Dec 6, 2007

Composer Joe Hisaishi talks about TWSSG

Excerpt from the interview aired on NHK "Studio Park "
Nov. 17,2007

Two years ago, TWSSG Producer Kim who was a fan of Hisaishi's music asked him to compose music for this drama.
Hisaishi built his image of the drama upon reading the script, and after visiting the location site in Jeju last Sept, his concept was finalized.

Hisaishi: The protagonist of this drama "Damdeok" is a historical figure in Korean history that even appears in the text books. So this is a historical drama of a grand scale. With this in mind, I wanted to compose something that conveys the grandeur of this work in a tight style with the music performed by an orchestra. In addition to creating music that expresses the caliber of this work, I concentrated on writing melodies that would be felt deeply by the heart.

A recording session took place this March in Saitama.
Hisaishi composed 38 pieces amounting to approximately 180 minutes of music.

H: I composed an enormous amount of music. Considering that, I think I put in everything I have into this work, and I am satisfied with the outcome.

In"Damdeok's Theme", the main theme of this drama, Hisaishi layed the gracious and brave image of BYJ himself upon the character Damdeok.

H: The role of Damdeok itself is quite a passive figure - he is at the mercy of fate, and at times suffers (facing difficulties?) When BYJ plays Damdeok, the qualities of the two men seem to overlap. Damdeok is not a portrayed as a man who is merely masculine and strong. He is one that agonizes over problems and shows concern towards those around him. I tried very hard to express such a character.

(Hisaishi's impression of BYJ on the set)

H: When I met him on the set at Jeju, YJ said "PD Kim is always in a
good mood when you show up. So, please come to see us often!". He was cheerful, and oh how should I say it... I thought that he was a really nice person.

The story of how Suzini (a tomboy in her youth) gradually falls in love with Damdeok is one of the features of this drama. Hisaishi claims that "Suzini's Theme", triggered him to change his attitude towards the approach of composing the music.

H: When I began to write the beginning part of “Suzini’s Theme”, which is incidentally the sub-theme of this drama, I thought “oh, this piece doesn't fit into the drama. But since I started on it, I thought oh well, I might as well show it to the producer. He ended up liking it. You see, since my previous works were usually for films, I have been used to creating works with a formal style. But I realized that what was required in this drama was something easily accessible, at the same time conveying the grandeur of scale. After that, I switched my approach to fulfill these qualities.

(His impressions of TWSSG)

H: Other than this being a great historical spectacle, this work also offers the best qualities of Korean dramas, as it features such traits as human compassion and the clarity of how the characters are portrayed.. The amount of CGs used in the drama is more than you can imagine, and go far beyond the caliber of an ordinary drama. I would be happy if the viewers would take these things into account when they watch it.

I myself have only watched this drama up to episode 3, so I am looking forward to watching it on NHK when it airs.

(VOD can be found on QUILT posted on Nov.17 by Makishi – thanks Makishi as always!)

Sep 11, 2007

Brokore Magazine No.13

Special Features:
☆ The two years Brokore spent with BYJ
☆ BYJ returns with "TWSSG"!
☆ Articles on the two leading actresses of the drama.
This issue will be on sale from Sept. 25.
Look out for it!

Sep 9, 2007

Won Quilt!

Lovers of Lord Won collaborate!
Panel created by Japanese fan Pinky Ring.

Sep 4, 2007

Two Asian Leaders Talk About Asia and the World

Excerpt from the booklet “The Making of “super stars” by Leslie Kee“Asia is One”

Interviewer: Why did you (Pres. Sohn) decide to support Leslie’s “Super Stars” project?

Sohn: The work I do in my own company originally started with my wish to have the Japanese people see Asian content. The reason I wanted them to see them, is because I wanted them “to understand”. Because the Japanese media only introduces a small part of what is going on in the world, the people can see very little of the real life. If they are able to see just a little more of what is really going on, perhaps we can understand each other. I thought TV dramas would be a great means of making this possible. It’s not like competing with the west -I think Bae Yong Joon also thinks similarly on this – I think under the influence of modernization of Asia, we are forgetting the wonderful customs and values that have been carried on from the past. This trait is most evident in Japan, as they were the first to westernize. From a cultural perspective, the fact that I’m wearing a suit today is actually unnatural. It’s not just clothes – if we were to think about food, there must have been a cuisine that is appropriate for Asians. I sometimes think that we are even beginning to forget that we are Asians. There is a tendency to think that “becoming more like white people” is a standard in attaining beauty, and with “global standards” too, the idea is to go in line with the standards created by the Americans and Europeans. I think by becoming conscious of the fact that we are Asians, we can broaden our perspective, and we might be able to realize who we are. For this very reason, I think Asia should interact on a dynamic level. Leslie’s “Super Stars” project was initiated with his conviction that “neighbors should help each other”. He wanted others to feel this way, and it made me want to participate in this project because I truly empathized with his idea.

…… (omit)

I: What do you think is the meaning of Asia becoming one?

Sohn: I suppose if I were to put it simply, there are such ideas like creating joint works, but my idea is a bit different. Moreover, it’s not something on a political or diplomatic level – I only want to do facilitate things more on a cultural and a private level, say involving people’s sensitivity. It’s not about saying “NO” to things outside of Asia, either. In the end, it all connects to the world anyway. But before we go out to the world, we have to begin by loving one’s self, one’s company, one’s school, and one’s country. If we were to stretch this a little further, there is a unit called Asia.

Leslie: First, “Asia is One”. I have neither the charisma nor the ability to say “World is One” at the present. May be if I built up on my career for another 10 years, and I made a lot of acquaintances throughout the word, I maybe able to say so as an artist, but I don’t think this is something I can say very easily.

Sohn: For example, before the trend of Korean films, Hong Kong films which were the rage of the 90s became a content on a worldwide level. But Asia is still only looking towards the west. I think that kind of attitude is self-deprecating, and does not do any good. We must become more confident. In Asia, we have many beautiful people, beautiful scenery and wonderful talent. We should reassess them by Asian standards and not by the standards of the west.

Leslie: I think Asia’s standard is improving greatly over the past few years.

Sohn: It is full of energy, to say the least. Even with its great history, countries like China are changing dramatically. There is a certain unstableness, but potential counterbalances this. I hope many talented people like Leslie will have more and more opportunities to demonstrate their abilities.

Leslie: Yes, I hope so.

(translated by flowerbossa
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Jan 7, 2007

Will be taking a break...

Hello everyone, I hope you had a joyous holiday season!

Although I was able to enjoy my holidays with my family, I have to confess that I have been feeling quite tired lately, and at this time, I feel I need to take some rest.

So, please understand that I will be going off-line for awhile...
I will miss you all very much, but you will always be close to my heart!

Take care and be happy♪