I have some exciting news that I would like to share with you, I will be flying out to Seoul, South Korea this week to take part in the 15th Seoul International Music Competition 2019.  The competition is held annually and alternatively covers three musical disciplines, piano, violin, and voice; meaning that the competition for voice only comes around every third year. There were 235 applicants, from 17 countries considered during the preliminary video submission round and from the applicants 69 singers were selected to progress to the live rounds.  I am so honoured and thrilled to be one of the competitors chosen which also includes singers from Iran, Canada, Chile, Estonia, Germany, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Serbia, USA, and the United Kingdom.  This is a wonderful opportunity for me to visit a new country, experience their culture, meet new friends, and sample South Korean cuisine. I hope to make the most of my time there and if I am chosen to progress through the competition, I will be given the opportunity to sing a Korean Art song.

IMG_1913.jpg
Danbi Heo and MinJee Kim

I have really enjoyed preparing the piece called Gopunguisang and have been helped here in London by two of my Korean friends Danbi Heo, who is a concert pianist, and MinJee Kim who is a soprano.  They have helped me with the pronunciation of the lyrics and also talked about Seoul and invited me to join them for some Korean food so that I would know what to order during my stay.  The food was really enjoyable, a little like the Chinese food I have eaten here in the UK but with far more vegetables😊

IMG_1911

The song I chose to learn was Gopunguisang by Isang Yun:

한국어 노랫말 / Korean Lyrics

하늘로 날을 듯이 길게 뽑은 부연 끝 풍경이 운다
처마 끝 곱게 느리운 주렴에 반월이 숨어
아른아른 봄밤이 두견이 소리처럼 깊어 가는 밤
곱아라 고와라 진정 아름다운지고
호장 저고리 하얀 동정이 화안히 밝도소이다
열두 폭 긴 치마가 사르르르 물결을 친다
그대는 어느 나라의 고전을 말하는 한 마리 호접
호접인 양 사뿌시 춤추라 아미를 숙이고
나는 이 밤에 옛날에 살아
눈 감고 거문곳줄 골라 보리니
가는 버들인 양 가락에 맞춰
흰 손을 흔들어지다

영문의역/ English Translation

The wind-bell chimes from the tip of a skyward eave.
The half moon hides itself behind a bead screen hung elegantly from the eave-tip.
Glimmering Spring evening, evening deepening like the cuckoo’s call
Fine, elegant, true beauty supreme,
The white collar of a colorfully striped jeogori shines bright.
A twelve pok long skirt glides in waves.
You dance lightly as if a butterfly, a butterfly reciting an ancient tale of some country.
You lower your arched eyebrows
I close my eyes to live as we did long ago.
I’ll pluck the geomungo so
You may wave your white hand to tune,
As if a slender willow.

A jeorgori is a traditional Korean dress.  The geomungo is a traditional stringed musical instrument of the zither family with both bridges and frets. I researched the composer whose life story was most interesting and will tell you more about him soon.

72 thoughts on “Gopunguisang

    1. Yes, it is an 11 hour flight! Then there is a bus trip into the City I believe. I’ve plenty to occupy myself with during the flight but sitting for so long eek. It’s a shame I can’t help out the stewards on the flight at least they get to stretch their legs hehe.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. Merci Beaucoup, je ne comprend jamais pourquoi la merde a de la chance hehe.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

      1. Alors, 18ème, 19ème siècles, les gandes heures de l’opéra, les gens se rendaient au spectacle en calèche tirées par des chevaux, beaucoup de crottin de cheval devant l’ Opéra, le théâtre, ça voulait dire que la salle étaient pleine, que la soirée était un succès. Les artistes se souhaitaient donc d’avoir “beaucoup de merde (de crottin cheval) devant la salle de spectacle….
        So, 18th, 19th centuries, the hours of the opera, the people went to horse drawn carriage show, a lot of horse dung in front of the Opera, the theater, that meant that the room was full, that the evening was a success. The artists wanted to have “a lot of shit (horse dung) in front of the theater.

    1. Merci Maria, I like your enthusiasm, that means a lot ot me. Win or lose its just a fabulous opportunity to see a Country I just might not get to see without such an opening.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  1. Awesome ! You are so brave to pick a Korean song my friend. So, how many languages in song does that make for you ? You’ll win. 케이크 한 조각 🙂 <3

    1. It is very wise of the competition organisers to put this Korean song element in as a compulsory song, now that I have spent the time learning it I will be performing it in recitals and sharing this beautiful song with lots of people in the UK. As for languages in song, let’s see: English, Scots, German, Italian, French, Norwegian, Czech, Russian, Korean, still lots more to learn and see.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

      1. I really do wish you well my friend and I hope that your teaching friends are Korean, not Japanese. lol 😉
        Wow ! What a lot of languages ! Brilliant ! 🙂 <3

  2. Charlotte, this is very exciting! I am so happy that you view each new country you visit as an adventure, and Asia is one of the biggest adventures there are for Westerners. Much good luck—not that you need luck—and I hope you have really wonderful time in Seoul! I was there briefly 20 years ago and it is a fascinating city.

