Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

Orchestral Performances of Korean Pop Music – with some extras!

2012/08/03 Leave a comment

Well, this was not all intended to be my next post, but since this is actually just a compilation of posts I just made on Facebook, I figured it would be easy to post right away. It is, after all, relevant to the themes of this blog.

[Amateur / school performances ahead, so don’t expect perfect music!] So I was checking out updates on Talk To Me In Korean‘s Facebook page and saw they posted a video of an orchestra playing Gee by SNSD (aka: Girls Generation). [Comments are below their respective videos.]

I personally never liked Gee myself – too cutesy? – but this orchestra version sounds perfect to me (apart from a couple things, such as the drummer). Makes me think of a bright and sunny scene in some Disney or Pixar film. I haven’t heard the “Up” soundtrack in a while; is that what I’m thinking?  Read more…



2012/03/18 Leave a comment


by Rhoi Fajardo

Words, rhyme, pitch, rhythm,    inside.

Doors to voices and doors to intended ears,        outside.

Words, rhyme, pitch, rhythm,

A message         seeking its                                                          winged shoes,

Water                 seeking its                                                                                     river.

Homeless and stranded and frantic with SOS’s calling everyone to the emergency that you have not yet heard his story, not yet heard, heard his words that he cannot speak.


Staring out at a liquid wasteland, you wash up on the shore.

Using your voice, another cracks open, useable, abuse-able.

Despite liberated while branded, given a ladder with a ceiling, a limousine with matte paint—

The climb, the climb can be made, up the ladder, up to the sky, waving arms for all to see, to speak waterfalls to all in the ocean should they merely look his way.


His music now soars on the winds of the Internet                              let go, free

And soaks into the paintbrush of a stranger                                       free to be seen

Animated by another’s hand and mouse                                             seen brought to life

Reincarnated in another’s body and voice                                           life becoming human

You provided the canvas, space, ears, and eyes they needed.

All, otherwise alone and forsaken in the sea, now join together, join like a raft of fire ants, becoming a notable presence, a presence impossible to break.


With your voice, a new current of artists flow, flowing with the others—

Saki Fujita, Hastune Miku, Owata-P, wowaka.

Music lovers rate, share, build on his works; his name grows and joins with the top ranks—

Halyosy, Supercell, Akiakane, Gackt Camui.

You, a creation of corporations, let him garner attention from corporations—

Yamaha, Crypton, Toyota, Google.

And in partnership, labels, and a check, his work goes worldwide—

Google and Beiber, Google and Gaga, but Google and Miku on top.


Yet, not alone,

For he and his music and message proudly stake the summit,

Otherwise not even visible,

On the shoulders of the animator in the hands of the artist with the heart of the singer with the soul of the dancer with the feet of your voice—

No longer just a voice.




VOCALOID is the name of a program created by Yamaha, which simulates human singing by putting together real recordings of a person’s voice. The buyer of the software can thus write lyrics and music for the software to sing, which is why it has been marketed as a “singer in a box.” The composers can’t fake perfect human singing, so no one tries to hide that they are using VOCALOID.

They manage to use this niche to release their work (usually for free) and find an audience, and allowing others to make derivative – or really, supporting – works. For example, someone may draw some still art, another animates, and so a music video is made. People may do dance covers, piano covers, or sung covers of the song. They all credit each other and thus also get their name out there.

Eventually, bigger artists and companies took notice, and now there are live concerts. VOCALOID is now thus a name for the whole community and cultural phenomenon.

A great video that summarizes with audio and video samples can be found here:

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