Korean Wave is spreading worldwide and K-pop is the most representative item of the Wave. However, we can't just depend on K-pop and have to keep the Wave with more diverse items of Korean culture. There is someone who already is playing a leading role in the Korean Wave with electric violin performances both in domestic and overseas stages. That person is Eun-Ju Park in the department of Instrumental Music, who began her undergraduate in ‘01 at Gachon University. She is a violinist who interacts with people through music and happiness. When I first met her, I could feel her confidence and brilliance just by looking at her walking. Her eyes were filled with passion. Let's listen to her powerful performance of her dream which delivers happiness to people.
# Part 1. Fashionable: "I want to be a leader of the electric violin in the future."
Fashionable: People who lead the trend and are on the cutting edge of the trend. We understand fashionable people just as ‘people who know how to dress well.’ However, in a broader sense, it means ‘who is on the cutting edge of trends.’ The word 'fashionable' is precisely in accord with Eun-Ju Park, because she helped spread electric violin when it was not that familiar to people. She’s been playing a role as a ‘Korean Wave Star’, also called ‘daughter of Manila’ abroad. When the interview began, she started to talk about her story, about when she first started playing the violin and how she became a leader of the electric violin.
"I was forced by my mom to start playing the violin. So I wasn’t really happy about the violin until I entered university. When I was a freshman, I started playing the electric violin upon the recommendation of an acquaintance. At first, I performed it at concerts to earn money for tuition. I even had to take the subway for two hours to attend the events for performances. While performing at a lot of shows, I started to feel fascination with electric violin. While the classic violin has its delicate attractiveness, the electric violin has a powerful magnetism that no one could ever approach. The powerful sound and exciting beats made me really enjoy the performance. Now, the violin becomes one of the ways to express myself and communicate with people."
After she started playing the electric violin, however, the progress was not always smooth. When I asked her questions about the hardest things as an electric violinist and what her regrets were, she answered with a calm voice and reminiscent face.
"When I first started playing the electric violin, it was an unfamiliar instrument and my friends all played classic violins. For that reason everyone convinced me to stop playing the electric violin, and I was considered a heretic. The only reaction I got was, 'Why would you play that?' However I thought I shouldn’t single out only one kind of music. Still I don’t make distinctions between genres and perform all kinds of genres as audiences want---such as classic, electronic, pop, trot and so on. That is simply because I want to make the audience happy through my performance.
I often regret not enjoying my school life and just being busy going to performances to earn tuition. I envied when I saw my friends hanging out at Kyung Won plaza. But now I have no regrets, because I gained a lot from my suffering. Of course it was unlucky of me that there was no role model to emulate, and as a result I had to improve myself to become who I am now. Now I'm trying to be a role model for juniors in school. I hope that university students realize that now is a great time. Since you are living in the smartphone era, you can learn how to play the violin from a great teacher with only one click. In the past I had to search for my tutor all around by myself. That’s how I met my teacher.
"When I met my university friends playing a classic violin in an orchestra, they envied me and said 'I should have started the electric violin when you started.' As my mother's daughter and violinist, however, I sometimes envy my friends who have their own family. And I also feel very tired due to frequent overseas activities. Still, I can recharge myself and go forward when I see people who gain energy from my music.
# Part 2. Passionate: "I have many things that I want to do, but there’s not enough time"
She is 'passionate.' "Passion," which is also the title of her first album released in 2008, meaning eagerness, is the second word that describes Eun-Ju Park. She is passionate not only in playing the electric violin but also in a lot of areas. Once, she appeared in the drama Beethoven Virus and she also showed her talent by challenging on many broadcast programs such as Star King and Korea Got Talent. Besides performing at the show, she has been practicing sharing, giving and donating as well. She has studied music without stopping and recently graduated from Ewha Womans Graduate School. Currently she is preparing a book publication and a piece for orchestra. She said that there are a lot of dreams she want to realize. What are our dreams she wonders?
"Because we live in a 100-year-old era, it is important to find your own dream. In that perspective, I think I'm lucky to find my dream early. When I was in the university, I realized my dream through doing performances. I was always thrilled by the audience’s applause, so I tried harder to repay them for their support. And one day, I realized that this was my dream. I feel happy and feel my existence on the stage. And I want to feel this happiness with the audience."
After telling us the story about her conviction of being an electric violinist, she asked about my dream. After she heard my answer that I haven’t figured out my dream yet, she reminded me that I’m still young and have lots of opportunities. She let me know her tips to seek one’s dream.
"I recommend university students who haven't found their dream yet to find things that make them happy. We can’t live until we are 100 years old doing something that doesn’t make us happy. But I don’t think it's easy to find your own dream when you are young. To find your dream, first, do everything that you want to do. There's no moment that you have as much time as now. Now is the best moment to try one thing and another. It should help you to find your dream. Even now I have so many things that I want to do, but I don't have enough time. So I envy you students. Second, do your best in every given task. At first, I avoided appearing in the drama Beethoven Virus. But I did my best, and it turned out that was a good opportunity to introduce myself. I performed consistently when I was in college, and that made me create a personal connection which allowed me to enter the MBC orchestra by a special employment as soon as I graduated. If you do your best whatever you do, you will also naturally find your dream. I hope you to do the things that you can develop rather than the things that just kill time.”
At the end of the interview, I asked what her final goal as a violinist is. She answered with shy but twinkling eyes, and I could feel her humbleness as well as passion while she was answering,
"My final goal is composing film music. I hope my music will be used in various places. Although I don't have sufficient time because I'm busy, I'm presently studying film music. And I'm planning to continue my career as a violinist as long as possible. I'm having violin lessons to play better at performances. I hope to play with an orchestra one day. Furthermore, I want to play music along with other people with my talent. Because, I think music can’t be made alone. That's why I established a school that teaches how to play violin. I think that is true music and harmony."
During the interview I could see she is doing her best to pursue her dreams in spite of not having enough time. Also, she never stopped having her new dreams. I felt ashamed of wasting my time even if I have enough time to find my dream. I hope those of you who feel nervous as they haven't found their dream think again. You couldn’t find your dream? You didn’t find your dream? Aren't you concentrating on building 'spec' and not pursuing the dream of your life? Our happiness starts with our dreams, not a good career or high salary. Do you consider your dream as unimportant and think that "Dreams won't feed us"? If so, think again. Before you die, what do you think you will regret? Is there a meal you couldn’t eat or goal you couldn't achieve? I hope Gachon university students run toward their dream, not their meal.
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