Monday, 21 September 2015
Person of the Week: Sinchon's Piano Man
Seoul's Sinchon Rotary is always crowded. During the week, it's full of university students as this spot is close to four universities: Sogang (where I used to play tennis!), Yonsei, Ewha Woman's, and Hong-ik. The main artery of Sinchon, Yonsei-ro, is full of cafes, shops, private institutes and restaurants.
Last July, Yonsei-ro, the artery connecting Sinchon Rotary to the entrance of Yonsei University, hosted a huge water slide where those who wanted to cool off during the summer stripped down to their swim wear and slid down the slipper slide.
But tonight, as I walked along Yonsei-ro from my quick visit to service center to have my defective USB checked, I spotted this guy playing on a piano on the sidewalk. He was oblivious to the noises of people passing by and buses driving past him.
The melodies he was playing attracted some passers-by, including myself. I stood for a few minutes to listen to his virtuoso performance, and for a moment, if only the acoustics were good, and if the piano's strings were of better quality, his mini-concierto could have been worthy of standing ovation from everyone. Well, actually, since everyone was standing to listen, it was indeed a standing ovation.
Like most of Korean kids, I also studied piano when I was in grade school. But this talented piano man performing along Yonsei-ro is probably a music major, who was just polishing his Rachmaninoff on this rusty upright piano and playing for anyone who just wanted to listen to some music amidst the noise of the city.
This musician is our person of the week.