You may not know his name but you’ve heard his music

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You may not know his name but you’ve heard his music


Lee Byeong-woo, a classic guitarist who has built a successful career in film music. Provided by the Organizers

Lee Byeong-woo is a noted classical guitarist, but he is better known for his film music. For fans of his cinematic compositions, Lee performs a annual concert. This year, the concert takes place on Saturday at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts. During the two hour performance Lee will present 20 pieces from his film hits.
Lee’s name may not ring a bell to many, but most people are likely to have come across his works in more than a dozen films, including the memorable hit “The Host” (2006). Sometimes he uses intense notes, as in the scene in “The Host” where the monster rushes along the Han River. Yet in a film like “Untold Scandal,” an interesting interpretation of “Dangerous Liaisons” in a traditional Korean setting, he incorporated Western string instruments to create a pleasant East-meets-West theme.
Lee told the JoongAng Daily that he thinks the secret of his success in film music came from the way he seeks inspiration from the facial expressions, jokes and manner of speech of the film’s characters.
“I try not to make the music too prominent,” Lee said, “In this sense, this concert means a lot to me, as I can present the music on its own.” This year Lee said that he has put the emphasis on the percussion instruments in a 50-member orchestra, along with his electronic guitar sound.
After graduating from music schools in Austria and the United States and winning international music competitions, Lee started to make his name back home as a classical guitarist who explored the limits of the genre across a wide spectrum of sounds and phrasing. Now, after cementing his career in films, Lee said he is getting ready to pursue more experiments and plans to release some electronic music designed for games. Currently, he is working on “The Host” director Bong Joon-ho’s next film. Lee says that despite all his successes he feels he has only just begun to explore the possibilities of his instrument. “I believe I have yet to arrive at the midpoint of my musical career,” he said.

Ticket prices start from 20,000 won ($21) to 100,000 won. Sejong Center for Performing Arts is a landmark of Gwanghwamun, central Seoul, best reached from the Gwnaghwamun Station on subway No. 5 line. For more information, call the organizers at (02) 515-6560.

By Chun Su jin []
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