Musicians In Korea Argue That Music Can Be A Form Of Mourning Amid Canceled Performances In Light Of Itaewon Tragedy

What role does music play in your life?

Musicians in Korea are raising their voices amid the cancelation of various performances and concerts in light of the Itaewon crowd surge, a tragedy that took the lives of 156 people and injured 172.

Paramedics and police officers at the scene of tragedy | The Guardian

On November 1, singer Jang Jae In shared words on her Instagram that were first shared by fellow musician Summer of Thoughts. On October 31, Summer of Thoughts wrote that despite the tragedy, after careful consideration, he would be performing as scheduled.

The concert organizers from two concerts that I agreed to perform in asked if they should delay the concert. After deliberation, we’ve decided to continue the concert as planned.

— Summer of Thoughts 

Jang Jae In | Genie

The musician then explained the reason why he chose not to delay the concert, criticizing the government’s view of music and performing arts as simple entertainment rather than art.

Anyways, just as they always have, the government seems to view art simply as pleasure-seeking entertainment. Seeing how artists’ performances are being canceled in droves in the name of mourning made me decide I had to perform as scheduled.

— Summer of Thoughts 

Summer of Thoughts | Newsis

Summer of Thoughts argued that performance arts could also be a form of mourning and doubled down on his stance that live performance arts were more than simple entertainment.

To people whose jobs are performing, performing can be a way of mourning. I am tweaking my previously planned song list. I find myself thinking about what I should say to the audience. This is my chosen form of mourning. Nobody needs to agree, but I hope they don’t judge carelessly.

— Summer of Thoughts

Jang Jae In is not the only one to support Summer of Thoughts. Music critic Bae Soon Tak also shared the story on his Instagram on November 1.  The music critic then lamented over the state of live musical performances.

This nation always censors music first. You don’t deserve to say that music comforts you. We deserve an appropriate time of mourning. However, our ways of mourning are different. Please don’t tell us how we should mourn.

— Bae Soon Tak

Bae Soon Tak | Wikitree

The full translation of Summer of Thought’s post can be viewed below.

The concert organizers from two concerts that I agreed to perform in asked if they should delay the concert. After deliberation, we’ve decided to continue the concert as planned.

Anyways, just as they always have, the government seems to view art simply as pleasure-seeking entertainment. Seeing how artists’ performances are being canceled in droves in the name of mourning made me decide I had to perform as scheduled.

To people whose jobs are performing, performing can be a way of mourning. I am tweaking my previously planned song list. I find myself thinking about what I should say to the audience. This is my chosen form of mourning. Nobody needs to agree, but I hope they don’t judge carelessly.

— Summer of Thoughts

Summer of Thoughts is a music project led by Park Jong Hyun. The project first debuted in 2009. Check out the project’s song “Landing” in the link below.

Source: Wikitree and Wikitree