Friday, February 05, 2010

C J at The Bitter End

On the last day of January, an historic event took place at The Bitter End: Korean songs were premiered for a New York Crowd. CJ Jeon, who has been in this country for about three months, premiered four of his songs in the Sunday night session, two in Korean and two in English. The two songs sung in Korean were "La La" and "Lie on My Bed". The two songs in English were "Street Man" and "In My Side."

CJ
has a comfortable style, intimate and thoughtful, accompanying himself on the guitar. His voice is private, personal, with a wide range of nuances. Clearly the text is the controlling element, and he is faithful to each moment of the narrative or mood. The effect is that of spontaneity and immediacy. The Bitter End is not conducive to this quiet kind of musical reflection, but CJ was poised and in control. His vocal style connects with the text, and he shapes the phrase with slight shifts in timbre, not as a conscious gesture but in response to the text and the moment.

The fourth song "In My Side" reveals an extraordinary talent, a song that unfolds in a quiet envelop of contemplation, a simple melody, but definitely the substance of today, almost reminiscent at moments of ballads by Radio Head. I believe Koreans are instinctually poets, as their language possesses a beautiful ambiguity that connects with the world in strikingly original ways. CJ's lyrics are beautifully concrete and full of amiguity. He draws upon the images of nature, but they expand as they exist inside of his awareness, of his dreams. The image "breathe, through my tongue" cuts through the moment in anguish before relinquishing to the calm.

Here are the final verses of the lyrics, couched in a stark, but elegant melody delivered in a lyrical flow, with an underlying concern that touches our hearts.
I thought it`s up in the air, in the end
But I saw a light, light where it is
And I see the sun
I see the sky
I see the wind
In my world

I thought I throw everything in my side
But I didn`t get rid of my dream
It takes my way and
It takes my dreams
It takes my love
Breathe, through my tongue...
Breathe, through my tongue...
Words of calm.

(Copyright 2010 CJ Jeon All Rights Reserved)


1 comment:

chanjun said...

Thank you.
You`re blogging is better than my songs.:)