On Saturday, Dec. 10, people gathered at The Factory, a bar near Jeju City Hall, to melt the frost with an evening of acoustic music. Oh Myoung Ae, The Factory’s owner, put together a night of diverse performances by local bands and expatriates alike to make everyone, “warm and comfortable.”
▲ Local acts on tap at The Factory’s evening of acoustic music. Photo courtesy Oh Myoung Ae
The evening’s theme was one of sincerity. Oh wanted to bring people together to share in heartfelt music. To accomplish this, she set up a glowing Christmas tree and decked the walls with strands of Christmas lights. The soft light created a festive but low-key atmosphere. Performers sat in chairs on the bar floor, instead of on the stage, to stress the show’s communal endeavor. Between songs, most performers talked softly about the music, bringing an aspect of storytelling to the show and adding to the conversational aspect of the performance.
The performances themselves captured the sought after sentiment perfectly. Ae Ree Li began the music and set the mood with soft and happy folk songs with some accompaniment by friend Bo-Bii. More acoustic guitar singer/songwriters were to follow. Kim Do Hoon sang delicate and quiet songs over acoustic strumming. Shaun Miller mixed a variety of originals and covers switching between a 12-string and a six-string guitar. He even threw in a few instrumental arrangements of Christmas standards like Jingle Bells.
Later in the night, Factory favorites Phil Miron and Jason R. Mortz individually took over the microphone to share their respective folk stylings. In the show’s communal spirit Miron invited Mariah Lawrence to help with vocals on a few songs and Mortz had Shaun Miller help out with a few tunes.
The theme of the night being one of acoustic music, the sound featured mostly guitars. However, a few acts ventured into more electronic territory. Jaydi, a bartender at The Factory, performed forlorn and melancholy ballads on a M-Audio keyboard – her forlorn and quiet voice whispering over a sea of pretty heartbreak. With pristine songwriting and a focused performance, Jaydi’s music captured a unique existential beauty.
D.P Crew, a local “hip-hop fusion” band offered the evening’s most experimental sounds. The trio had an acoustic guitar as its base, but peppered this with sounds from a MacBook and a variety of shakers and small percussion instruments. The songs operated on a spectrum of playful to serious and fluctuated between soft acoustic songs and louder raps that brought the lead singer to his feet with microphone in hand.
The coffeehouse approach to a Saturday evening of music was well attended by a mix of people that reflected the diverse performers. The quiet nature of the show was generally well respected and the soft tunes were only occasionally shattered by shouts from the bar and chatter from the back of the room. Impervious noise-makers were shushed if they became too loud and the show was able to continue forward smoothly. Upon entering, a few groups of revelers were surprised by the intimacy of the room, perhaps expecting a more raucous greeting. They soon filtered out, leaving a group in attendance who were there simply to enjoy pleasant music.
The night of acoustic songs, although perhaps a departure from the typical Saturday night rock band, was nonetheless a success. Show-goers were glad to escape from the cold for a night and warm themselves with nice music and good company.
For those who missed this round of acoustic music, Oh has a similar show tentatively slated for February. Information will become available through The Factory’s Facebook page (Facebook.com/jejufactory).
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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