New Age Pianist Kevin Kern at the HiltonWhat kind of music do you like best for romance? Imagine you are walking down a quiet country road with someone you love. The air is cool, with hardly a breath of wind. Music is in the air and in your heart and soul. Perhaps something like pianist Kevin Kern's "In the Enchanted Garden."
Kern is a leading New Age musician. His popular song "Return to Love," was the theme music for the recently ended KBS TV drama "Autumn Tale."
Now the blind musician is heading for Korea for the first time, to give concerts at the Hilton Convention Center in Seoul on Dec. 9-10.
"Many of his Korean fans have been looking forward to his concerts," said Yoon Hong-ryong, manager of Imstation, the concert organizer. "They love his music because it is so calm and peaceful and touches the heart. And 'Return to Love' has really boosted his popularity."
Sales of Kern's albums have doubled over the past two months and are still rising steadily, according to Park Kyung-sun, publicist for Tower Records in Shinchon.Born in Detroit, Michigan, Kern was a musical prodigy. By the time he was two, he could play more than 20 Christmas carols.
After gaining a master's degree from the New England Conservatory of Music, he taught music theory and honed his talents at Jazz Camp West in Santa Cruz in 1992.
Blessed with the ability to "paint pictures with sound," Kern made his professional debut at 14 with the Well Tempered Clavichord, a teenage group. He later gained an international reputation as a pianist and keyboard player and a composer with the uncanny ability of being able to create pictures in his mind and translate them into exquisite melodies.
His albums "In the Enchanted Garden" (1996), "Beyond the Sundial" (1997), "Summer Daydreams" (1998) and "In My Life" are testimony to his talents.
Why is "In My Life" so popular in Korea? Perhaps it is because its themes of love and reminiscence were perfect for the fall. Whatever the reason, Kern decided to play in Korea to give his many fans a chance to see him live, according to Mr. Yoon.
Konkuk University design student Lee Hee-won says she still cries whenever she hears "Return to Love."
"It reminds me of the tragic but beautiful love between Eun-seo and Jun-seo in 'Autumn Tale'," she says. "Sad scenes flash through my mind."
The magazine "Healthy and Natural Journal" commented: "Each song delicately weaves a soft cocoon of love and peace, shielding us from our worries. 'In My Life' strikes a perfect balance of songs to comfort the heart and uplift the spirit."
The concerts will start each night at 7 and 8 p.m. Tickets, which cost from 40,000 won ($33) to 60,000 ($50), are available from Ticketlink, 02-1588-7890, and from Ticketpark, 02-538-3200.
For information, call Imstation at 02-2199-9080.
by Kim Jae-seon