commentary of 'dance of the age' vol.1 / Vol. 2
The Symphonic Suite, inspired by East Asia, especially the history of Korea from 1904 to 1945 during World War II and the work of poet Yi Yuksa
The Title 'Dance of the Age' is quoted from the expression of Franz Kafka (The Blue Octavo Notebook).
Basically, as the structure of the symphony and used elements of 'Sanjo' and 'Namsadang Nori', the genres of Korean Traditional music 'Gugak'.
Interpretation of history can be misleading according to culture. Therefore, the comments in this album focus on musical explanations because they are separate from moral and political correctness.
But if you are a listener who is interested in history, you can find out about the background throuth the title and atmosphere of the song.
I will write the title of the affected work on this commentary, so if you have a chance, please read the translation in English. If you can speak Korean, I recommend you read the original work because it is written in Korean so there are limitation in expressing it in English
Therefore, it is recommended to read the full text of a better translation. And if you can speak Korean, please read the original text.
Yi Yuksa 이육사 (1904~1944)
'Daseurerum' is a piece of music played to stard of 'Sanjo', which is similar to the 'Overture' or 'Prelude'. Korean traditional instrument called 'Bak' (In 'Gukak' orchestra, Royal ancestral rites music and another court music, strokes once when the movement starts and when the atmosphere of song changes as a conductor.) appears at the after opening(prelude) of the movement and the end of the movement.
Gye-myeonjo is a mode of Gukak(Korean traditional music), this mode is similar from 'Minor Pentatonic'
Jungmori is the second slowest rhythm in Gugak, Electric guitar playing refers to
Gayageum, one of the instruments of Gukak.
I. Years of the Firm Light
Many of the monarchy in the East changed the name of the unit that counted the
year as the king changed. The Years of 'Firm Light' is the year of King Gojong,
the 26th king of Joseon (the former state of South and North Korea, 1392-1910).
03. 9th Years of the Firm Light
The introduction of the first movement, expressed paranoia.
04. Bird Bird / 05. Blue Bird
An arrangement of the traditional folk song 'Bird, Bird, Bluebird'
Some of the lyrics in the song are 'Bird, bird, blue bird, don't sit on the green bean field,
the farmers will cry if the flowers are dropped and lost.' According to the prevailing theory, blue birds were the soldiers of the Japanese Empire who invaded Joseon at that time.
06. Blank Letter
It is a track with independent melodies. The last part prepares the theme 'Contempt'.
Yi Yuksa - Jeonjogi, A diary which he wrote while trimming nails.
"I got a measure during the trimming nails. It's cleaning the nails in front of someone telling me something. I can't force myself to listen the things
I don't want to hear, nor can I make a sour face, So while I trimming my nails, I can think about my mother in the country or my dead grandfather.
Spring may has come under the blue sky of my hometown."
Krzysztof Penderecki (1933~)
II. Years of the High Pleasant
09. 1st Years of the High Peasant
The introduction of the second movement. 'Threnody' Theme, this theme.
This theme reappears on Track 11 of Vol. 2.
It was composed under the influence of Kryzystof PendereckI.
An Omage of 1st movement of Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony No.7, Op.60 'Leningrad'.
The track creates a closed and uneasy atmosphere with discord with aggressive synthesizers.
12. Hollow Point
Turn the atmosphere of the music upside down.
it wasinspired by the performance of a military band and armed independence movements of the time
Dmitry Shostakovich (1906~1975)
13. Eclipse / 14. Firehound
Inspired from the poem, Ilsic (Eclipse) by Yi Yuksa.
"One day in my childhood, when I saw the ink on a tray, the flamehound(firehound), ate my day"
15. 4th Years of the high Pleasant
1910. inspired by four instruments used for morning and evening ceremonies of Buddhism.
1. Beobgo, a drum that conveys enlightenment for wild animals
2. Unpan, a percussion that conveys enlightenment for flying animals
3. Mok-eo(Mog-er), a percussion that conveys enlightenment for aquatic animals
4. Beomjong, a percussion that conveys enlightenment for hell
The song was inspired by the ordinary people's unarmed independence movement.
17. Claw of a Waterfowl
It was inspired from the poem, Heart of the Sea, by Yi Yuksa.
IV. Does Spring Ever Return to this Field Stolen?
Yi Sanghwa - Essay, 'Does Spring Ever Return to this Field Stolen?'
18. Jajinmori I
The local traditional rhythms of 'Anseong' and 'Daejeon' based on the rhythm(Jangdan) of 'Gugak', 'Jajinmori'.
19. Jajinmori II
The rhythm called 'Samchae' of 'Anseong Namsadang Nori'
Intermission for the next track. imagine the plains of Siberia.
21. Outskirt of Siberia
The theme is based on the cold plains of Siberia.
22. Black River
Svobodnyi of Russia (Alexeyevsk of Soviet)
Concerto for electric guitar with orchestra. It was inspird by the theme of 'Contemped' played in 08.Nail.
It is the end of the movement, but instead of playing 'Bak', The brass instruments and timpani plays the three points.