May 15 and 16, 2013
I came down to the “river” around 7 pm just as it was getting darker. I went to the same place as the day before, there were some 3 or 4 steps leading down to the river and some stone steps leading across the river. I set up in the corner. There were already a number of people sitting there, mostly couples, I was hoping not to disturb anyone. I started out playing quietly at first and no one seemed to notice even that I was playing. Oh well, at least no one complained and no cop kicked me out. It was a nice atmosphere and they started projecting this artistic images on the wall across the river, some 15 meters away.
Actaully not much happened these 2 days but that’s ok. I decided not to put my hat, it was my birthday present to Buddha. Some people would stop and listen for a few seconds, some sat down and listened for a while. One guy was so impressed that he gave me some sample children’s books and pencils. He worked for a publisher. I had a friend with 2 small boys. She would get them.
Two young women with some older women who looked their mothers walked up and listened with great passion. Her eyes were glowing. When I talked to them it turned out they were musicians who played classical Korean music. The haegum is an instrument of Chinese origin. It is played upright and single string is is crossbowed and has such flexibility that it can be very expressive. In the hands of a master it is beautiful. I made arrangements to meet them sometime and play together. They seemed really eager to play with me. They even suggested that we play on the street together. “Insadong” they suggested. Now Insadong is the one place that I usually wouldn’t play because it was a traditional place reserved for Traditional Korean culture. But if I was plaing with a traditional Korean instrument like hagum then it could take on all kins of implications.
After an hour or so, a few couples had gathered and were listening to my music. Mostly they were sitting across the stream, some with feet dangling in the water. It was such a nice atmosphere. Near the end, a couple came up and he said he was a classical trumpet player. I asked him if he would like to learn jazz. He said he would but that he thought he never could. I told him I could teach him and offered to do that. Later he came back and they gave me an envelope with 2 man won notes (20 dollars) . that was the only money I made for these 2 days, that and the books. Still it was fun to play by the “river” for these days of Buddha’s birthday.