Ra Yu-mi1

Concert theme: Congratulating participants of the 9th national meeting of artistes; subtheme: showing the other artistes ”caught in a snare of outdated formulae and schematism” how to ”create lots of masterpieces like waterfalls!”
Place: April 25 House of Culture
Audience: Writers, artists, art teachers and art researchers of KWP
KJU: Present
KCNA: Praising; calendar>>May 20. 2014

Sonu Hyang-hui absent, even though she participated in the meeting of artists; she just was not allowed to enter the stage. Also in the meeting she did not give a speech although she was supposed to be the concert master; Cha Yong-mi gave the speech as the representative of the band. Thus strings on stage are a trio, with Cha Yong-mi playing first violin. Only six singers; Kim Yu-kyong really appears to be absent this time, not only invisible; also Pak Son-hyang and Ri Myong-hui are absent again. Those who are on stage are a chosen few. Guitarist Kang Phyong-hui is doing her last performance as a Moranbong Band member. Future drummer Han Sun-jong plays percpad at the back row, though it will be almost a year until she replaces Ri Yun-hui. As there appears to be no specific need for her in the concert, perhaps she was there to get stage experience.

Ryu Jina’s title as 공훈배우 Konghun Peu Merited Artiste 功勲俳優 will be shown for the first time in this concert, near the end, 10 seconds after the beginning of the song 달려가자 미래로 Tallyŏkaja mirero Dash to the future. In this list at 01.03.20, but there are many versions of the concert in the net. She is in no special role, however. Ra Yu-mi, whose title as Merited Artiste was announced for this concert,  was the star of the concert.

00.01.41 애국가 Egukka National anthem 愛国歌
Composition: Kim Won-gyun 김원균 金元均, lyrics: Pak Se-yong 박세영 朴世永, 1947
This has not been heard since August 2013. Similar arrangement: Ra Yu-mi starts a cappella, followed by Ryu Jina. A trio of Pak Mi-kyong, Kim Sol-mi and Jong Su-hyang follows, finally the band. Lots of famous artists in the audience.

00.03.27 사랑에 대한 생각 Sarangye tehan senggak Thought of Love 愛への思い
Composition: Ri Jongo 리종오, lyrics: Ri In-mo 리인모, date unknown.  KJI period. Ri In-mo was a political prisoner in South Korea from 1952 to 1993, maintaining his communist ideology throughout. After he was repatriated to North Korea he became a famous national hero.
Solo: recently nominated Merited Artiste Ra Yu-mi.
The great Hwang Un-mi is not too impressed. She appeared very tired, though, in all shots the camera made on her.

There is no doubt that Ra Yu-mi does her best. She is an all right singer with a nice smokey voice. But perhaps not a splendid one; there are many as good or better singers in the band. She came to the band in February 2013 and rather soon got important roles. Since March 2014 she has been the top singer, on whom were piled sentimental KJU songs; appears to be a sure way to earn the title. Now she got her nomination, but will leave the band after one more concert in September 2014. There is a slight aura of unfairness in her career; it is as if she was powerfully pushed through a premeditated programme, passing all other singers, with the Merited Actress title as the goal. This could point towards important family connections. There existed a composer active in the 1980s with the name Ra Kuk 라국, whose songs also MBB performs, but it could also be a politically important family. Ra Yu-mi disappeared completely from sight after September, but here she is the queen of the night.

00.08.43 백두의 말발굽소리 Pektuye malpalkup sori Sound of horse hooves in Mt. Paektu 白頭の馬蹄の音
Composer: Ri Jong-o 리종오, lyrics: Sin Un Ho 신운호 & O Yong-je 오영재, 1992
Instrumental, string quartet. Classic MBB style. This concert is a kind of merit and skill display parade, with songs of many different types chosen for the repertoire. The ladies may be a bit tired; the national meeting was no doubt hard.

00.12.08 바다만풍가 Pada manphunga Song of high haul in the sea 海の豊漁歌
Composition: Kim He-song 김해성, lyrics: Cha Ho-gun 차호근, 2014
Solo: Kim Sol-mi

00.17.12 장군님 생각 Jangunnim sengak Longing for the general 将軍様を想う
Composition & lyrics: Hwang Jin-yong 황진영, 1993
Solo: Ra Yu-mi

Medley メドレー
00.23.50 나는 영원히 그대의 아들 Nanŭn yŏngwŏni kŭdeye adŭl I’ll be forever your son 私は永遠にあなたの息子
Lyrics: Jon Tongu 전동우, 1984
This used to contain a Kim Yu-kyong solo, but is now performed by a quintet: Ryu Jina, Ra Yu-mi, Kim Sol-mi, Pak Mi-kyong, Jong Su-hyang

00.25.51 비행사의 노래 Pihengsaye nore Pilot’s song 飛行士の歌
Composition: An Jong-ho 안정호, lyrics: Kil Yong-jo 길영조, 1996
Quintet, in pitch order

00.28.10 저 하늘 높이 날고 돌아온 저녁에 Jŏ hanŭl nophi nalgo toraon jŏnyŏke Fly High and Return in the Evening あの空高く飛んで夕べ帰った
Composition: Jo Kyong-jun 조경준, lyrics: Choe Jun-kyong 최준경, no date
Duo: Jong Su-hyang, Ra Yu-mi

00.29.45 은빛날개 Ŭnpinnalge Silvery wings 銀翼
Composition: U Jong-hui 우정희, 1994
Instrumental -> quintet

00.32.15 추억의 노래 Chuŏgye nore Song of reminiscence 追憶の歌
No creation info
Trio: Pak Mi-kyong, Jong Su-hyang, Ra Yu-mi. This song is always a trio.

00.33.48 하늘의 방패 우리가 되리 Hanŭlye pangphe uriga tweri We’ll be the shield of the sky 空の盾に我らならん
From the 1950s film Don’t wait for our return 『我らを待つな』, no other info
Instrumental -> quintet

00.36.37 나는 영원히 그대의 아들 Nanŭn yŏngwŏni kŭdeye adŭl I’ll be forever your son 私は永遠にあなたの息子
Kimist videos; this medley was exactly the same as the one rehearsed for the previous concert a month ago. Only the dress is different.


00.37.55 내 심장의 목소리 Ne simjangye moksori Voice of my heart 我が心の声
Composition: Rim Kum-song 림금성, lyrics: Ri Hye-jong 리혜정, 2014.
Arrangement: Hwang Jin-yong 황진영
Saxophone: Choe Jong-im
Solo: Merited Artiste Ra Yu-mi

00.42.32 전선행렬차 Jŏnsŏneng gyŏlcha Train to the front line 前線行き列車
Composition: Sol The-song 설태성, lyrics: Kim Ki-song, probably 2014
Quintet, pitch order
00.45.46 세계명곡묶음 Sekye mŏngguk mukkŭm World famous songs medley 世界名曲メドレー

00.46.02 세상에 부럼없어라 Sesange purŏmŏpsŏra We have nothing to envy in this world 世の中に羨むことはない
Composition: Kim Hyok 김혁, lyrics: group, 1961
This song made for KIS is often demanded in connection with foreign influences, but once the superior level of North Korean culture has been stated, then there is no problem in enjoying a little what people in foreign countries have generated. Foreign music in the repertoire indicates a relaxed, satisfied and optimistic mood among the top artistic administration. International tension leads to strict focus on North Korean music. Thus, whoever decided the following list of songs, quite probably was in a good mood.

Probably something else can also be read from the list. Most of them are light European and other international excerpts of classical music, or popular music in classical style. Many of them have been performed also by other North Korean ensembles, such as the Pochonbo Electronic Ensemble and Unhasu Orchestra. It is rather probable that they are examples of foreign compositions used in education in Kim Won Gyun Pyongyang University of Music. Students there are educated in classical music, but as they have to learn to play to the masses, who will not consume too esoteric forms of music, such as intonal compositions, the education probably leans towards the light melodic, rather than heavy and difficult.

On the other hand, as the concert was an encouragement towards creating ”masterpieces like waterfalls”, the list appears to be a legitimated source of foreign inspiration usable in NKorean creative art. During the national meeting North Korean artists were urged to be innovative in their work, while still remaining within the mold of socialist realism. In music this would basically imply creating beautiful and catchy melodies, the more the better.

00.47.05 검투사들의 입잠 Kŏmthusadŭlye ipjam Vjezd gladiátorů 剣闘士の入城
Julius Fučík, 1897

00.48.19 모짜르트 교향곡 40번 1악장 Mozarŭthŭ kyohyanggok sasip pŏn il akjang Sinfonía Nº 40 – 1º mov モーツァルト交響曲第40番第1楽章
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, 1788

00.49.32 뛰르끼예 행진곡 Twirŭkiye hengjingok Rondo alla Turcaトルコ行進曲
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, 1783

00.50.56 아득히 먼길 Adŭkhi mŏngil Дорогой длинною = By the long road (Those were the days) 遥か遠い道(悲しい天使)
Boris Fomin Борис Иванович Фомин, 1925

00.51.33 검은 눈동자 Kŏmŭn nundongja Очи чёрные = Dark eyes 黒い瞳
Evheniy Grebenka, 1843

00.52.34 까뿌리섬 Kappurisyŏm Isle of Capri カプリ島
Wilhelm Grosz, 1934

00.52.53 에스빠냐 만세 Esŭppanya manse Eviva España スペイン万歳
Leo Caerts, 1971

00.54.15 락엽 Rakyŏp Hulló levelek/Les feuilles mortes 落ち葉
Joseph Kosma, 1945

00.55.18 가극극장의 유령 Kagŭk gŭkjangye yuryong The phantom of the opera 歌劇劇場の幽霊(オペラ座の怪人)
Andrew Lloyd Webber, 1985

00.57.02 레드강골짜기 Redŭkang kolzagi My Bonnie lies over the ocean マイ・ボニー
Scottish traditional, perhaps the 18th century

00.57.49 띠꼬띠꼬 Tikotiko Tico-tico no fubá ティコティコ
Zequinha de Abreu, 1917

00.58.12 백조의 호수 Pekjoye hosu Лебединое озеро = Swan lake 白鳥の湖
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, 1876
The second time MBB performed this. The first time was in the debut concert as one of the Disney tunes.

00.58.48 스케트타는 사람들의 왈쯔 Sŭkhethŭthanŭn saramdŭlye walzŭ Les Patineurs Valse スケーターズ・ワルツ
Émile Waldteufel, 1882

00.59.34 오 쏠레미오 O sollemio O sole mio オーソレミオ
Eduardo di Capua, 1898

01.00.06 라데츠키행진곡 Radechŭkhi hengjingok Radetzky Marsch ラデツキー行進曲
Johann Strauss Vater, 1848

01.01.11 카르멘서곡 Kharŭmen sŏgok Carmen prélude カルメン序曲
Georges Bizet, 1875


01.02.00 빛나는 조국 Pinnanŭn joguk Brilliant motherland 輝く祖国
Composition: Ri Myŏn-sang 리면상, lyrics: Pak Se-yon 박세영, 1947

01.03.10 달려가자 미래로 Tallyŏkaja mirero Dash to the future 駆けて行こう未来へ
No creation info

01.06.13 인민은 일편단심 Inminŭn ilphyŏn dansim Single-minded people 人民は一片丹心
Composition: U Jong-hui 우정희, lyrics: Ri Ji-song 리지성, 2012

01.11.14 Band members running to KJU to receive his public blessing … why does he see a need to show unambigious public support for the band?

Rim Kum-song 1, 2014
Kim He-song 1, 2014
Sol The-song 1, 2014

U Jong-hui 2, 1994+2012
Hwang Jin-yong 1, 1993
An Jong-ho 1, 1996

Lyrics new
Ri Hye-jong 1, 2014
Cha Ho-gun 1, 2014
Kim Ki-song 1, 2014

Ri Ji-song 1, 2012

34 songs
4 KJU era, 14 older Korean, 16 foreign
The idea of the repertoire clearly was to present Korean and foreign masterpieces, with KJU songs placed also in the beginning, middle and end. 4 songs by MBB vice directors; not many.

Arrangement information is rare, but here we have it.
Arrangement: Hwang Jin-yong of a composition of Rim Kum-song at 37.55. Arrangement takes place very near the ensemble, its instruments in mind, so here we can see the vice director working in another role than composing or administering.

Even though such lavish praise was heaped upon the band from the party, or perhaps because of it, the concert was somewhat tired, or not very spirited. Four members were absent. The title of merited artist was awarded to Ra Yu-mi.

Ra Yu-mi2

Kim Ki-nam in this picture from the concert appears as the chief organizer of action. He is now about 85-88 years old, a very experienced art bureaucrat.

Kim Ki-nam 01.11.47

Kim Ki-nam, at the extreme left. The lady in blue-violet clapping her hands is Pek Sun-rang, former master narrator of Unhasu Orchestra.

The concert video in YouTube displayed also a number of MBB leaders in the audience, here welcoming the arrival of KJU. This part was cut out of the DVD version.

MBB 20140519 Johtoa 00.21

From left to right = front to back:
우정희 U Jong-hui (composer, arranger)
안정호 An Jong-ho (composer, arranger)
차호군 Cha Ho-gun (poet)
김해성 Kim He-song (composer)
리명남 Ri Myong-nam (arranger).
This information, which is not necessarily 100% verified, from Arthur Yabe.


Percpadisti 16.08

Han Sun-jong at 16:08

She has been sighted also in an earlier concert in 2013.09.09 by the Concert Ensemble of the Korean People’s Internal Security Force (KPISF) (조선인민내무군 협주단 朝鮮人民内務軍協奏団). In Russian the name has been given as Представление ансамбля песни и танца = Performing Song and Dance Ensemble. The duty of KPISF is, as the name suggests, to provide troops for internal security, such as labour camp guards, but its most important duty is to take care of the protection of members of the governing aristocracy, as well as guarding party and state functions. It is thus closely connected with the leadership of the state, like also Moranbong Band is. Its performing arts division is a large ensemble, and various different groups and combinations perform during concerts.

http://youtu.be/iBV5Xt7ryzY?list=PLMGwd4UENdjIrA0ARFRxFOEMP92HixXrR with Russian information; the same concert with Korean information here http://youtu.be/_1NHRX4AAA0

She plays drums in songs during 00:57:30 – 01:13:22, distinguishing herself as a drum soloist especially in a surprisingly experimental jazz version of 이 땅의 주인들은 말하네 I tangye juindŭlŭn marane This land’s masters say, which the Moranbong Band had performed in four concerts in 2012. That song begins at 01:07:39. Her name is 한순정 Han Sun-jong 韓純情.

The group performing this song is also interesting, because it is an all-female combination using a similar composition of instruments as MB. There is the basic band with guitars and synthesizers, and the angel choir, but instead of strings they have a horn section.

Percp2013 (4)

Jazz band of the Song and Dance Ensemble of the KPA in 2013.09.09.

Another interesting concert from May 2013 (with different drummers) can be seen here: http://youtu.be/fgq80wg3r0o.

Back to the Moranbong Band concert: a couple of more photos from it:

Choe Jong-im 56.42

Choe Jong-im at 56:42

Kang Ryong-hui 53.28 ed

Kang Phyong-hui at 53:28; this was the last concert where we saw her.


7 thoughts on “2014.05.19”

  1. hellonc said:

    Any information about the lady on the percpad? Is she a new member?

    • pekkakorhonen said:

      You are right! Someone new is there with the percpad. Never seen the lady before, and I do not know her name.

  2. MBfan said:

    One thing we might have overlooked in this concert is the appearance of former synthesizer player Kim Hyang Sun. At 00.36-00.37 in the video she was seen clapping at KJUs arrival. (saw this while rewatching the concert)
    Relative to that, one could also see PEE former guitarist Song Gwang. According to the 2015 song of memories concert, he is a teacher at kumsong school.So if I am right, kim hyang sun could be a teacher by profession as of now. (judging that the artists were seated by the group where they belong)

  3. pekkakorhonen said:

    Thanks for the observation. I had not noticed it. However, I remember one Russian discussion somewhere in YouTube, where someone who seemed to know also said that Kim Hyang Sun is teaching nowadays. She is clearly important, because she was in the meeting, and also performs occasionally. In the meeting there were also the lyrics writer Yun Du Gun, and several former Unhasu Orchestra members; they can be seen in the same concert in the audience. One day, when I have a better internet connection, I plan to correct several mistakes and omissions in this site.

    • MBfan said:

      yes, you must revise some information in the blog. there’s been changes in the “military” rank of the members. I saw in the recent concerts that ri hui kyong is now in the same rank as kim yu gyong and the others moved one rank up. (except the new singers)

  4. MBfan said:

    사랑에 대한 생각 was written by Ri in mo (the unconverted long term prisoner) himself. On the other hand, Ri Chong o arranged the music. He wrote other songs too like 신념과 의지의 찬가 and 당신만 있으면 우리는 이긴다 which are mainly KJI praise songs. He was a popular figure in NK so his poems became songs.

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