Sounds of The End of The Worldby Hanna Morris on Sep, 17 2012
All laws of causality will be transcended.
Whispered, repeated, and engrained inside my mind, this line dangles before me, tantalizing me, haunting me. Chills. An escalation in dark yet, intriguing sounds strung together intricately and thoughtfully pushes me deeper inside my never-ending reverie. Every aspect of the music, this revolutionary sound, is dripping with metaphorical magic. I felt this same feeling marching alongside the hundreds of others at Occupy – a sense of change, of welcoming and celebrating a new system and a new way of living. Change is coming, and this music is our anthem.
While riding the BART, JooWan Kim had an impressive stroke of inspiration. “I felt these tremors in my hand and I began writing these cryptic messages.” JooWan’s mystical experience materialized his long-lived thoughts in a completely transformative way.
The modern dynamic of music has two problems according to JooWan. “The first problem is that industry has no substance.” JooWan adds, “Industry just signs somebody they know will make big bucks.”
There is no risk, no innovation. The same type of pop music is continually created because industry knows this will bring in the cash. With the rise of Napster and then a sustained decline in CD sales, industry has become a lot more cautious. No record label wants to lose any more profits. The result is a pervasive proliferation of cloned artists, content and beats.
“The second problem”, JooWan quickly adds, “is that universities with lots of money can accept really bizarre people to their composition programs who may have lots of aesthetic and academic ideas about music, but don’t have any connection to average public’s musical life.”
Instead of universities encouraging the creation of music, they encourage the idea of music. JooWan laments, “Music, art, has to do its function. It has to affect people.” Hence, JooWan’s dissatisfaction with the alienating concept of “high” art.
Obviously passionate about these ideas, JooWan looks at me with a concerned and hesitant expression. “But, I really don’t want to come across as…as cynical. I tend to be very private. But, I feel doing interviews and things like this is important. It’s just, the timing of everything has been very uncanny.”
After JooWan’s mind-altering voyage, a set of events too incredible to ignore, forced him to treat the “prophecies” he received more seriously.
Occupy Oakland erupted and along with it, a pervasive sense of change. People are fed up with our societal, economic, and political systems. At the onset of the Occupy Movement, an imminent shift was unavoidably felt.
With this change in society, JooWan felt as if his prophetical visions of the end of our world should not be ignored. The outdated building blocks of music are ready to fall.
JooWan and Ensemble Mik Nawooj have embarked on a revolutionary journey to blend hip-hop and classical music and create pop music with substance and meaning. “We call it hybrid music,” JooWan explains, “which is taking elements of hip-hop and classical music and making pop music sophisticated and interesting.”
The grand result of this prophetical inspiration and hybrid experimentation is a transformational chamber hip-hop opera called, Great Integration. This revolution of sound is coming to Berkeley on Saturday, September 29th at 8:30 PM at La Peña. Tickets are on sale now.
Instead of simply complaining about the problems he sees with the music of today, JooWan is embarking on a journey to actually effect change. With no corporate label and an independently funded ensemble, JooWan is breaking free of the “material lords”. Ensemble Mik Nawooj is proving that their methods can yield success. The Ensemble’s new single, This is Why, has exploded across radio channels, Spotify, YouTube, iTunes, Facebook, SoundCloud, twitter, Google play and more.
“We were the ones who created these beings, these material lords”, JooWan softly laments. And now we are ready to amend what we have created. Change is coming, and the sounds created by JooWan and Ensemble Mik Nawooj are paving the way.
For more information, check out Ensemble Mik Nawooj’s website.