    1. My Grandfather was in the merchant navy I think I have his wunderlust, Dad says Pepa loves hearing I’m travelling around the World. I do need luck and to be in good voice after a long flight the competition is tough. Whatever happens in the competition I hope to make the best of the time I spend there.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. It is very cool, I’m a bit hyper excited today. I’ve packed my bags, got my South Korean won, a flight mask a friend recommended for long flights and some mints. I’m trying not to overdo the practicing. But yippee.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. My Mum has given me strict instructions to take better photographs haha. Let’s make it happen.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. I couldn’t believe it when I got the letter. I’ve had more success getting into International competitions than local ones this year, someone wants to see me fly, literally, lol.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  3. You know you have a devoted band of faithful followers whose belief in you is absolute, just as we know you’re not the least bit arrogant or big-headed. Go, sing your heart, and learn everything there is to be learned. The experience will be wonderful!

    1. Thank you Martin. I have a real passion for my personal growth as a musician and as a person, to see and hear and take in all that is around me. To try out paths that people don’t normally do, not because I’m brave or want to change things but because some doors aren’t open to me so I have to find new ways to proceed. Knowledge is everything because no-one can succeed alone especially in the classical music world, so hear is to making more friends, seeing new Worlds and adventures.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  4. What exciting news! I follow another blogger on her travels and her series on Seoul was fascinating and a real eye opener. I can point you towards that if interested. What an adventure to see in Korean. Good luck xx

    1. Yes please send me a link, I have read Bespoke Travellers blog posts on South Korea and Violet’s Adventures. I couldn’t sit down and plan my year if I tried, every month is an adventure, I just keep free falling haha.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte xx

    1. Thank you very much, I have been dog sitting recently for the first time in my life, its been very enjoyable but I thought of you and wondered how you manage dogs that aren’t used to you on your walks whilst in transit and get to know their little foilbles do you ask their owners for things to look out for?

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. Hahaha, I’ve already packed my ‘Go You’ book. No! people don’t quite know the Charlotte whirlwind (I just typed Worldwind) until I’ve left and their ears are still ringing and they’re still chuckling at my mixed up metaphors and idioms. Thank you.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. I always worry about food abroad because I am so used to British and European meals, I’m not to keen on strong flavours and too much fried food, I’m not very daring with strange sea creatures, so I really appreciated the girls help and we had some great small tasting platters at Yoshisushi in Hammersmith, I’m going to take my family the next time they’re in London.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. Exactly ‘what an opportunity whatever happens’ is my mantra.

      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

  5. I wish you great success in South Korea, for you are really amazing! But I know, Korea has really good singers too… it will not be easy…! however sometimes one cannot tell who is really the best… and it really doesn’t matter! You are top anyway… Hang on…! :))))

    1. It is such a delight to have been chosen to perform in this competition and I can’t wait to meet the other singers.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. I read all these quotes on Instagram and one said “In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take’. If nothing else I hope to make some good memories.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  6. Wow wow wow, Charlotte.
    We are so excited for you, and wish you loads of luck.
    The photos are lovely and the food looks delicious.
    A massive good luck, in the competition, so excited to see how you do.
    😘🤞👏🏻😘

    1. If I have internet I’m hoping to post some photos next Sunday. I’m excited too trying to stay calm and focused.

      Best wishes to you both,
      Charlotte

    1. I hope they also all speak lots of English hehe. Here’s to google translate if not. I’ve told my Dad he’s got to sleep with his mobile phone that night in case I need him to check on my connections on the internet, He thinks I’m joking –But I’m really not joking 🙂

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  7. Congratulations, Charlotte! I love South Korean music–and food, and culture. (My first voice teacher was Korean, and I also took Tae Kwon Do, so my instructors introduced me to the culture as well.) I’m sure you’re going to have a wonderful time there–post lots of updates!

    Best regards,

    Cate

    1. Will do Cate, you were blessed to have so much exposure to the Culture, I don’t think my smattering of Japanese from my Karate training will help haha. It’s going to be a quick plunge into the unknown for me.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. Thank you Natalie, I’m really happy to get his opportunity, all I can do now is my best and have fun.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. Thanks so much, I have nearly finished packing and just hope that I can get some sleep tonight but I am so excited 🙂

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. I hope that I can quickly get my head around the transport system as I want to make the most of my time in Seoul.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. I wish you luck and will keep my fingers crossed for you, let me know how you get on.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  8. What a lovely song, Charlotte. You know I am connected to South Korea through my daughter whom we adopted from there. She is into Korean cooking, so we eat it often. She just came back from Seoul from a trip she took there with her husband – she had a chance to meet up with one of my former graduate students who is Korean.
    Have a wonderful time and enjoy the country!

  9. I’m catching up, backwards, LOL! The words to the song are just lovely, and thank you for the lesson on that a jeorgori is a traditional Korean dress, and the geomungo a stringed instrument! I love the way you dive into your projects! _Resa

  10. Sorry I’ve not kept up with your blog. It looks like you are on a fantastic adventure. I am sure you will take every opportunity to value and enjoy this experience. Well done! x

Leave a Reply to jguenther5 Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: