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제목 [문화소통 포럼 CCF] Korean culture is more than K-pop [The Korea Times 2015-09-03]
글쓴이 webmaster 조회 8184 등록일 2015.09.04
Rob Moose

Cultural leaders pick Korean food as next hallyu item


By Kim Jae-heun

This is the first time American musician Rob Moose has visited Korea on behalf of his country to participate in the Culture Communication Forum (CCF). For two days, he has visited Korean tourist attractions, where he experienced traditional cuisine, music and art. As a multi-instrumentalist, he was captivated by the samulnori (Korean traditional percussion music) and the food. Moose is against replacing the experience of Korean culture through social networking sites (SNS) and said that nothing can be better than actually visiting the country. The musician's favorite dish is silver cod and he has benefited very much from the rhythms and joy of the sounds made by Korean traditional instruments janggu, gong and jing.

Q. How are you enjoying your trip here to Korea?

A. It's been fantastic. I didn't really have any specific expectations. I just came here for the experience and I've learned a ton about history and culture here, and I met amazing people.

I was invited as a cultural ambassador of my country and that is a new distinction and opportunity for me. I think I was almost intimidated by the idea of representing where I come from.

Q. What was the most memorable cultural experience for you?

A. Well, we had this incredible treat last night, which was the moonlight tour at the old castle (Changdeokgung Palace) with the traditional music. Two elements combined together really transferred us in time. Also because someone pointed out earlier today, the city is not too artificially linked, so at night time you actually have a sense of night. So we were very much able to be within the confines of this castle and feel like we were in an old royal environment, and to hear the music just blew me away.

It was new for me. Obviously old and tradition, but the rhythms and joy of the musicians and sort of conversational nature of it really spoke to me.

Q. I heard you were very impressed by the Korean percussion janggu. As you are a multi-instrumentalist in your home country, why did it come so special to you when it looks similar to a normal drum?

A. Samulnori (Korean traditional percussion music) was something that really blew me away. There is one person playing gong, one person playing zing. I've never heard anything like that before. The way those instruments… the individual sounds of them were really fascinating to me. The presence of the metallic sound and the way they blend it together in this crazy intricate rhythm, I was trying to count and keep track of the rhythm while I was counting, and somebody told me today that the beat pattern is almost 35 beats before it repeats the cycle. For someone who is used to Western music, it's very complex. I found that really inspiring.

I think hearing drums kind of gives you a sense of where a country comes from and what their original first impulse to make sound is. So there can be a lot of information that you can get from something that even if it doesn't have pitch or it doesn't have words, it's very direct. So I felt like I've really benefited from that sound.

Q. K-pop is going popular around the world, and we are seeking something new to replace it as the music popularity fades away. In your opinion, what Korean culture that you have experienced during the last two days would attract people in your home country?

A. The food? I think the food is amazing. It has qualities that people really love. There is a combination of spice and sort of indulgence but it's health, clean, precise and not too formal I think. It could have strong export potential.

I had a silver cod dish few nights ago that was just like melting in your mouth. Having two different kinds of kimchi -- the kind that I know of with pepper with the red and having the white one was interesting. There was squash dumpling we had yesterday.

Q. How would you describe the power and the potential of SNS in promoting the culture around the world?

A. I guess that's like when you are talking about Psy, it's how that happened with YouTube. I think it's sort of like a dangling carrot, social media. Because it gives people glimpse into a different world, but it's not really a replacement for the experience of actually going somewhere. I think it's dangerous sometimes because if you trying to present something through social media to get interest from people of a certain country, it might lead you not to present a pure authentic thing in itself because you are like, "How can we show Americans our stuff in a way they will like?" There is danger of compromising where something comes from. So I don't it as a replacement for actually going somewhere, but I think it can open your eyes to the possibility of the place and people. And it's a great way to stay in touch and I think people are developing almost like an ultimate world in our home and computer screens, and remains to be seen how things will actually connect.
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