Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Improvised performance with Dong-Won Jeong, Henry hyung [Wife's Taste]

정동원 헨리 형과 즉석연주 [아내의맛]

정동원TV : Jeong Dong-Won TV

This appears to be some kind of TV program. I got the title of this post by plugging the top line of Hangul characters into Google Translate. Dong-Won Jeong is a young singer. Wife’s Taste? Sounds like a bad translation & I haven’t got a clue. The name of a TV show?

When the video starts he’s playing with a remote controlled model car on a large track. About 30 seconds in we see some character creeping around in the background. That’s going to turn out to be Henry. Maybe those women making comments from the sides are those tasty wives, as it were. Anyone, creeping Henry is discovered at about 01:36 and the side women are saying, “Henry?” “Henry?”

He’s been found out. At 02:10 or so we get a clip of him performing on two pianos. Then violin. And then we see Jeong on alto sax. Things and stuff. Things and stuff. They play with the cars. A bit after 6 minutes in they enter a music production studio with some kind of gaming table in the middle. Now things are going to get interesting. They unmask at about 7 minutes in and pretend they didn’t have a clue about who each other was – at least I think that’s what’s going on. They do a little mirror mine routine (07:22). They play at the table for awhile. The chat. Shake hands. And share a meal (we’ve been here before). Henry feeds Jeong. Jeong feeds Henry. Where’s this leading. Now they start singing to one another.

I hope all you anthropologists out there are keeping track of how ritualized this all is.

But when are then going to get down to some serious music making. We all know that that’s what this foreplay leading to, no? (Besides, I’ve peeked ahead, so I know.)

Something slipped. At 13:31 all of a sudden Henry has a violin in his hands. At 13:34 he doesn’t. And then at 13:39 they’re doing some kind of routine together. Did someone slip up in the editing room? But who cares? Let’s go on. At 14:30 they trade off singing while touching one another’s throats at the vocal chords. How long can they keep up with this musical foreplay? Back to the table to chow down.

While all this has been going on we’ve been getting side-commentary from men and women who are, in effect, acting as a Greek chorus mediating between the two jokesters in the middle and us, the audience.

And now we get a clip of Henry playing one of those pesky Paganini pieces all the kids are playing in Korea. Back to the table, Jeong is explaining something over background music. Now we see Henry with his bow and fiddle. Now (c. 17:43) Henry starts playing. And then puts it down for a bit of beat-boxing and popping. Now they’re talking. I haven’t got the foggiest idea of what they’re saying, but it sounds serious. The word “stupid” shows up several times in a row out of Henry’s mouth. He plays something on the violin while looking sad and pretending to cry (c. 18:45). Short stuff laughs and the Greek chorus gives us their 2 cents.

At last! At last! They get through with all this nonsense and step to the music area (19:38) of the room. We hear the word “feel”, it’s echoed in the chorus, and short stuff steps to the trap drums and Henry to the keyboard. Shake hands. Henry steps to the drums and shows that he can play them.

I'm glad Henry can play drums. Short stuff’s going to go into a beat box routine, then move into some dance steps. And they’re going to play around making music. The Greek chorus comes to its feet and applauds.

I’m going to go light on the commentary. We get a clip of Henry outdoors doing an industrial music routine (“Believer”). Back to the studio. More playing around. Some real-time musique concrète with duct tape and other things. They make music with whatever’s round. Sixty years ago these shenanigans were avant-garde performances for European aesthetic elite – or material for a Frank Zappa bit on Steve Allen's TV Show. Now they’re day-time entertainment for Korean housewives. The music segment ends at about 29:13. I don’t know what happens next because I didn’t watch it.

No comments:

Post a Comment