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Gonggil’s Theme

Updated May. 10, 2006 02:59

한국어
Gonggil’s Theme

#1… “Oh, I really don’t know the identity”

Such were the words from Lee Byung-woo (41), the “guy who likes music,” who was interviewed at a studio at Yeoksam-dong, Seoul, at 11:00 p.m. on May 9.

From the beginning to the end of the interview, his response was, “I don’t know.” He never revealed the details of his “Lee Byung-woo Cinema Music Concert” to be held in the main auditorium of Sejong Center, nor the secret of his “King and the Clown” original soundtrack. The only clear fact was his schedule, which was booked full until the end of the year.

“The soundtrack for the movie ‘For Horowitz’ is due out soon. I am currently putting the finishing touches on music for the movie ‘Monster,’ and later this year I will start work on director Choi Yang-il’s ‘Double Casting (tentative name)’ and a few other movies. Gosh, now I can say myself that I am a ‘movie soundtrack producer.’”

Having debuted as a guitarist of the group “One Day” in 1984, he now holds a cinema music concert with a 15-person orchestra and a huge multi screen, creating a self-fulfilling role of a music director. “King and the Clown,” “Scandal,” “My Beautiful Girl, Mari,” “The Most Beautiful Week of My Life,” and his recent “Monster” will be featured in his 2-hour “Listen and Watch” concert, in which 10 cinema music pieces of his production will be featured. It is a new challenge for him.

“I am a guitarist, but I now seem to be in my prime as a movie soundtrack producer. I dream of being like the Italian movie songwriter Ennio Morricone, my role model. I may achieve the dream if I try hard every moment.”

#2… Soundtracks are like baseball

Valedictorian of the classic guitar department at the Vienna National School of Music in Austria, a scholarship to Peabody Institute in the United States, five solo albums…but contrary to his extraordinary music career he was a “timid movie songwriter,” as shown in the way he kept his hands folded together throughout the interview.

“I’m chastised by my colleagues every day. That’s because I don’t insist upon my music. Music produced for films are different from my private music, so I always empty my mind, and listen to what the director, the actors, and other people have to say. ‘King and the Clown’ was also produced in the same way.”

When asked what is his favorite soundtrack, he answered again, “I don’t know.” He barely responded, “Music is like baseball; it’s hard to give assessments until the season ends.”

“There is difficult cinema music. Comedy, for one thing. When I composed the soundtrack for ‘The Piano-playing President’, I made my music as comical as possible, but the producer was not amused. It was beyond my abilities, so I gave up.”

Instead of his “other half,” or his guitar, nowadays he sits in front of the computer and produces music with the click of a mouse.

“My album ‘One Day’ produced back in the 1980s has finally received acclaim. My music must be accepted only after 10 years. That is why I am more excited about the future than the present.”

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