Monday, February 23, 2009

Singing in the Rain

I decided to head out on Saturday night for a short drink and taking in the music at a different bar that has live music. In order to get over to Sugar Joe's I have to take a cab from my place, but I figure that was a small price to pay for the great live music that would await me.

It was raining all weekend and raining hard when I left the house. I was hopeful that I wouldn't have to wait long to get a cab. Usually it takes forever in the rain. However fortunately for me as I was coming up the corner a cab was coming around and he pulled over to the corner just in time for me to get in.

He was an older guy but seemed jolly enough. He had a little trouble understanding the location of my direction but after a fourth repetition he was able to say it back to me and he knew where I was going. So down the street we went. As we reached City Hall to make the turn towards the Uni where the bar was located the cabbie began to talk to me.

He asks me "Hanguk nori jo-a?"

I answer back in Korean that yes, I do like Korean music. He asks if I like Pansori which is a particular kind of Korean music, a traditional storytelling form. It's part art theater, part opera, and part endurance competition. A Pansori retelling can take upwards of twelve hours. At a live show the singer will ask the audience to engage. There are no breaks but it is okay to come and for the bathroom as necessary.

When the cab driver asked if I liked it I said yes and told him it would be okay to put some one. I really do enjoy listening to Pansori.

So imagine my surprise when he started singing. Loudly. While driving. And including the crane dancing arm movements with both arms. While driving. Down the wet street. He was actually pretty good however the surreal nature of being in a fast moving cab, while my driver is singing and dancing as the car speeds over a wet bridge was kind of, well, weird.

He first sang me the song of a warrior crossing the country fighting for the honor of his love. He explained this to me after he stopped singing and resumed driving. The second song he sang for me was that of the mountain spirits greeting the cranes as they came to Korea during the migration seasons.

I managed to get to my location without dying, warmed up for the live jam by my live singing car session, and I was damned amused. I have him a big tip.


If you are not familiar with Pansori you might want to check this out. While this guy is not my cab driver, he sounds very similar.



1 comment:

GeologyJoe said...

that guy is really rapping. cool.