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Classical Pianist Jeeyoon Kim On The Inspiration Behind New Album 'Over. Above. Beyond.'

December 5, 2018 1:42 p.m.

Classical Pianist Jeeyoon Kim On The Inspiration Behind New Album 'Over. Above. Beyond.'

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Jeeyoon Kim, classical pianist

Related Story: Classical Pianist Jeeyoon Kim On The Inspiration Behind New Album 'Over. Above. Beyond.'

Transcript:

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

Jeeyoon Kim was growing up in Korea when she started playing the piano at the age of four. Since then she's traveled all over the world sharing her gift with the public. The classical pianist will mark the release of her new album over above beyond with enough coming performance in San Diego. I spoke with him recently about her music and how she uses the piano to give hope and inspiration.

For this particular album I was Emad's and I'm flying flying over the horizon over about beyond and I ask listeners to fly with me and I selected pieces like inspiring for the flight and I wanted to give convey a sense of lightness and hope. And I select the pieces that have a vision of flight and into this album that's great so you're really taking them on a journey through this.

So I notice there's a listening manual that comes with the album. How do you want people to really enjoy your music.

So for this particular album I incorporated visual aspect of it actual into over ABAB beyond the concert. I have newly commissioned illustrations with New York based artist ception. So for the piece Brahms Variations and he created 12 different illustrations only for this piece only based on my interpretation and they will be projected during the concert with the art and for the listener who cannot come to my concert and I Crede up over above beyond the manual e.g. if few bhatta electronic devices and how to use this CD. So what I did was find an hour and a half from your life and you imagine the visual why you listen.

And there are times when you see that visual nature which you as you take a walk then take a picture with your phone and share hash tag over a bar beyond project on his Instagram Instagram or Facebook. And that way we can actually see how everybody say things hear things differently.

It's great. So the piano isn't something you just started playing yesterday. I mean this has been a life long instrument for you. You started when you were just four years old.

Right. Right. So it's it's basically I feel like piano is the extension of my body. That earliest memory I have is playing piano so I often say piano chose me you know any four year old if we can't think of them they don't really have that. OK I'm going to start piano right now so I'm very lucky my parents put me into a piano and I remember that going to piano stood on my own at age four. Nobody pushed me to go to play piano. I always enjoy playing piano at some point.

I got really serious like getting into art high school and further east further into this career playing professionally. But by that point I was still enjoying. I was always that musical kid who liked to sing and so I don't think there was a definite decision that early on. But the key is keep going and keep loving. And early on and I think I knew I love Dick and so I do.

How did you evolve to that point. You know I mean when you picked up the instrument at 4:00 you know you enjoy the music you enjoyed playing it. But then how did you find so much purpose in it over the years of my concert careers.

The most rewarding thing I've found is people came up to me afterwards you know what I don't know how you did it but I feel healed. I feel hope through your music. You know I hope to experience that again. And your music moves me and over the years not the more recognition not the competition winning not the bigger hall but that very comment. Those collections are those people's feedback made me feel like this is what I had why I do it. Oftentimes I find that people are a little bit shy from the classical especially the younger generation don't have the ample experience of the older generation would have growing up.

So me coming into it you know what this classic image is so awesome. So much passion so much of the human emotions much more diverse into it. If you just come in experience. And that's why I feel like I'm a messenger. I'm kind of offering bridge down between audience and me as a performer. Through classical music and I found the way I present concert which is with the microphone on the stage I always tell how I feel about each music before I play by doing it. They feel like oh you know I don't have to know about any classical music.

I just. Want to be there. To share this very music together. And again in that setting I always say I am a mere receiver and I don't want to just be self-assessed receiving only so I get this music come through come through me. And so I can see this can come to you.

And is that your main goal as a performer. Tell me about that.

My main goal is to become a mere cop for the music. Not it's not about me. It's about the music it's about me to help. If I could talk to people to listen to music hey you know. Everything is OK and everything will be OK without me telling that exactly. Somehow they hear it and it feels lighter today. I think that's my job done and that's my going to keep going to help.

It sounds like you really use the piano as an instrument of hope for a lot of people. Jeeyoon Kim thank you so much for joining us. Thank you very much.