JIWON-My Request: Divans

My Request: Divans

(Originally written on Jan. 9, 2007) 

Dear New York Folks,

This is Jiwon.

My request No. 3 to Barenboim

I remember the musicians and their fucking behaviors. I remember that no one, even their senior musicians, could say NO or WHY to their bizarre performance and their funny teaching, no matter how it sounded unnatural to their instinct, which had no experience of foreign study. I remember how they earned their foreign degree and returned to this country with the quasi-foreign sound, which required only several months to be converted to the pseudo-academic sound, which sounded no better or even worse than their senior musicians’ sound, which they claim was charlatan’s know-how. Whether their foreign degree was a result of hard working as a good follower or was merely a high-priced paper sold by hungry music school, they soon sounded nothing. Some time later, they even sounded rotten. Some returned to this country with funny sound and kept playing it. Now, I know why they sounded this and that, or funny and fucking.

Did Barenboim say? “Music allows people to have a dialogue in a much stronger way… therefore, there is playing in the orchestra, in the intelligent sense, is a school for living in society.” This is exactly why my life failed in every ensemble. I always listened to others, and a stage fright was the only thing left in my life. The moment I found this interview, I wanted to break the computer. When did Zubin Mehta play like this, especially while accompanying Barenboim’s piano? Glander’s clarinet was always the worst listener. I’ve never heard Meier listen to and respond her partners. Perhaps, Barenboim should teach his Divans first about how to ignore specific sounds.

Did Barenboim say? “It’s a model. Playing music is what people would be doing… if there was peace.” I am very sorry to report that I grew up in the military government, and I’d heard quite a lot about my seniors’ orchestra. Some even missed their heydays, because they were best treated in those days. Orchestras in North Korea, Iraq, or Hamas… It is simply case-by-case. Wherever you go, orchestra members are nothing but poor employees, who have no choice. It is now easy to imagine that the Divans is becoming quite an issue among conservatories and professional orchestras in the Middle East. Who said? “Barenboim will just brainwash you to be a Zionist if you joined the Divans.”

Will they talk about politics or Zionism or even Middle East Peace after they return to their country? Music will be their main theme. Some time later, some of them will behave just like the fucking musicians in this country. They will say, “Play like this, listen to me, and follow me. This is German style of music making. Barenboim said so.” Then, they will sound just like Bashkirova, Glander, and their ensemble partners. If so, I will contact their employer and explain their detailed performance and its reason until those fucking Divans are fired.

Do the Divans play peace? Do the Divans play music? I don’t care. I just care which divan will play a cancerous role after they return to their country.

Just out of curiosity. Did Barenboim say? “There were many people in Palestine who didn’t want to see the orchestra playing in Palestine because they said it reeked of normalization. I took the orchestra to Ramallah as an act of defiance.” I am just wondering if the Divans are considered as a Luxury orchestra. One article recently said so, but it was long time ago while watching a docu-film about Palestinian life that my question started to arise. Some Palestinians looked very wealthy. I was speechless. Besides, is Barenboim aware of the fact that Hamas council banned music festival to protect the conservative values, so that men and women didn’t mix in the street? This is not a matter of peace. I remember they, Arafat or Hamas, once had an instrumental ensemble in their territory.

To be continued…

Sincerely yours,


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