namely a chance. The experiences we built up in Europe raised our hope to overcome this crisis.

Our dream is ongoing and will be ongoing. We have a plan to come to Europe every year, until 10 years from now. This period may be in keeping with the period from Festival d’Avignon in July and Edinburgh Festival in August. It will be the optimal period to play our songs.

Our beginning was so weak. Actually it was very difficult for us to go up and down the stairs carrying a heavy electronic piano and speakers, to ask the use of electricity of nearby shops and to give a performance in front of many people in the streets of foreign countries. Moreover, since a performance in the street in Korea is still unusual, we, as Koreans, also had a difficulty getting over the momentary shyness. But we got to gain confidence gradually thanks to many people who gazed at us because they were attracted not by the outlandish costume and the different skin color from their view but by our Arirang mixed with their own ‘Arirang’s such as ‘Amazing Grace’, ‘Danny Boy’. So, We Via Trio, would like to express our heartfelt thanks to them. And we will be back. Again!

Visit: Via Trio Official website

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