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Early Arrival of Future is a title borrowed from the expression often used by North Korean defectors who have settled in South Korea to refer to their reunified status. It is a record of a project by Sojung Jun, who invited North Korean defector and pianist Kim Cheol-woong, and South Korean pianist Uhm Eun-kyung to create music together in collaboration. Upon receiving the invitation from the artist, the two pianists met regularly for four months to create the music Sinabro (little by little) together through communications and discussions with each other. Jun’s video records the two pianists performing the music together, and is accompanied by printed materials such as photographs that serve to document the processes used by the musicians in their collaboration—their various conversation logs and the music sheets for Sinabro.

Sinabro:

The first section has a quiet and noble air that leads listeners into a peace of childhood. The second section is composed of complex and staggered melodies, which shortly but impressively symbolizes ideological confrontation and disputes as two Koreans take different paths. The third section introduces North Korean composer Uhm Seung Nam’s part alongside the North Korean folk song Yonggang Ginari. Yonggang Ginari is a folk song from Pyongan-do that farmers sang during rice planting. It has a fancy, lively, and passionate atmosphere with a beautiful melody. The following tune is Uhm Eun Kyung's arrangement of Mother and Sister that emotionally and delicately expresses sorrow. Built on Kim Sowol’s folk poetry, the tune appeals with a repeating monotonous melody. The fourth section visualizes a harmonious atmosphere and pictures two Koreas following each other through the main melody of a Korean folk song Ganggangsullae and with traditional Korean pentatonic scale: Joong, Im, Mu, Hwang, and Tae, that were commonly used in Yonggang Ginari and Mother and Sister.

Yonggang Ginari:
Mother and Sister:
Mother and Sister
by Kim So Wol (1902-1934)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
[Oma-ya nuna-ya gang-pyon-sal-dzia
dyll-e-nyn pʌn-dzia(k)-ee-nyn kym-mo-re-peet
twi-moon pakk-e-nyn kal-ee-pp-ee-nore
oma-ya nuna-ya gang-pyon-sal-dzia]
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Translation:

Oh, mother and sister, let’s live near the river,
Where there is a garden and light-golden sand,

Where one can hear a reed-leaf song outside of back gate,
Oh, mother and sister, let’s live near the river.

The word “sister” is literally meant “older sister”. This way only a boy calls his older sister. That is why we can say this song is performed by a younger brother of an older sister, which is basically untranslatable. Also interesting is that any boy can call an older girl (his friend) “nuna”, and it is a very nice way to do so.

Written by 김소월 (Kim So Wol 1902-1934) – a poet during the Japanese colonial rule. Was born in nowadays North Korea, and is famous for his ethno sentimental poetry. Because he was using music and tone of folks songs, he is known as a “Folk song poet”.