Long before I understood anything about life, I understood music.
Miss R, my ever-optimistic high school piano teacher, failed to give up on my sight-reading skills, despite all the evidence that suggested she was wasting her time. Mr H had drawn the short straw with the shoe box room in the corner of the music department and even he shovelled his cynicism beneath a gaping smile of sincerity when I declared my ambitions to play electric guitar on an international stage one day.
Time has eroded the links of cognition that once enabled me to play those piano sonatas with such poise. So too has it earned me regret for allowing my musical skills to seep away but as an angsty 14-year-old, stomping around with the conviction that I knew best, I may not have been in any mood to listen to my parents but I listened with intent to REM on 1992’s iconic Automatic for the People.
I have no recollection of my first shopping purchase, my first crush or my first restaurant but I do remember my first live gig and the
first only time I crowd-surfed in a cloud of euphoria across a hundred thousand revellers.
Music was a medium I understood when life was a phenomenon I thought I understood.
A Plan for Gangnam
I wonder what derision my 14-year-old self would sling my way now if she caught me watching the Gangnam Style video on YouTube. Could she comprehend (could anyone) just how an indie-music loving, naïve teenager turned into a 30 something year old woman who travelled to Gangnam solely because of the worldwide acclaim of its eponymous Korean pop number.
South Korea’s capital has far more to boast than Psy’s renowned record but one can’t argue with (at least) 2.8 billion You Tube views and one balmy Saturday night during our visit to Seoul, we somehow found ourselves alongside Seoul’s savvy adolescent masses in the bar and club laden district of Gangnam.
Just how this surreal evening unfolded, launching with rainbow fountains and ending with rainbow cakes is about to be revealed.